Ukraine’s Chytomo Announces Its Inaugural Winners

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The first Chytomo Awards for ‘outstanding achievement in the Ukrainian publishing and literary sphere’ have been named in Kyiv.

Three category winners of the first Chytomo Award in Ukraine are, from left, Marjana Savka of the Old Lion Publishing House in Lviv; Tetiana Rodionova of the Translatorium; and publisher Oleksandr Savchuk. Image: Chytomo

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

‘To Resist, Create, Defend, and Support’
As Publishing Perspectives readers will remember, 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, 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.

Our story on the shortlist is here.

Today from Kyiv we have news of the winners, who were announced on Thursday (November 2) in an event at a coworking space called Generator, with Alexandra Gontar hosing and Nil Tarasov

Chytomo Award 2023 Winners

There are three standing categories in this awards program, listed here first. Those are followed by two specially created awards, for a total of five honors named overnight.

  • Book Publishing Market Trendsetter: The Old Lion Publishing House in Lviv, per the jury: “For setting high standards in the book industry, for serving as a role model, and demonstrating resilience that inspires others to persevere, and for pioneering a system for selling the rights of Ukrainian books to international audiences.”
  • Book Initiative Promoting Reading: Translatorium, an NGO (non-governmental organization): “For creating a platform for communication between translators and interpreters, for putting the Podillia region and Khmelnytskyi on the cultural map of Ukraine, and for pushing through silence to conversation.”
  • Ukrainian Book Ambassador: Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv of Art Studio Agrafka
  • The special award created by Frankfurter Buchmesse goes to Oleksandr Savchuk, who will have an opportunity to be at Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2024. His award was handed over by Tim Prange, the German deputy ambassador to Ukraine.
  • A posthumous special jury award went to the late Victoria Amelina, “for continuing to connect people and communities through many unseen bridges, and for creating opportunities and pathways that continue to guide the Ukrainian cultural community forward.”
Strong Support from Germany

Tim Prange, the German deputy ambassador to Ukraine, congratulates publisher Oleksandr Savchuk on his win of the special award provided by Frankfurter Buchmesse. Image: Chytomo

Each of the five winners receives a cash award of €4,000 (US$4,293).

Tim Prange

Support for the awards comes from the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, Germany’s publishers and booksellers association, Frankfurter Buchmesse, and the German ministry of culture and media, led by Claudia Roth.

The jury in this first year of this award 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.

The Chytomo team at the prize winners event. Image: Chytomo

Baturevych: ‘The Vitality of the Ukrainian Book Industry’

Chytomo co-founder Iryna Baturevych, talking about the awards, says, “It was extremely difficult for the jury to choose the winners, as the number of strong projects submitted for the award exceeded our expectations.

Iryna Baturevych

“This serves as a testament to the vitality of the Ukrainian book industry, the strength and development of the national book market, and the international interest in Ukrainian narratives.

“The entrants’ commitment extended beyond achievements in publishing, with many deeply involved in volunteer efforts. They provided aid to the Ukrainian military; contributed to the restoration of ravaged cultural landmarks; and supported families of fallen soldiers.

“This incredible resolve to resist, create, defend, and support gives us hope for the recovery of Ukraine and the preservation of Ukrainian culture after our victory.”

Gvantsa Jobava, the international relations manager at Intelekti Publishing in Tbilisi and vice-president of the International Publishers Association, speaks via video link about the late Victoria Amelina, who was given a posthumous award during the Chytomo ceremony. Image: Chytomo


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 was available throughout the trade show in print, now is also available for your free download.

The magazine has interviews with fellows and grant-program recipients from international publishing markets, as well as information on 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.com, 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.

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