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Competition for the Best Student Essay

May 20, 2011

The Václav Havel Library announces the first annual Literary Competition for students of Secondary Schools, competing for the Václav Havel Library Award for Student Essay.

One of the principal genres of Václav Havel’s creativity is the genre of the essay - on literary, artistic, social, political, and spiritual themes. The essays of Václav Havel, such as “The Power of the Powerless” and “A Word about Words,” have become classic texts of Czech Literature, and have been translated into dozens of languages and belong among the few truly world-famous creations of Czech culture. This is also why it is necessary to further cultivate the genre of the essay in the Czech language - not in the sense of imitating the essays of Václav Havel, but in the sense of the Havel-like courage to mention unpleasant problems and seek their unconventional solutions. The Václav Havel Library, therefore, announces the first annual Literary Competition for Secondary School students, competing for the Václav Havel Library Award for Student Essay.

In this first year of 2009, the theme is:

“Twenty years of freedom from communism - twenty years of freedom for what?”

Send the essays written in the Czech language, of a length of up to 18,000 characters (ten standard pages), designated with the author's name, date of birth, and name of the Secondary School, in electronic form to the e-mail address:, no later than 30th August, 2009.

A jury composed of Czech cultural figures close to Václav Havel will judge the essays. The 1st Prize of CZK 15,000, a 2nd Prize of CZK 10,000 and a 3rd Prize of CZK 5,000 will be awarded. The results of the competition will be announced and the prizes handed over in November 2009 in the Václav Havel Library premises in the Montmartre Gallery, Řetězová Street 7, Prague 1 - Old Town.


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