Lit Link festival is an international literary festival dedicated to a shared appreciation of contemporary literature. Along with some of the most inspiring voices of the Croatian and regional literary scene, this year’s guests are writers, editors, and publishers from the United States and the UK.

This year’s participants:
Nell Zink (US), Jessi Jezewska Stevens (US), David Szalay (UK), Magdalena Blažević, Olja Savičević Ivančević, Mihaela Gašpar, Eva Simčić, Zoran Ferić, Dora Šustić, Tea Tulić, Jurica Pavičić, Želimir Periš, Sven Popović, Nora Verde, Marija Andrijašević, Željka Horvat Čeč, Toni Juričić.

Editors and publishers: Denise Rose Hansen (Lolli Editions, London), Laurence Colchester (Bitter Lemon Press, London), Ellah Wakatama (Canongate Books, London/Manchester), Buzz Poole (Sandorf Passage, Portland, Maine), James Tookey (Peirene Press, London)

The programs are moderated by editor, publisher and writer Ivan Sršen, writer and festival director Robert Perišić, and critic and writer An. Fazekaš.

Jessi Jezewska Stevens is the author of the novels The Exhibition of Persephone Q (a NYT Editors’ Choice) and The Visitors. Her first collection of short fiction, Ghost Pains, will appear in March 2024. Her fiction, criticism, and reporting appear regularly in Foreign Policy, The New York Times, The Nation, The Paris Review, The New Yorker online, Harper’s, The Dial, and elsewhere. In 2021-2022, she was awarded a fellowship from the German-American Fulbright Commission to study climate change narratives. She teaches fiction at Columbia University in New York.

David Szalay is considered one of the best UK prose writers of his generation with work that has won and been short-listed for numerous prizes, most notably Man Booker in 2016 for All That Man Is. Born in Canada in 1974, he grew up in London, and now lives in Budapest, working on a new novel, excerpts from which will be read on this year’s festival edition of Lit Link. Delving into the tense melancholy of everyday life and all that is bubbling under the stiff shield of masculinity, Szalay writes a reduced poetic prose that is widely considered to capture the very essence of contemporary European life. His other notable works include London and the South-East and Turbulence.

In the past nine years, Nell Zink has published six novels, including The Wallcreeper and Doxology. Last fall, she was the Friedrich Dürrenmatt Professor of World Literature at the University of Bern. Her most recent book, Avalon (Faber, 2022), is set in southern California, where she was born in 1964. Acclaimed for her dense, stylistically sophisticated, thematically provocative, and structurally innovative prose, Zink is a challenging and hilarious author, with an undying sense of (sel-)irony and curiosity. She lives in a small town near Berlin.

Laurence Colchester is a publisher and co-founder of Bitter Lemon Press, a UK based independent company, founded in 2003. She is French and lives in London. Before starting Bitter Lemon Press, Laurence had a long and varied experience in international business. She worked as an economist at Citibank, at the Hudson Institute and at the French embassy in London. For eleven years she was the Managing Director of the French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain. Laurence studied economics at the University of Paris and at Columbia, and international affairs at Johns Hopkins University. Her interests include theatre, music and walking in the Cevennes and in the Lake District.

Denise Rose Hansen (b. 1989) studied Creative Writing with English Literature at University of Westminster and received her MA in English from the University of Copenhagen. Her research focuses on post-1945 British fiction, with a particular interest in 1960s writers’ relations with the art world, independent presses, and the novel as a space for cultivating aesthetic experiences. She holds a PhD in English from UCL, where her LAHP-funded project, ‘Minor Happenings: The 1960s British Art Novel’, explored the work of Ann Quin, Paddy Kitchen, Denis Williams, and Stefan Themerson, and these writers’ overlaps with the art world. She was an AHRC-funded International Research Fellow at Yale Center for British Art, Yale University in 2019, an Anglo-Danish Scholar in 2020–21, and a Visiting Fellow at the Literary Translation Archive within the British Archive for Contemporary Writing, University of East Anglia, in 2022. She is the publisher of Lolli Editions, and as a writer she is represented by RCW Literary Agency.

Dredheza Maloku is Editor at Daunt Books UK and has previously worked as Assistant Editor at Vintage, Penguin Random House, and before that as Editorial Assistant at Transworld, Penguin Random House. She currently works across fiction and non-fiction, with a particular interest in fiction in translation. Daunt Books publishes authors such as the Chilean Nona Fernández, as well as Natalia Ginzburg and Lieke Marsman in translation. Dredheza was born in London but is from Kosovo, so she has always been interested in unearthing voices from ex-Yugoslavian/Balkan countries and discovering literature in translation from this region.

Buzz Poole is a Maine-based freelance editor, publisher, and writer, co-founder of Sandorf Passages, a nonprofit independent publisher dedicated to publishing works by Eastern European authors, with a particular focus on sociopolitical books. He has written about books, design, music, and culture for numerous outlets, including Print, The Village Voice, The Believer, Los Angeles Review of Books, San Francisco Chronicle, and The Millions. He is the author of the story collection I Like to Keep My Troubles on the Windy Side of Things; the New Statesman named his examination of unexpected iconography, Madonna of the Toast, one of 2007’s Best Underground Books. He is the author of Workingman's Dead, published by Bloomsbury.

James Tookey is the co-publisher at Peirene Press, and has worked in books since 2016. He currently also runs the Orwell Prizes for Political Writing and Political Fiction.

Ellah Wakatama Allfrey was born in Zimbabwe, attended college and graduate school in the U.S., and now resides in London. She is editor-at-large at Canongate Books Ltd., a senior research fellow at Manchester University (Centre for New Writing), and chair of the Caine Prize for African Writing. Allfrey is also a trustee of The Royal Literary Fund and the Caine Prize for African Writing, and sits on the Advisory Board for Art for Amnesty as well as on the Editorial Advisory Panel of the Johannesburg Review of Books. Allfrey edited Africa39 (2014) and the anthology Safe House: Explorations in Creative Nonfiction (2016); she is also a contributor to New Daughters of Africa (2019) and wrote the introduction to Kojo Laing’s Woman of the Aeroplanes (2012). She was made Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the publishing industry in 2011, and in 2016 was named one of New African Magazine’s “100 Most Influential Africans.”

Marija Andrijašević (b. 1984, Split) is a Croatian writer. She holds MA in Comparative literature and Ethnology and social anthropology (2015) from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. In 2007 she won the Goran award for young poets for her book of poetry davide, svašta su mi radili / david, they did things to me. Her first novel Zemlja bez sutona / The Land Without Twilight was published in 2021. The novel was awarded with the tportal literary award for best novel in 2022 and Štefica Cvek regional award as one of the best nine novels published in 2021 in the countries of BCSM languages. In 2023 she published a book of poetry Temeljenje kuće / The Founding of a House. She is a member of Versopolis, a European poetry platform for emerging poets. She lives between Zagreb and Split and works with Skribonauti, an organisation for promoting literature in carceral systems.

Magdalena Blažević was born in 1982 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Her first book, the short story collection Festival was published in 2020 in Croatia (Fraktura), Serbia (Kontrast) and Macedonia (Prozart). Several stories have been published in English, the anthology Take six: Six Balkan Women Writers (Dedalus). The first novel, In Late Summer, was published in 2022 in Croatia (Fraktura), Serbia (Booka), BiH (Buybook) and Catalonia (Lagulla Daurada). It won the Tportal award for best Croatian novel that same year, and both books were shortlisted for the Fric award. The third book, a novel Harvest Season, has just been published by Fraktura.

Zoran Ferić (Zagreb, 1961) is among the most awarded living Croatian writers. Widely read, critically acclaimed, translated into various languages, Ferić’s novels and short story collections (Mišolovka Walta Disneyja / Walt Disney’s Mousetrap, Anđeo u ofsajdu / An Angel in Offside, Smrt djevojčice sa žigicama / The Death of the Little Match Girl, Djeca Patrasa / Children of Patras, Kalendar Maja / The Mayan Calendar, Putujuće Kazalište / Travelling Theatre etc.) have been especially well received in German-speaking countries. This year saw the adaptation of his The Death of the Little Match Girl for the big screen, directed by Goran Kulenović.

Željka Horvat Čeč was born in Čakovec, published the poetry collection Moramo postati konkretni / We Have to Become Concrete (Croatia and Serbia) that was selected as one of the best five books published that year in Booksa literary webzine, and the poetry collection Strogo mirovanje / Strict Rest. Her work was featured in the anthology of young regional poets Meko tkivo / Soft Tissue and Le fantôme de la liberté – Fantom slobode / Fantom of Freedom. She is part of the international poetry project Versopolis. Her work was also awarded with the Ulaznica prize for poetry in 2013, and her poems have been translated into English, German, French, and Swedish. Her prose book “4 Locks” was translated into French and published in both Canada and France. She is a former footballer, a wife and mother, and supporter of Arsenal, Rijeka, and Greenbay Packers.

Toni Juričić was born on September 19 1990. He is from Labin. After a successfully executed anatomy of the grotesque in (post-)Yugoslav cinematography, he obtained his PhD at Durham University as a Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarship in the Humanities Fellow. He writes. Directs. He is a screenwriter of documentary films Labinska republika / The Labin Republic and Zemlja ognja / Land of Fire, produced by Level 52 for Croatian National Radio-Television. He directed a short documentary film Izvorni sjaj / Original Glow alongside Bianca Dagostin, for which he also wrote the screenplay. Besides working on documentary films, he also made music videos for NLV, Barbari, BluVinil and many others. His short story Con Calma was shortlisted for the Sedmica & Kritična masa award, and his debut novel, Nokturni u d-molu / Nocturnes in D Minor, was published with Fraktura.

Antonela Marušić (Nora Verde) was born in 1974 in Dubrovnik. She studied Croatian Language and Literature. Under the literary name Nora Verde she published prose books Posudi mi smajl / Lend Me a Smile, O ljubavi, batinama i revoluciji / On love, beatings, and revolution, and the novels Do isteka zaliha / Until Supplies Run Out and Moja dota / My Dowry. Her prose and poetry have been published in numerous collections and anthologies, and translated into Slovenian, English, German, Macedonian, and Albanian languages. She is one of the founders of the leading feminist webzine Vox Feminae. Marušić collaborates with a number of regional media outlets focused on independent culture, media, literature, music, activism, and human rights, on which she published interviews, essays, and different articles on the topics of activism, culture, and art. She is a member of the Croatian Writers Association and the Croatian Independent Artists Community. At the moment she works as a journalist and editor on the digital tv channel Vida.

Jurica Pavičić is a novelist, screenwriter and journalist, born in 1965 in Split, where he now resides. He is the author of nine novels, several short story collections and books of essays. As a novelist he debuted in 1997 with the political thriller Ovce od gipsa / Plaster Sheep, on the topic of war crimes. For the novel Crvena voda / Red Water (2017) he received the Le Points award for best European crime novel, as well as Grand Prix de la litterature criminelle for the best crime novel translated into French that year. His novels and short story collections have been translated into French, German, Italian, Slovenian, Macedonian, Slovakian, Ukrainian, and Latvian languages. An award-winning TV series was based on the titular short story of his collection Patrola na cesti / Street Patrol.

Želimir Periš, born in 1975 in Zadar where he still resides. He writes books, creates video and board games, and leads writing workshops. He has published several novels, story collections and poetry, the most notable being his two most recent works: Mladenka kostonoga / Boney-legged Bride (2020), a novel of hybrid genre and experimental structure, was unanimously declared by critics and audience as the most ambitious and best novel of 2020. The book won the Kočičevo pero and T-portal awards, and is due to be released in France in 2024. The story collection Gracija od čempresa / Grace of Cypress (2023) won the Lapis Histriae award for the best story, and the Štefica Cvek award for rebellious and feminist writing.

Sven Popović was born on September 19, 1989 in Zagreb, then Yugoslavia. He contributed as a freelance journalist to a number of magazines such as Zarez, Aktual and the Austrian leftist magazine Wespennest, as well as writing literary and music album reviews for various webzines. His collection of short stories, Last Night (Meandarmedia) came out in 2015 to positive reviews. Several of his stories were included in Best European Fiction 2017 (Dalkey Archive Press). His second book, Uvjerljivo drugi, was published in 2018, also to predominantly positive reviews. Last Night is to be published by Deep Vellum in 2023. His prose was translated into English, German, Romanian, Macedonian, Catalan and Polish. Besides being a writer, he also works as a translator.

Maja Ručević (1983, Zagreb) graduated from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb with majors in Croatian and French. She works as a translator from French and English and is the winner of three poetry prizes. She translated over twenty titles from French (contemporary fiction, theoretical literature, children's literature). Her debut novel Je suis Jednoruki/ Je suis the One-armed (Algoritam, 2016) was short-listed for several awards. In 2022 her first poetry book Sutra ćemo praviti anđele u padu/Tomorrow we will make fallen angels was published (HDP, 2022.). Her work has been published online and in literary magazines and anthologies. She is currently working on a new work of fiction.

Olja Savičević Ivančević was born in 1974. in Split. After obtaining an undergraduate degree from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science in Zadar, she enrolled into the postgraduate study programme in literature the same faculty I. Her first collection of poems was published in 1988 when she was 14 years old, and since then she has published twelve books: six collections of poetry, one collection of stories, two novels and three picture books. The focus of Savičević Ivančević’s literary work has mostly been on prose and poetry. Her books have so far been translated into eleven languages; they have gone through 26 editions in Europe and 2 book editions in the United States. She has won several important national and regional awards for literary work as well as for theater work. Her work has been included in international anthologies of poetry and prose, such as Best European Fiction, Surfacing-Contemporary Croatian Poetry, Les Femmes(se)racontent, A todos nas falta algo-Antologia del cuento Croatia, etc. Three of her stories have been made into short films (Sedam neodgovorenih poziva, Balavica, Trešnje); one was made into a graphic novel (Danijel Žeželj: Ljeto); and her novel Adios Cowboy was adapted and performed as a theatre play.

Eva Simčić was born in 1990 in Rijeka, Croatia. She graduated in Croatian Literature and Language and Philosophy from University of Rijeka. In 2022 she received a writing grant from the City of Rijeka. The same year she won Sedmica & Kritična masa award for short story “Maksimalizam”. Četiri lakta unutra / Four cubits in (VBZ, 2023) is her first novel. She currently lives in Rijeka.

Dora Šustić (1991, Rijeka) graduated political sciences from the University of Ljubljana and mastered screenwriting from FAMU, Prague. She writes for film and television and is currently developing her debut feature. Her essays, poems and short stories have been published in regional and international literary magazines in Croatian, Slovenian, English and Turkish (Bosporus Review of Books, Hourglass Literary Magazine, GUTS Magazine, Večernji list, Kritična masa...). In 2022, her debut novel Psi / Dogs was published by the Rijeka City Library and in 2023 by Fraktura. She lives in Zagreb.

Tea Tulić was born in Rijeka in 1978. Her prose was at first published in various local and foreign literary magazines, and in 2011 she won the Prozak award for best manuscript for writers under 35, for the prose book Kosa Posvuda / Hair Everywhere, also awarded by one of the best novelesque editions that year by the Ministry of Culture. This book was also published in Serbia, Italy, Macedonia and Great Britain. The English translation was in the semi-finals for European Bank for Reconstruction and Development literature prize 2018 as well as the Warwick prize for woman in translation 2018. Her prose work has also been translated and published in French, Romanian, and German languages. In collaboration with Enver Krivac and the collective Japanski Premijeri, Tulić also published a spoken word album entitled Albumče in 2014. Then in 2017. she published a book of poetic prose Maksimum jata / Maximum of flock, and in 2023 her third book came out, the novel Strvinari starog svijeta / Vultures of the Old World. She is one of the lecturers in the Centre for Creative Writing.


Lit Link festival is an international literary festival dedicated to a shared dedication and appreciation of contemporary literature. Along with some of the most inspiring voices of the Croatian and regional literary scene, this year’s guests are writers, editors, and publishers from France, Canada, Belgium, and Switzerland, all connected through French language.

This year’s participants:
Writers: Emilienne Malfatto (France), Lucie Rico (France), Philippe Marczewski (Belgium), Robert Prosser (Austria), Andrej E. Skubic (Slovenia), Marija Andrijašević, Ivana Bodrožić, Željka Horvat Čeč, Marinko Koščec, Sandra Antolić, Nora Verde, Marko Pogačar, Srećko Horvat, Zoran Žmirić, Tatjana Gromača, Zoran Ferić, Bojan Žižović & Želimir Periš.

Editors and publishers: Lisa Liautaud (Julliard, France), Gabrielle Cottier (Éditions des Syrtes, Switzerland), Clément Ribes (Gallimard, France), Claire Duvivier (Asphalte, France), Simon-Philippe Turcot (La Peuplade, Canada)

The programs are moderated by translator Chloé Billon, editor and publisher Julien Delorme, and writer Robert Perišić.


Lucie Rico
(1988) is a writer, screenwriter and film director from Perpignan in the south of France, living and working in Paris. After multiple years of working in publishing and online media, Rico has completely devoted herself to literature and (primarily short) films, and her first novel, Le Chant du poulet sous vide, was awarded the Prix du Roman d’Écologie as well as the Prix Littéraire du Cheval Blanc. An eco-fiction with tendencies towards a kind of fairytalesque (or rather fablesque) absurd, this novel investigates the relationship between human and feathered animals, as well as the complex ambivalence in processes of production and consumption, societally naturalized to invisibility. This year’s publication by Lucie Rico entitled GPS, on the other hand, narrates a story of the disappearance of a young woman, navigating through topics of friendship, hope, lost trajectories and silent addictions. Rico also teaches creative writing at the University Clermont Auvergne.

Emilienne Malfatto (1989) is an award-winning photographer, journalist and writer, living and working between Iraq, France, and Latin America. While her photographs (published in various prestigious publications in the US and Europe) are often the result of long-term research, allowing her to look, in her own words, “behind doors, walls and veils” in conflict and post-conflict zones, the literary work of Emilienne Malfatto is weaved through dense poetic prose. Her first work Que sur toi se lamente le tigre (awarded the Goncourt’s prize for debut novel) tells the story of an impossible passion and tragic love in the complex and nuanced reality of contemporary Iraq. Malfatto’s eagerly awaited second novel comes out this August entitled Le colonel ne dort pas, with a narrative centered around the weight of conscience and unredeemable guilt, inscribed in our experience of living and lived history. Malfatto has studied political sciences in France, photography and sociology in Columbia, which has all deeply informed her work, and she is also author of a work of investigative journalism Les serpents viendront pour toi, awarded the Albert-Londre prize.

Philippe Marczewski (1974) is a Belgian Francophone writer. After six years of working as a researcher in the field of cognitive neuropsychology, Marczewski founded an independent bookstore called Livre aux trésors in Liège, but for the past couple of years has dedicated himself primarily to literature. His first novel Blues pour trois tombes et un fantôme, published in 2019, is an atmospheric psychogeography of Liège, that could possibly be another place or an Everyplace, in the endless fluidities of time. A radically different approach took place in the author’s second novel, Un corps tropical, winner of the Prix Rossel in 2021, in which a mystical tropical bath redirects the life of a protagonist without qualities into unexpected directions towards extremes of sensuality and brutality in the world.

Robert Prosser (1983) is an award-winning Austrian writer. After curating Babelsprech as the Austrian representative, a project dedicated to promoting young poetry in the German language, Prosser was also one of the publishers of the collection Lyrik von Jetzt 3: Babelsprech. Alongside interests in graffiti and boxing, he is the author of two short prose books and three novels. Prosser’s latest book Beirut im Sommer [Beirut in the Summer] published in 2020 is a personal essay about his research trip to Lebanon in the summer of 2019. The novel Phantome [Phantoms] was nominated for the prestigious Deutcher Buchpreis, and his last novel Gemma Habibi (2019) was critically praised as “an impressive portrait of a generation without a compass” and “an ode to boxing”, and was included in the ORF-Bestenliste, the monthly list of best books selected by Austrian literary critics. Prosser lives in Tirol and Vienna.

Andrej Ermenc Skubic (1967) is a Slovenian writer and translator, as well as three-time recipient of the award Kresnik for best novel: for his debut Gorki med [Bitter Honey] (1999), followed by Koliko si moja? [How Much Are You Mine?] (2011) and Samo doći kući [Just to Get Home] (2014). Furthermore, Skubic’s novel Popkorn was awarded the Župančić prize in 2007, while Koliko si moja received the Nagrada Prešernova sklada. After graduating from Slavic languages and English language and literature, Skubic obtained his PhD in the field of sociolinguistics, and is an acclaimed translator from English. Once he described his writing as “social surrealism”.


Lisa Liautaud
has recently joined Julliard, just as the house is broadening its publishing scope further towards foreign literature and literary nonfiction. Liautaud has started her career in the Editis group, in Plon publishing house, was one of the formational members of l’Observatoire editions as literary director, before moving on to the same position in Calmann-Lévy, and finally Julliard.

Gabrielle Cottier graduated in Russian language and culture, starting off as a translator, journalist and public relations expert for various publications and organizations, before spending the past eight years as an editor in Éditions des Syrtes in Geneva.

Clément Ribes is an editor in the Parisian publishing house Gallimard, translator from English and Spanish languages, as well as the main axis of Gallimard’s new edition Scribes, focused on both foreign and French fiction, especially hybrid literary works of refined stylistic and poetic originality. Ribes graduated in French and Spanish literature, with an interest for contemporary literary practices.

Claire Duvivier is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Asphalte, the publishing house specialized for contemporary urban fiction. She is also the author of several award-winning fantasy novels Un long voyage and Citadins de demain, the latter being the first part of a trilogy Capitale du Norde, which actually represents half of the series Tour de Garde, written “in four hands” with Guillaume Chamanadjian.

Simon-Philippe Turcot is the co-founder and editor-in-chief at La Peuplade publishing house in Montréal, whose editorial focus was initially on poetry, but has in time opened towards other genres and modes of writing, while maintaining the interest in literature dealing with meaning of space, identity and the ambivalence of co-existing traditions in a certain psycho-geographic terrain. Turcot has also published poetry collections Le paysage est un atelier and Renard, the novel Le désordre des beaux jours, and has co-written a travelogue Le Festin de Mathilde with Sophie Gagnon-Bergeron.

The program will also feature French guests Chloé Billon (an award-winning literary translator) and Julien Delorme as moderators, as well as festival selectors and coordinators.


Marija Andrijašević
(Split, 1984) started her literary career as a poet, sealing her status as one of the most intriguing young authors with her collection davide svašta su mi radili [david, what they’ve done to me] awarded the Goran prize for young poets in 2007. Andrijašević’s debut novel Zemlja bez sutona [The Land without Dusks] was published last year, and the success of her shift to prose has been is proven by the fact that the novel received tportal’s award for the best Croatian novel. Andrijašević graduated Comparative Literature and Ethnology, she writes originally, meticulously and dedicatedly, with a vivid interest for points where botanical motives of nature intersect and reflect those of interpersonal intimacy of pure humanity.

Ivana Bodrožić (Vukovar, 1982) is one of the most prominent Croatian writers with a vast media presence. While studying Philosophy and Croatian Language on the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb, she published her first poetry collection Prvi korak u tamu [The First Step into Darkness] in 2005, for which she received Goran for young poets, as well as the Matica Hrvatska Kvirin award. Bodrožić’s first novel, Hotel Zagorje, came out in 2010, garnering wide acclaim and a number of translations, after which the author has written Rupa [We Trade Our Night for Someone Else’s Day] and Sinovi i kćeri [Sons and Daughters] (awarded the Meša Selimović prize). Bodrožić also writes poetry, essays, short prose and columns, teaches creative writing and remains a freelance writer based in Zagreb.

Željka Horvat Čeč (Čakovec, 1986) is among the most interesting younger generation poets today. After the first poetry collection I zvijezde se smiju krhkosti [Even Stars Laugh at Frailty], Horvat Čeč has stepped into short prose with the book Kauboj u crvenom golfu [A Cowboy in a Red Golf], while exploring the novel form with the work 4 brave [4 Locks]. In her writing the author explores potentials of unpretentious wordings and the power of literary invasions into the depths of painful experiences, and last year she has published an acclaimed new book of poetry entitled Strogo mirovanja [Strict Rest].

Marinko Koščec (Zagreb, 1967) is a novelist, translator, and essayist, with a linguistic and theoretical interest in contemporary French literature, which he had based his doctoral dissertation on before becoming a professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. He has published eight novels so far, has received several prestigious awards, including “Meša Selimović” in 2001 for the novel Netko drugi [Someone Else] and the V.B.Z. award in 2003 for Wonderland. Koščec’s newest publication is the (post-)pandemic novel Sami [On Our Own], in which the author investigates polyvalent experiences of isolation, aloneness, and loneliness.

Sandra Antolić (Zagreb) graduated in Comparative Literature and General Linguistics on the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb, before starting out work as a copywriter, then transferring to writing for film (receiving a Zlatna arena for the screenplay A bili smo vam dobri [Once We Were Good for You] co-written with Ognjen Sviličić and Branko Schmidt), and finally landing in the literary field with a debut novel Svojevrsna [Of Her Own Sort]. Antolić writes humorous absurdist prose, starting off with the saturated question: what does a pig named Beba from Zagorje have to say, when she spontaneously starts to speak in the midst of 1991 political tensions?

Nora Verde aka Antonela Marušić (Dubrovnik, 1974) published her first book of poetry Sezona bjegova [A Season of Escapes] as a student of Croatian language and literature in 1994, but has started publishing under the alias Nora Verde in 2010 with the collection of short stories entitled Posudi mi smajl [Lend me a Smile]. She has been active as a journalist and editor, as well as an activist especially focused on issues of gender equality and LGBTQ+ rights, and was one of the founders of the feminist online publication Vox Feminae. Among the works she’s published so far, there is also a collection of short prose O ljubavi, batinama i revoluciji [On Love, Beatings, and the Revolution], a novel Do isteka zaliha [While Supplies Last], and last year’s noted auto-fictional novel Moja dota [My Dowry], short-listed for tportal’s award for best Croatian novel.

Marko Pogačar (Split, 1984) published poetry, prose, essays, and criticism, lining up successes, awards, and translations in all of his spheres of work and interest. Besides his work as an author, Pogačar has also done editorial work, leaving his signature in some of the most significant publications of the Croatian and regional culture scene. His newest edition is a book of phantasmagoric poetic prose Knjiga praznika [A Book of Holidays] published in 2021, in which Pogačar explores the world-building potentials of language, constructing as well from the productive limitations of the written word. At this year’s festival, Pogačar will be reading from his travel prose Latinoamericana.

Srećko Horvat (Osijek, 1983) is an international household name when it comes to the spheres of contemporary Marxist-psychoanalytic philosophy following Žižek’s trajectory, as well as the co-founder of Subversive Film Festival, Philosophy Theatre and the DiEM25 movement. He is active as a journalist in a variety of international publications, and has so far published more than ten books of nonfiction, in which Horvat engages with the phenomenologies of today’s society and discursive formations of contemporary landscapes of thought and politics. The latest book by Srećko Horvat is fresh out of the press this spring under the title Poslije apokalipse [After the Apocalypse], in which the author investigates potentials of thinking about the apocalypse as revelation and turning point, opposed to the wide-spread defeatist position that perceives the apocalypse as a violent ending.

Zoran Žmirić (Rijeka, 1969) is equally skilled in writing short and supershort prose formats, as well as in novelistic lengths, and in the past two decades of active literary work has published ten books, most notably Blockbuster and Pacijent iz sobe 19 [The Patient from Room 19], the finalists for the most prestigious Croatian literary awards. Žmirić’s most recent work entitled Hotel Wartburg has been published only a few months ago, and represents a narrative weaved from familial short circuits, wrong turns, and final forgivenesses…

Tatjana Gromača (Sisak, 1971) is a prose and poetry writer, that graduated in Comparative Literature and Philosophy in Zagreb, and lives in Istria. She’s worked as a journalist in the past, but has been a freelance writer since 2017. Her books have been translated to English, German, Italian, Czech, Polish, Bulgarian, Macedonian, and Slovenian languages. So far she’s published a book of poetry Nešto nije u redu? [Is Something Wrong?], novels Crnac [The Black Man], Božanska dječica [God’s Tiny Children], Bolest svijeta [Illness of the World], Carstvo nemoći [Empire of Powerlessness] and Početnica za luđake [A Beginner’s Guide to Insanity], as well as reportage writings Bijele vrane – price iz Istre [White Crows – Stories from Istria], and prose fragments Ushiti, zamjeranja, opčinjenosti [Elations, Resentments, Enchantments] and Mrtav rukavac rijeke Save [The Dead End of Sava River].

Zoran Ferić (Zagreb, 1961) is probably among the most award-winning living Croatian writers. Widely read, critically acclaimed, translated into various languages, Ferić’s novels and short story collections (Mišolovka Walta Disneyja [Walt Disney’s Mousetrap], Anđeo u ofsajdu [An Angel in Offside], Smrt djevojčice sa žigicama [The Death of the Little Match Girl], Djeca Patrasa [Children of Patras], Kalendar Maja [The Mayan Calendar], Putujuće Kazalište [Travelling Theatre] etc.) have been especially well received in German-speaking countries. On this year’s festival issue, Ferić will be reading from his book Na osami blizu mora [In solitude by the Sea] (2015) about how it used to be on Rab island, when he was far too young…

Bojan Žižović (Pula, 1975) graduated from an arts high school, specialized in old graphic techniques in Venice, and then studied painting, as well as Russian and South Slavic languages in Ljubljana. He’s published poetry collections Apsurd [The Absurd] (1993) and U slučaju da ne postoji [In Case It Doesn’t Exist] (2007), and works as journalist and editor in the newspaper Glas Istre. For years he has collaborated with the avantgarde rock-musician Franci Blašković and his group Gori Ussi Winnetou, that’s put to verse most of Žižović’s poems. In 2019 he published the novel Stranka [Client], that became a finalist for the tportal award for best Croatian novel.

Želimir Periš (Zadar, 1975) has been leading writing workshops, organizing the literary festival KaLibar in Zadar, while collecting various literary awards for his work as a writer, including Lapis Histriae (2012), Kočičevo pero (2020), and the tportal award for best Croatian novel (2020). However, he is most proud of his work for the feminist card game Fierce Women (2018). So far, he’s published Mučenice (stories, [Martyrs] 2013), Mima i kvadratura duga (novel, [Mima and the square footage of debt] 2014), Mima i vase kćeri (novel [Mima and Your Daughters], 2015), x (poetry, 2016), Žuti bog (stories, co-written with Maer and Perić, [The Yellow God], 2020), and Mladenka kostonoga (novel, [The Bonelegged Bride]. The latter novel has had an exceptionally positive reception with both readers and critics, and has received multiple awards. Mladenka kostonoga is written within an experimental structure and hybrid genre, in great part influenced by the folklore epic tradition, reciting the story of a woman believed to be a witch.


The 2021 Lit Link Festival will be held from 6th October 2021 (Wednesday) to 9th October (Saturday) on the Adriatic coast (Labin, Rijeka) and in Zagreb, Croatia.

Along with Croatian writers, this year’s guests will be writers and publishers from Germany and Austria.

The participating authors are: Jana Volkmann, Robert Prosser, Jasen Boko, Tatjana Gromača, Sinan Gudžević, Uwe von Seltmann, Lena Müller, Korana Serdarević, Martin Peichl, Jan Peter Bremer, Marko Tomaš, Jurica Gašpar, Dunja Matić Benčić, Nada Topić, Lora Tomaš, Damir Karakaš, Ante Zlatko Stolica, Želimir Periš.

The participating editors are: Sebastian Guggolz (Guggolz Verlag), Janika Rütter (Suhrkamp), Laura Siegismund (Merlin Verlag), Sophia Hungerhoff (Mare Verlag), Janek Domonell (literary agent), Chloé Billon (literary translator).


The 2020 Lit link (Literature link) festival's summer events will be happening on July 16 (Zagreb) and July 17 (Rijeka). Along with Croatian participants, the guests of the festival will also include writers, editors and publishers from Slovenia.

The participating authors are: Gabriela Babnik, Vlado Kreslin, Muanis Sinanović, Dušan Čater, Đurđica Čilić, Monika Herceg, Mihaela Gašpar, Alen Brlek, Zoran Ferić, Agata Tomažič, Aleš Šteger, Jure Tori, Željka Horvat Čeč, Tea Tulić, Tomica Šćavina, Bojan Žižović, Ante Zlatko Stolica.

The participating editors are: Rok Zavrtanik (Založba Sanje), Nino Flisar (Založba Pivec), Jedrt Jež Furlan (Založba Goga), Aleš Šteger (Založba Beletrina), Orlando Uršič (Založba Litera).

The participants for the Vienna program (December 12, 2020; Salon Goldschlag, Goldschlagstraße 70, Vienna), which will include Croatian and Austrian authors and publishers, will be announced in Autumn.


The Croatian authors participating in the Lit Link Festival 2019 program are: Maša Kolanović, Nebojša Lujanović, Darko Šeparović, Julijana Adamović, Nada Topić, Goran Ferčec, Nikola Petković, Asja Bakić, Damir Pilić, Zoran Lazić, Slađana Bukovac, Željka Horvat Čeč, Neven Ušumović, Viktorija Božina and Bojan Žižović.

The German speaking guests are:
Anke Stelling was born in 1971. in Ulm. She lives in Berlin. She is the author of numerous novels and one book of children's fiction. Her novel Bodentiefe Fenster (Windows down to the Floor) made it onto the 2015 Longlist for the prestigious Deutscher Buchpreis, but also onto the Hotlist of German independent publishers for the same year. Her last novel Schäfchen im Trockenen (Sheep out of Water) (2018) received the award of the Leipzig Book Fair for 2019.

Jonas Lüscher was born in 1976 in Bern. He lives in Munich. His first book, the novella Frühling der Barbaren (Spring of the Barbarians), published in 2013, made it onto the Longlist for the Deutscher Buchpreis, as well as the Shortlist for its Swiss equivalent, the Schweizer Buchpreis. His novel Kraft from 2017 too reached the Longlist for the Deutscher Buchpreis and received the Schweizer Buchpreis for the same year.

Laura Freudenthaler was born in 1984 in Salzburg. She lives in Vienna. Her first collection of short stories Der Schädel von Madeleine (Madeleine’s Scull) was published in 2014. In 2017 she published the novel Die Kӧnigin schweigt (The Queen is Silent), for which she received the award for best debut novel in German at the Festival du premier Roman 2018 in Chambéry. Her second novel Geistergeschichte (Ghost Story) was published in February 2019.

Jovana Reisinger was born in 1989 in Munich, but grew up in Austria. Today she lives in Munich again, where she attends the Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film. She has directed numerous short films and music videos. In 2016 she published the multimedia conceptual book Donna Euro is poisoned by rich men in need for which she also shot 45 videos. In 2017 she published her debut novel Still halten (Holding still).

Barbara Rieger was born in Graz in 1982. Since 2013 she is writing a three-language blog “Café Entropy” together with A. Barbero, which developed into a book “Melange der Poesie”. Her novel “Bis das Ende, Marie” (2018) is about an asymmetric female friendship, and the critics described it as a “thrilling and very interesting text” (Deutschlandfunk) and as a “dangerous flirt with the abyss” (Die Presse).

Kristine Listau and Jӧrg Sundermeier, editors and publishers, together they run the Berlin based publishing house Verbrecher Verlag.

Jessica Beer is Literary fiction editor at the Salzburg based publisher Residenz Verlag.

Loan Nguyen is the deputy manager and editor in Matthes&Seitz Berlin publishing house.