On 1 September, at the opening of the 25th Vilenica International Literary Festival in Lipica, Slovenia, CEI Secretary General Amb. Pfanzelter presented the CEI Fellowship for Writers in Residence to the Croatian fiction writer and journalist Maja Hrgović.
The CEI Fellowship, endowed with a cash award of 5,000 EUR, is to be used for a three-month residence in a CEI country chosen by the winner to work on a selected project.Maja Hrgović was nominated by an international jury composed of Patrizia Vascotto (Italy), Ludwig Hartinger (Austria), Vanesa Matajc (Slovenia), Lucija Stupica (Slovenia) and Jani Virk (Slovenia). The jury highlighted that “the prose of Maja Hrgović represents a new and efficient voice on the Croatian literary scene. She writes about modern women, who are decisive, intelligent and marked by their social role, the latter often going away from the traditional one and into different domains of men. Precisely this crossing of borders is the second main theme of her prose, which has been much appreciated by her audience and is dealt with a great thoroughness.” Born in 1980 in Split, Croatia, Maja Hrgović graduated from Croatian and English language and literature at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb. Since 2003, she has worked as a journalist in Novi list, Croatian national daily newspaper, covering culture and social issues, as well as gender issues. She contributes to several online-media, writing critical analyses of mainstream media's treatment of women. As a fellow in prestigious regional project "Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence" in 2009, she did a research on socio-economic migrations of women in Eastern Europe and won the first Prize for journalistic excellence, awarded to her by Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, Erste Foundation and Bosch Foundation. Her journalistic work has been represented in numerous international media, including the book "Identity: The Search for Belonging in a Changing Europe". From 2003 to 2007 she has been with the editorial board in Zarez. She was the representative of Croatian literature on the first international art festival "World Wide Words", held in Kopenhagen, Denmark, in summer of 2010. On 2 September the CEI co-sponsored Round Table “On Reading: Reading Experience and its Forms in Modern Times” took place with the honorary participation of Danilo Türk, President of the Republic of Slovenia. Three prominent panelists - Kristin Dimitrova (Bulgaria), Aris Fioretos (Sweden) and Blaže Minevski (Macedonia), conducted by Tanja Lesničar Pučko (Slovenia), stimulated a lively debate starting from their own experiences and views.