The Nobel Prize in Literature Mario Vargas Llosa and our President Mariano Pérez Claver, handed out the prizes of the Mario Vargas Llosa NH Short Story Award at a ceremony that took place this morning at the Casino de Madrid.
The Mario Vargas Llosa NH Short Story Award is currently the most important in this genre in Spain. Over 16,000 authors from 31 countries have submitted their works for consideration throughout the prize’s 14 editions. Previous Mario Vargas Llosa NH prize-winners have included Almudena Grandes, Gonzalo Calcedo and Jorge Aranguren among many others.
The prize for the best original short story consisting of €10,000 went to Luisgé Martín for his story titled “Los dientes del azar”. Luisgé Martín freelances for El Viajero, Babelia and El País and has published two short story collections, “Los oscuros” and “El alma del Erizo” (Publisher: Alfaguara), five novels, “La dulce ira”, “La muerte de Tadzio”, “Los amores confiados”, “Las manos cortadas” (Alfaguara) and his most recent piece of work, “La mujer de sombra” (Anagrama).
Lola Sanabria, Eloy Serrano and Agustín González were the finalists in this category for their respective short stories, “Frutos del mar”, “El reloj de pared” and “La noche de los Lotófagos”, winning €1,500 each.
The winners of the best short story published in 2010 and 2011 category were Gonzalo Calcedo for “El prisionero de la avenida Lexington” (Publisher: Menoscuarto) and Gonzalo Hidalgo for “Conversación” (Tusquets), with each author receiving €5,000.
The jury was composed this year by Ángeles Caso, Planeta prize in 2009 with the novel “Contra el viento” and Fernando Lara prize with “Un largo silencio”; José Manuel Blecua, Director of the Royal Spanish Academy and professor at Barcelona’s Autónoma University; Fernando Aramburu, author of seven novels and four short story collections, including “Los peces de la amargura”, Mario Vargas Llosa NH prize winner in 2007; Jordi Gracia, professor of literature at the Universidad de Barcelona and literature critic for “El País”; and José Luis Martín Nogales, director of UNED-Pamplona and author of the novels “Herederos del paraíso” and “La mujer de Roma”.
In addition, literature lovers and social network fans from all around the world were given the chance to participate in the Ist NH Hoteles flash fiction Contest using NH Hoteles’ official Facebook Spanish and Agentina profiles by sending in a micro-story of no more than 200 words, the only constraint being that the protagonist had to be a character from any Mario Vargas Llosa novel. The flash fiction prize-winner was Gustavo Aréstegui from Peru, who was invited by NH Hoteles to the the Mario Vargas Llosa NH Short Story Award ceremony, luncheon and colloquium along with the Nobel Laureate himself and the winners and finalists of this prestigious prize.
Gustavo told us that “I feel very proud about the award and it really motivates me to continue writing, something I’ve always done since he was young but as a hobby, is a motivation to continue. I have a list of stories that I hope will publish one day which is the dream of anyone who writes. “
Regarding our 2.0 literature initiative Gustavo says that “it is supporting the anonymous people who write. It is an opportunity for all, democratic. I had not seen a contest like this one before, this edition has got something special. To participate I had to reread the book Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter to reinterpret Pedro Camacho who is an awesome character. “
“Regardless of being a Nobel Prize, Vargas Llosa is an author I’ve always read. To know a person that you have read and admire is a dream. I still don’t believe it. I’m happy. “