Janine Horsburgh has been awarded first prize in the "adult authors" category of the 2023 National Literary Competition for her screenplay "Dead Woman Waltzing". She takes a subtle and heart-felt approach to sensitive topics and tells her story with finesse and humour. The 2023 edition was reserved for film scripts and showcased the world of female talent and creativity in Luxembourg literature.
The jury of the National Literary Competition 2021 analysed and awarded prizes to the following works on the basis of literary and linguistic criteria and originality:
- "Dead Woman Waltzing" by Janine Horsburgh was awarded first prize in the category "adult authors" for its sensitive and heart-felt approach to the themes of illness and bereavement - without tipping over into sentimentality - which is clearly evident in the quality of the dialogue. The strong and complex relationship between the two women is told with finesse and humour, giving them a dignity often denied by society.
- "Le blanc immense" (The great white) by Jana Montorio, received the second prize in the "adult authors" category. It stands out owing to its visual quality and its original settings, highlighting a significant socio-political dimension. The mysterious atmosphere of the story creates a captivating suspense that gradually reveals a tragedy that haunts the main character.
- "Aorta" by Lena Junker, was awarded the third prize in the "adult authors" category for her imagination and creativity, through which she weaves an atmosphere of magical realism and introduces a character into a world devoid of emotion. This narrative imbalance offers a humorous invitation to reflect upon our ability to evolve in the face of new ideas.
- "House of illusions" by Julia Ingersoll, was awarded the encouragement prize in the "young authors aged 12-19" category. to continue her work and create a promising first draft. Here she demonstrates her mastery of horror film conventions.
A prize brimming with history and emotion
The National Literary Competition has been held every year since 1978 and is organised by the Ministry of Culture. Its aim is to promote literary creation in Luxembourg and act as a catalyst for new authors. Since its creation, approximately 130 writers have been awarded prizes and most of them have gained recognition on the national and international stage.
The works submitted to the competition must be original and may not be published in any form before the official results are presented. The first prize in the category of "adult authors" is awarded €5,000 and a contribution to the publication costs by a renowned publisher. The author retains all rights to the publication.
Every year, the competition focuses on another literary genre. The 2023 edition was reserved for screenwriting projects for a cinematographic or audiovisual work of fiction, animation or an experimental film in Luxembourgish, French, German or English. In total, 32 projects were submitted in the categories of "adult authors" (aged 20 and over) and "young authors" (aged 12-19).
The award ceremony took place on 14 December 2023 at the National Literature Centre in Mersch.
A jury of national experts
The members of the jury for the 2022 competition were: