Second Filitsa Sofianou-Mullen Creative Writing Competition Awards AUBG Writers
For a second consecutive year, the Filitsa Sofianou-Mullen Creative Writing Competition awarded student and alumni writers. Last semester’s switch to online education due to COVID-19 led to fewer entries than the previous year and the Department of Literature and Theater at AUBG decided to give out two instead of the usual three prizes. “We had fewer but very good submissions,” said Department Chair Sean Homer, who teaches film and literature at AUBG and is the main driving force behind the competition.
The Creative Writing Competition was established in memory of Prof. Filitsa Sofianou-Mullen, a beloved AUBG professor and a talented poet. “We do want to continue to acknowledge the memory of our late colleague Filitsa Sofianou-Mullen,” Homer said. “She was very important to the department; she was a central figure for the department for very many years, and for very many students. And we also want to keep contact with our alumni, our students who are writers; we want to encourage people to continue writing after they leave university.”
Ivanela Arabadzhieva (’20) won first prize in the prose category for her short story "A Room Where the Light Won't Find You" while Irida Shyti and her work "The Light in the Mirror" took home second prize. "Both the winning stories take a mundane moment and explode it into something heartfelt and unsettling," said Professor Michael Cohen, who teaches creative writing at AUBG and is author of the award-winning book “The Eyes.”
Winners in the poetry category were Asset Janabekov (’20) and the poem "Growing Up, Nan" and Andreea Ceplinschi (’08) and the poem "Head Between the Knees" with first and second prize respectively. "What brings together the award-winning poems is that they approach the theme of adolescence and maturity from an original angle,” said literature professor and renowned poet Lubomir Terziev. “The first-prize winner experiments daringly with poetic form.”
The details of this year’s competition will be announced shortly, and AUBG students and alumni will soon be able to submit their entries, which will then be judged by the members of the AUBG Literature and Theater Department.
“One of the things we try to teach in the Literature and Theater Department is that writing is a process, it is a continuous process of revision, a process of reading, a process of editing,” Homer said. “So keep writing, keep submitting and your writing will improve. If you are nervous about submitting, do not be. The judging of the competition is entirely anonymous, so the only person who knows who actually submitted things is me.”