VII Open Eurasian Literature Festival & Book Forum -2018

The 7th Open Eurasian Literature Festival & Book Forum, dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the outstanding portrait painter and revolutionary theatrical decorator Leon Bakst, took place in Thailand from 23-27 November.

Organized by the Eurasian Creative Guild (London) and the British publishing house Hertfordshire Press, the Open Eurasian Literature Festival & Book Forum (OEBF) is the only annual literary festival in the world to  promote Eurasian literature internationally. As a cultural bridge between East and West, this unique event provides an opportunity for authors to talk about their work, share experiences and find like-minded people from different countries with whom to implement joint projects.


This year’s OEBF festival was attended by  and honoured guests included: representatives of the Russian Embassy, ​​Attache for Culture of the Russian Federation Irina Vorobyova, Counselor of Kazakhstan Embassy in Thailand, Yerlan Danabekov and Bruno Lemercier, representative of the Jim Thompson Foundation.

Held for the first time in Southeast Asia, the festival comprised  book presentations, art exhibitions, a tour of the most famous museum in Thailand, an official dinner, a cruise around the Gulf of Thailand on which “Eurasia Voices” were heard. Guests also gave presentations of their work at the international school Diplomat (Pattaya), and at the University of Chulalongkorn (Bangkok).

The conference at the oldest university in Thailand, Chulalongkorn, which was hosted by the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, included presentations by : the Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Thailand Raushan Yesbolatova, Vice-Rector of the University Dr. Pirongrong Ramasoota, Vice-Chairman of the Guild Marat Akhmedjanov, Elena Bezrukova (Kazakhstan), Murat Ualee (Kazakhstan), Oksana Zhukova (Crimea), Nurgulya Osmonkulova (Kyrgyzstan), Temirbek Dzholdobaev (Kyrgyzstan), Alina Yurchenko (Thailand), and Aynura Berdikul (Kazakhstan).

The splendid opening ceremony and dinner took place in the Jim Thompson House Museum, Bangkok supported by  a wonderful exhibition of paintings by Eurasian artists Alesya Issa (Belarus), Olim Kamalov (Tajikistan), Elena Bezrukova (Kazakhstan) and Lekim Ibrahimov (Uzbekistan) .

In addition to Bangkok, the festival programme extended to Pattaya, where a meeting of the creative Russian-speaking intelligentsia was hosted by the SunDay Studio art gallery.

This year, no fewer than 13 new books published in London under the ECG Book Series 2018 were presented under the following categories:

Fiction series : 8 books

Non-fiction series (popular science): 5 books:

The festival also included the following presentations of other books:

OEBF contest winners 2017:

Publications by Hertfordshire Press 2018:

One of the key attractions of the festival is the provision of a platform where creative people can share their ideas, and receive feedback from  readers and experts about their work, and many authors and poets took the opportunity to discuss their recent work with fellow participants:

  • Svetlana Krivoshlykova presented her children’s book, “The Adventures of Mokhnatik and Venichkin”;
  • Timur Akhmedjanov presented Kamran Salayev’s books “Elish and The Wicker Tale” and Gulsifat Shahidi “Tales of Grandma Gulsifat”;
  • Ayder Muradosilov (Crimea) –  winner in the video category 2016, made a speech about how the Guild connects the work of authors from different countries;
  • Husan Tursunov (USA) spoke on the topic “How to publish in the USA”.
  • Temirbek Dzholdobayev (Kyrgyzstan) gave a  speech during the cruise on the “Voice of Eurasia”,  and at the international school Diplomat, spoke about the work of the outstanding Eurasian writer Chingiz Aitmatov and his upcoming 90th anniversary.

Presentations on the famous author’s work, during the cruise, were also made by :

  • Nadezhda Serebrennikova (USA)
  • Alla Kretchmer (Israel)
  • Nurgul Osmonkulova (Kyrgyzstan)
  • Anastasia Kuzmicheva (Belarus)
  • Natalya Polyushkina (Russia)
  • Murat Ualee (Kazakhstan)
  • Elena Bezrukova (Kazakhstan)
  • Husan Tursunov (USA)
  • Hosiyat Rustamova (Uzbekistan)
  • Elena Zyulkova (Thailand)
  • Alina Yurchenko (Thailand)
  • Ainura Berdikul (Kazakhstan)

As part of the Open Eurasian Literature Festival & Book Forum, the 4th Annual General Meeting of the Eurasian Creative Guild members was held in the Caravan restaurant in Pattaya, at which a new Guild Charter was approved and Laura Hamilton (Scotland)  was re-elected Chairman of the Guild for 2018-2019.

The approved Guild Advisory Council comprises: Marat Akhmedjanov, Anna Lari, David Parry, John Fardon, Azim Akmatov, Elena Bezrukova, Gulsifat Shahidi, Isajon Sulton, Alexandra Vlasova, Elena Aslanian, Anastasia Kuzmicheva, David Pearce, Lev Altmark, , Oksana Zhukova and Victor Reylyan.

An important  part of the Open Eurasian Literature Festival & Book Forum, is the annual Open Eurasia international Literary Contest in which the 2018 winners shared a total prize fund of $ 30,000. This year, a staggering 800 applications were submitted by authors from 33 countries and the winners announced at the Awards Ceremony on November 23.

Poetry category:

1st place: Hosiyat Rustamova (Uzbekistan)

2nd place: Murat Ualee (Kazakhstan)

3rd place: Osmonkulova Nurgulya (Kyrgyzstan) and Bestvitskaya Tatiana (Ukraine)

Prose category:

1st place: Lina Di (Russia)

2nd place: Farhat Tamendarov (Kazakhstan)

3rd place: Alona Kita (Israel)

Short Story category:

1st place: Alla Velts (Czech Republic)

2nd place: Husan Tursunov (USA)

3rd place: Anna Gogoleva (Russia)

Best Female Work:

1st place: Lyudmila Dubkovetskaya (Moldova)

2nd place: Stasya Mio (Ukraine)

3rd place: Eva Sever (Russia)

Best Children’s  Work::

1st place: Arina Chunayeva (Russia)

2nd place: Kulubek Bokonbaev (Kyrgyzstan)

3rd place: Svetlana Krivoshlykova (Russia) and Ioanna Reeves (Belarus)


1st place: Gordiyko Oksana (Poland)

2nd place: Andrei Yesaulov (Russia)

3rd place: LMN (Kyrgyzstan) video clip for Sultan Raev’s book “The Flood”


1st place: Agafon Boke (Russia)

2nd place: Elena Lobova (Russia)

3rd place: Maria Erokhina (France) illustration for Alexey Batusov’s work “The Love of Stones”


1st place: Translation of a passage from Gulsifat Shahidi’s book “Tales of Grandma Gulsifat” (Tajikistan)

2nd place: Dana Zheteeva (Kazakhstan) translation of Yulia Sobolenko’s poem “The Freaks”

3rd place: George Butchard (UK) translation of the passage from Nadezhda Kolyshkina’s book “Feast instead of War”

The Laureates a of the festival awards:

  • Marziya Zakiryanova Award for the best women’s work : $ 5000 awarded to  Lyudmila Dubkovetskaya (Moldova)
  • Nemat Kelimbetov Award for Video: $ 5,000 awarded to Oksana Gordiyko (Poland)
  • Maria Shevel Award Children’s work:$ 5,000 awarded to Arina Chunayeva (Russia);
  • Generals for Peace Association Award (Diplomas):  Kuchkar Norkobilov (Uzbekistan), Oksana Zhukova (Crimea), Firdausa Khazipova (Russia), Nadezhda Serebrennikova (USA), Alexander Chigolsky (Belarus), Aizat Rakysheva (Kazakhstan), Nina Belomestnova (Russia).
  • The Live Line Illustration Award, established by Adam Kapanov: $2,000 awarded to Agafon Boke (Russia)
  • The “Butterfly’s Song” Award, founded by the creative studio of Ermek Amanshayev for Poetry: $ 1,000: awarded to Hosiyat Rustamova (Uzbekistan)
  • Irina Drofa Award for Translation: $1,000 awarded for the book by Gulsifat Shahidi (Tajikistan)

The “Open Eurasia – 2018” competition, awarded 33 winners  of whom 15 attended the event in Thailand to collect their prizes. Further winners, this time nominated by Hertfordshire Press, will be announced  in Paris on 12 January, 2019. This prize of $ 10.000 to one of the winners in the literary category, will go towards the publication of the winner’s book  followed by a presentation at the 2019 festival.

Authors/ speakers list:

  1. Yelena Bezrukova (Kazakhstan)
  2. Anastasiya Kuzmicheva (Belarus)
  3. Mark Akhmed (UK – Uzbekistan)
  4. Anna Lari (UK – Russia)
  5. Aynur Berdikul (Kazakhstan)
  6. Muradosilov Aider (Crimea)
  7. Khazipova Firdausa (Russia)
  8. Karavayeva Ilona (Belarus)
  9. Serebrennikova Nadezhda (Russia)
  10. Lobova Yelena (Russia)
  11. Tursunov Khusan (USA)
  12. Krivoshlykova Svetlana (Russia)
  13. Polyushkina Nataliya (Russia)
  14. Bestvyckaya Tatiana (Ukraine)
  15. Ualee Murat (Kazakhstan)
  16. Rustamova Khosiyat (Uzbekistan)
  17. Narkabilova Gulchiroi (Uzbekistan)
  18. Kretchmer Alla (Israel)
  19. Gogoleva Anna (Russia)
  20. Osmonkulova Nurgulya (Kyrgyzstan)
  21. Zheteeva Dana (Kazakhstan)
  22. Zhukova Oksana (Crimea)
  23. Temirbek Joldobayev (Kyrgyzstan)
  24. Aleksey Klimov (Russia)
  25. Oksana Gordiyko* (Poland)
  26. Lyudmila Dubkoveckaya* (Moldova)
  27. Nina Belomestnova* (Russia)
  28. Timur Akhmedjanov (UK)
  29. Yelena Zyulkova (Thailand)
  30. Alina Yurchenko (Thailand)

*via representative

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