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Over the course of its eighteen years of existence, the Grinzane Cavour Prize has become a bona fide cultural foundation for young people. The Grinzane is an original prize that does not conclude, like many others, with the award ceremony; it is a permanent cultural service available to schools, capable of creating a real link between fiction and young readers.
At the same time, the Grinzane is increasingly playing an international role, promoting a wide number of initiatives abroad together with other European countries.
Encouraged by interest in the latter, the Grinzane Cavour Prize association has drawn up a pilot project aimed at creating a European network to promote books, reading and translation. The network aims to create a working relationship between the "book institutes", reading centres, similar organizations in the member States and other professionals in this sector. The objectives of the project are to promote literary creation, encourage awareness of texts written by European authors and exchanges between professionals in the sector, support linguistic and cultural diversities, carry out studies and surveys on a European level and finally to make literature accessible to a wider audience.
The project has set itself the objective of encouraging different types of organization who have a common goal, the promotion of books and reading, to work together and pursues this objective through the use of different tools (translation, dissemination of literature, film and theatre, etc.). The action plan is split into six separate projects:
1) Statistical surveys in member countries regarding the domestic book market. A questionnaire on the most popular translated texts of young foreign authors is therefore will be aimed at libraries, publishing houses and translation centres. The questionnaire will enable a map to be drawn up on the current status of translated books in each member country and will provide data on the circulation of the works of young European authors.
2) An exchange programme between professionals in this sector, funded through study grants, so that writers, translators, scholars, librarians and cultural operators have the opportunity to spend a period of time in a parallel institute of another country observing and participating in its daily life. Priority has been given to professional training and the use of new technologies. The exchange visits to participating centres are expected to last ten days.
3) Creation of a virtual review on the Internet (which will also have a printed version). The review will contain studies and articles on the book, reading and translation sector, as well as practical and professional information. Two monographic editions are planned. The review will serve as a forum where current problems can be discussed.
4) A competition for young Europeans (16 - 18 years old) with the theme: My all time favourite book. Young people will be invited to describe, on one page, the book that has left a mark on their lives. The winning texts will be published in some of the main daily newspapers.
5) The "States General" of the book, reading and translation. Three plenary sessions will be held, each focusing on a specific theme: books, reading and translation and will bring together specialists in this field with the aim of establishing the current scenario in the various sectors and to plot the emerging shape for the next millennium. A "White Paper" will be drawn up.
6) On the basis of the outcome of point 5, the creation of a permanent observatory on reading and translation has been launched which will gather information received from each European country. The observatory will organise the creation of a database on the subject: reading, size of the book market, percentage of translated books, attendance and use of libraries, reading abilities and illiteracy, etc.
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