The first "Concurso de microrrelatos | LPA Bibliotecas" already has its five winners. The works Refugio by Álvaro Franco Montesdeoca; Dime, ¿ahora me ves? by Beatriz Dominique Morales Fernández; Proselitismo by Juan Manuel Chávez Rodríguez; Una oportunidad mágica by Emma Rodríguez Rodríguez Rodríguez and Templo de palabras by María Luisa Beato Sody have inaugurated the list of winners of this new literary competition that sets its sights on the talent of the city's creators.
This is an initiative promoted by the Culture Department of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria City Council through the Municipal Public Libraries which, in its first edition, saw the participation of 33 people. The jury, made up of Ariel Brito Jiménez, Carolina García Lorenzo, Carlota de León Torrent and Ramón Rivero Morro from the Municipal Network of Libraries of the capital, selected the five winners who will soon receive a Lenovo Tab M10 2g+32gb 10.1" Iron grey tablet, or similar, courtesy of Worten Canarias.
Aimed at anyone of legal age and resident in the capital, the competition proposed the challenge of creating a short narrative work of between 150 and 200 words, which had to revolve around the value of public libraries as tools for social transformation and meeting points for the community. This challenge was successfully met by the winners of the competition who, like the other participants, submitted their work under pseudonyms to preserve anonymity throughout the selection process.
Álvaro Franco Montesdeoca
Madkalf' was the nickname chosen by Álvaro Franco Montesdeoca (1990) to present Refugio. A work with which he makes his debut in the world of writing, which he entered this year through the creative writing workshop given by Leandro Pinto. A native of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, this historian and archaeologist has assured that the recognition "means a lot" to him.
"On the one hand, it is a breath of energy and motivation to continue writing, working and training. On the other hand, winning in my municipality and writing about the importance of libraries as a meeting place and social transformation is a gift. There was a time in my life when a library became a real refuge for me," she said. His text "presents moving prose that vividly illustrates the experience of loneliness and the life struggle of homelessness," according to the jury. "The story succeeds in sensitively conveying the importance of libraries as points of encounter and transformation, and how they can elevate the dignity of those who feel excluded," the judges also noted.
Beatriz Dominique Morales Fernández
Beatriz Dominique Morales Fernández (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1995) is a Spanish Language and Literature teacher at the IES Alonso Quesada and president of the Ateneo de Las Palmas (Las Palmas Athenaeum). Thanks to the use of "a lyrical structure to convey the essence of libraries as transformative spaces", the jury also chose the literary piece Dime, ¿ahora me ves? with which she participated in the "Concurso de Microrrelatos | LPA Bibliotecas" under the pseudonym 'Café de tinta'.
As the team in charge of judging the entries noted, "the narrative employs an introspective approach by addressing the reader directly, inviting him or her to explore the layers of meaning and connection that libraries offer". The text adds to the trajectory of this writer who, in addition to having participated in several anthologies and articles in magazines and newspapers, published her first collection of poems in 2020 when she was one of the winners in the annual edition of the Colección Canarias en Letras held by the Mapfre Guanarteme Foundation on the occasion of the Día de las Letras Canarias (Day of the Canary Islands Letters). The premise of innocence is the title of this work in which she shares authorship with Tomás Redondo Velo and which was followed in 2021 by El desvelo de los sueños (Editora BGR).
"My micro-story Dime, ¿ahora me ves? had the aim of bringing this space - the library - with the personification of the deepest emotion, where the literary landscape speaks directly to the citizen who can see in it a place in which to grow, be and discover himself, with literature as essence and breath", said the writer who this year participated as a writer and researcher in the monograph of the Día de las Letras Canarias dedicated to Félix Francisco Casanova.
Juan Manuel Chávez Rodríguez
The author of Proselitismo, Juan Manuel Chávez Rodríguez (Peru, 1976), also has experience in the world of literature. A long-time resident of the municipality, he holds a doctorate in Languages, Literatures, Cultures and their Applications. His most recent books include the research work Un idioma para la integración social (A language for social integration) and the short novel Tupa Camaro.
A lecturer and researcher in the Faculty of Communication at the University of the Mid-Atlantic in Gran Canaria, he presented the work, which, in the words of the judges, "is an ode to the library as a place of belonging and community", under the title 'Forastero' (Stranger). The narrative "highlights the library as a place that goes beyond a mere repository of books, focusing on the personal experience it offers". And it does so, as the judges note, by focusing on "details about the protagonist and her relationship with the library space" that reveal "the connection and camaraderie she feels with the community that forms in the library".
For this reason, Chávez has become one of the winners of the first edition of the competition. "This prize is important because it allows me to offer a personal and literary vision of public libraries; it is also a way of thanking with my writing the irreplaceable service provided by these institutions, which are pillars of society", said the prize-winner.
Emma Rodríguez Rodríguez
For Emma Rodríguez Rodríguez (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1976) this was the "first recognition she has received for a literary work". A fact which, she confessed, makes her feel "tremendously excited and grateful". With more than two decades of teaching behind her, this teacher published last May the children's story Un libro es... (A book is...). (Bilenio Publicaciones), the first volume of the collection Cantacuentos: canciones y cuentos para un curso escolar.
Una oportunidad mágica is the title of the short story she submitted to the Municipal Libraries' competition as 'Nora Rod'. The jury praised the way it highlighted "the transformative capacity of libraries to show how a place and a passion for reading can unite generations and communities, enriching their lives".
"The work," the judges note, "succeeds in conveying how reading not only connects people, but also empowers and broadens horizons. The story conveys a deep sense of warmth, inclusiveness and love through the power of words and shared reading".
María Luisa Beato Sody
For María Luisa Beato Sody (Tangiers, 1961), this is also the first recognition she has received in the world of literature, where writing is her great hobby. Greta Crazy' is the pseudonym under which this resident of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria decided to take part in the micro-story competition in which her work, Templo de las palabras, was the last of those selected by the jury. They highlighted the use of "poetic and descriptive prose to paint an evocative image of libraries".
"The use of metaphors creates a magical atmosphere that highlights the intrinsic value of libraries in people's lives. The narrative explores how these places contain a rich diversity of stories and genres, threaded through our memories from childhood to adulthood," added the judges. As for the prize, as well as being "flattering", the author sees it as a motivation "to keep writing".