Frankfurt: Ukraine’s Chytomo Award Names a Shortlist

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

The new award from Ukraine’s publishing trade news medium, ‘Chytomo,’ names its first shortlist in three categories.

At the inaugural shortlist announcement of Ukraine’s new Chytomo Award at Frankfurter Buchmesse, October 18. Image: Chytomo

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘Vom Cleff’: ‘A Show of Respect and Gratitude’
Our Publishing Perspectives readers will remember that the Ukrainian book industry magazine Chytomo in August announced the Chytomo Award, a recognition of “outstanding achievements in the Ukrainian publishing and literary sphere.”

On the 75th Frankfurter Buchmesse‘s opening day (October 18), the inaugural shortlist for the Chytomo Award was announced at an event at the Ukrainian national stand (Hall 4, H36), reflecting a range of nominees whose contributions to Ukraine publishing and reading culture over the last year are considered to put them into the lead by the new program’s jury.

That jury comprises:

  • William Blacker (Great Britain), a Slavic scholar at University College London and translator of Ukrainian literature
  • Gvantsa Jobava (Georgia), vice-president of the International Publishers Association (IPA)
  • Yulia Kozlovets (Ukraine), director of the “Book Arsenal” International Festival.
  • Vladka Kupska (Germany-Czech Republic), chief manager of the Frankfurt Book Fair for work with the markets of Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Tetyana Teren (Ukraine), journalist and executive director of Ukrainian PEN.
  • Oksana Khmelivska (Ukraine), co-founder of Chytomo.
  • Volodymyr Sheyko (Ukraine), general director of the Ukrainian Institute.
Chytomo Award 2023 Shortlist

The shortlist of the nominees of the Chytomo Award was announced in three categories.

Ukrainian Book Ambassador

  • Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv, Art Studio Agrafka
  • Emma Shercliff, founder of Laxfield Literary Associates
  • Lviv Bookforum, Publishers’ Forum
  • PEN Ukraine
  • Victoria Amelina, posthumously shortlisted

In a juror’s comment on the Book Ambassador category, Jobava said, “I’m becoming very unprofessional when I talk about Ukraine, because everything from Ukraine is connected with deep emotions to me.

“All participants, all nominees at this award are heroes. I cannot hold my emotions when I talk about Ukrainian writers, especially about writers who were killed.

“We need to unite our forces against the injustice. We can do this, we should do this.”

Book Initiative Promoting Reading

  • Barabooka
  • Online Library Of Books In Braille Of The International Charitable Foundation “Health of the Future”
  • Radio Culture — Literary Editorial
  • YoutTube Channel: Shaleni Avtorky
  • Translatorium

Yulia Kozlovets, director of the  Book Arsenal Festival and a member of the jury, underlined the fact that this category is about creating unity among Ukrainian readers.

“This category is for people,” she said, “who are very often volunteers, they want to spread love to the books and love to Ukrainian books in particular.”

Book Publishing Market Trendsetter

  • Anton Martynov
  • The Book Lion Bookstore
  • Ist Publishing, independent publisher
  • The Old Lion Publishing House
  • Oleksandr Savchuk Publishing House

Juror Vladka Kupska, referring to the Market Trendsetter category, said, “I find it so amazing, that Ukrainian book publishers and creators have opportunity to create avant-garde books, which can influence others and give people strength.” Kupska is with Frankfurt Book Fair and focuses on work with the markets of Central and Eastern Europe.

Peter Kraus vom Cleff, managing director of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, Germany’s publishers and booksellers association, said, “The trendsetter category is “a show of respect and gratitude to Ukrainian publishers.”

“It’s a call for them to keep on going, to keep on publishing. No matter the circumstances, they keep on publishing. There is the hunger for book in Ukraine, as it was in Germany after the war. It’s astonishing.”

And Chytomo co-founder Iryna Baturevych sad, “Each project is unique. You can find niche publishing houses and big ones, new initiatives and well-known brands.

“It shows the scale, the geography and the efforts publishing professionals are putting in each project. You can have a real example to follow.”

Frankfurt Book Fair itself is also a special award in recognition of “exceptional achievements of Ukrainian publishers,” including the opportunity for booth participation at the world’s largest international book publishing trade show in its 76th year, 2024.

The jury reportedly has decided to award an additional special jury award of its own, but details of this have yet to be released.

Follow our coverage of Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine and its impact on the country’s publishing players and international industry reactions. More on the Ukrainian publishing industry and book market is here. More on international book and publishing awards is here, more on Frankfurter Buchmesse is here, more on the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels is here, and more on the German book market is here.

Publishing Perspectives is the International Publishers Association’s world media partner.

Now available here for your free download, our 2023 Publishing Perspectives Frankfurt Book Fair magazine

Our 75th Frankfurt coverage from our Frankfurt Book Fair Magazine, which has been available throughout the trade show in print, is also available for your free download.

The magazine has more interviews with fellows and grant-program recipients from international publishing markets, as well as previews of programming from our Publishing Perspectives Forum at Frankfurt including our Executive Talks with Penguin Random House worldwide CEO Nihar Malaviya and Nanmeebooks’ Kim Chongsatitwana; highlights of key events at the 75th Frankfurter Buchmesse; and coverage of Frankfurt’s upcoming guest of honor programs (Italy, the Philippines, the Czech Republic) and this year’s Guest of Honor Slovenia.

There’s also news of literary agents and agencies; award-winning books from guest of honor markets; focus articles on artificial intelligence, sustainability; and a forthcoming effort to get more Korean literature into world markets; as well as 75th-anniversary “Frankfurt Moments.”

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.