Tartu's new City Writer is Juhan Voolaid

Juhan Voolaid.
Juhan Voolaid. Source: Lilian Lukka

Tartu has named Juhan Voolaid was Tartu's City Writer for 2021.

The City Writer Grant was presented by Tartu Mayor Urmas Klaas on Wednesday.

"Tartu has selected a City Writer for the fifth year in a row. The grant awarded by the city encourages the writer to create new works and allows for more time to be devoted to creative activities," the mayor said.

Voolaid has been writing books since 2008.

"I have written several Tartu-themed books, and I intend to continue doing so. I was born, raised and became a writer in this city; now I have an excellent opportunity to give something back. During my time as City Writer, I will turn to both adults and children through a new book and new stories, but also, for example, through a photography exhibition," said Voolaid.

The City Writer was selected by an expert committee consisting of representatives from the Tartu Chapter of the Writers' Union, the Estonian Literary Museum, the University of Tartu Department of Literature and Theatre Studies, the Oskar Luts Tartu City Library, the Tartu Cultural Endowment, and the City Government.

The amount of the grant is twice the minimum wage of the previous year.  In 2021, the grant will be €14,016, which will be paid in monthly installments.

The City Writer Grant is being awarded for the fifth year and is one of Tartu's activities as a UNESCO International City of Literature.

Previous Tartu City Writers were Kristiina Ehin (2017), Mika Keränen (2018), Vahur Afanasjev (2019), and Carolina Pihelgas (2020).


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Editor: Helen Wright

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