Budapest travel book seeks talented writers

A new travel book on Budapest seeks local submissions

Monika Jones

Does the pearl on the Danube, the Paris of the East speak to local writers? A Warsaw-based independent publishing company asks just this in their call for submissions for Budapest Tales, to be published in late 2008. The editor specifically requests literary travel writing that isn't just about getting drunk.

By: Monika Jones
2008-01-09 09:30

Ever since the publication of Arthur Phillips' Prague in 2002, when Budapest was formally christened the second best Central European city, the pearl on the Danube has struggled to overcome the stereotype as inferior. This ongoing battle seemingly continues as New Europe Writers, an independent publisher out of Warsaw, requests submissions for Budapest Tales, a book which will be published in late 2008, and follows Prague Tales (2007), and Warsaw Tales (2006). But even though it's the third in the series, the call for submissions gives a little space for local writers - Hungarian and expat alike - to paint a prettier picture of the Paris of the East.


Monika Jones

Writers looking for unpaid experience can submit stories to the third in the series of tales from Central European cities, after Prague and Warsaw. This book is perhaps the chance to show-up Prague in the ongoing battle between the cities as summed up in Arthur Phillips' 2002 novel on Budapest, entitled Prague.

Budapest Tales should be a novel collection of short stories and essays, says John a'Beckett, the Australian who masterminded the project. And like its predecessors, it will include translated work from local languages as well as from expat residents. He looks to include at least 30 pieces.


a'Beckett says his team is specifically looking for unique expat writing, work that strays from expat inadequacy jokes and/or drunken encounters with the police after spectacular failure to pick up local girls. And he wants no stories on getting thrown in jail, either, unless the writing is extra self-reflective.


"All those stories have been told, they're old," he says. a'Beckett is an English teacher who has lived in Warsaw for the past eight years, and says he has seen it all.


"We want something that doesn't put locals down, and use the 'us' and 'them,' or talks about how 'they are the strange locals who run the place with their stupid bureaucracy' and 'they will never understand us or we them.'"


Accepted writers will not be compensated for their work, however they will receive a free copy of Budapest Tales. New Europe Writers is self-financed; print runs begin at 1,000. Copies are sold at local European English-bookstores, in Prague, Warsaw, and soon in Budapest.


Submissions should be approximately 2,500 words and the deadlines are flexible, between January and March 2008 for a late spring publication date. Interested writers should contact a'Beckett at john dot abeckett at gmail dot com with further questions and send submissions by word document attachment.

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