The submission deadline for the International Armenian Literary Alliance’s annual Young Armenian Poets Awards (YAPA) has been extended until June 14, 2023. YAPA, organized in partnership with h-pem, is a contest for exceptional Armenian writers between the ages of 14 and 18.
Over the past two years, YAPA has provided a space for young Armenian writers from all over the world to express themselves and have their voices heard on the global stage. This year is no exception.
This year’s entrants are asked to submit work that grapples with the notion of visibility as it relates to Armenian identity and experience. How visible are Armenia and Armenian issues on the world stage? What is the extent to which we feel visible as Armenians in our respective communities outside of Armenia?
Submissions – to be read by IALA board members and judges Gregory Djanikian, Armine Iknadossian and Raffi Wartanian – are encouraged from any young writer who identifies as Armenian, regardless of gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, creed, national origin, socio-economic class, educational background, personal style/appearance, citizenship and immigration status or political affiliation.
Monetary prizes will be granted for the top three poems, which will be published online on the h-pem website and shared on IALA’s social media platforms in the fall. Winning authors will be invited to read their work at IALA’s annual Emerging Writers Showcase.
“Literature is a vital element of a people and a culture⎯we are our stories,” says founder Olivia Katrandjian. “As writers, we must support each other if we want to thrive not only as individuals, but as a literary community. As a people, Armenians must support our writers if we want the world to listen to our stories. IALA will provide a platform through which young Armenian writers can be heard.”
“We continue to honor and create a platform for the next generation of exciting Armenian poets who have so much to teach us,” says contest director Alan Semerdjian, “and we’re thankful for those who will spread the word about this fantastic opportunity.”
“Being involved in the Young Armenian Poets contest gave me a way to put the feelings I had been struggling to understand for years into flowing sentences and share them with the world, enabling me to see how my words can truly affect others and touch their hearts,” says 2022 YAPA winner Ani Apresyan. “Winning recognition and hearing what other like-minded Armenian youth have to say fills me with indescribable hope for the future that Armenia is taking steps towards fostering.”
For more details, full submission guidelines, and more information on past winners, please visit IALA’s website or contact Young Armenian Poets Awards founder and director Alan Semerdjian at email@example.com.