DISCOVER – New writing from Turkey and the UK

The British Council in Turkey aims to build a bridge between Turkish and UK writers, facilitate dialogue between literary professionals in both countries, and create a platform to showcase works by Turkish and British writers to new audiences.

Writers from Turkey and the UK

4 writers from Turkey and the UK have been commissioned to write new short stories. The authors have participated in Discover with original short stories reflecting their 4 different literary voices.

Sandra Alland is a writer, interdisciplinary artist and curator living in Glasgow. She has a burgeoning reputation for lyrical and formally inventive stories and her work is championed by the likes of short-story specialists Comma Press (UK) and ECW (Canada). Alland has contributed to Discover with her short story Boost. 

Yekta Kopan is a writer that not only uses modest words to transform ordinary subjects into extraordinary short stories, but also has shared his visionary talent in creating vanguard online literary platforms such as altZine and altKitap, developing a short story dictionary of Turkish literature İpekli Mendil and an culture and arts almanac Can Almanak. His writing and pioneering projects have acted as bridges between different and unheard voices and wider audiences. Kopan has contributed to Discover with his short story The Sheep of Slumber.

Leone Ross is a novelist, short story writer, editor and lecturer in fiction writing. She is a unique voice in British literature who exhilarates readers with stories of vivid invention and heart-stopping emotional candour. Ross, has contributed to Discover with her short story Ecdysis

Seray Şahiner has been the voice of untold lives bringing them to the centre of her vivid writing, standing up against the dominant literature themes. She hasn’t only done this on paper but also helped those voices turn into flesh, bringing them to the theatre stage. Şahiner has contributed to Discover with her short story Not to sound vulgar…

Open Call

British Council has run an open call in both countries with the collaboration of ITEF – Istanbul Literature Festival and Word Factory on the theme of Diversity. 

Nadine Aisha Jassat’s Jacaranda was selected amongst the 82 applications from the UK by the selection committee formed by Paul McVeigh from Word Factory and Jim Hinks from the British Council Literature team; while the winner of the Turkey open call was Ayşegül Yazmacı with her short story Yasemin. She was selected amongst the 432 applications by the selection committee formed by ITEF, Yekta Kopan and Seray Şahiner.  

Story recordings

We support and champion accessibility in all our projects. That’s why Discover will not only present the new works in written form but will also include the voice recordings of the stories read by their writers or professional readers.

ITEF – Istanbul Literature Festival

ITEF - Istanbul Literature Festival was initiated by Kalem Agency. The festival has taken place annually since 2009 and is organized by Kalem Culture Association.

It's Turkey’s first international literary festival of focusing on a variety of genres, and brings together writers, publishers, literary translators, critics, and journalists for a series of inspirational encounters. ITEF is run annually at the beginning of May and celebrates the joy of all literary genres with Professional Meetings Fellowship Programme, Foreign Writers at School events, FABISAD (Fantasy and Science Fiction Arts Association) events, thematic readings and discussions along with parties and gatherings.

ITEF is a thematic festival aiming at a rich and diverse line up. The Festival has welcomed over 450 authors in nine years.

Word Factory

Word Factory has been described by The Guardian as “the national organisation promoting excellence in short fiction”. Founded five years ago by Cathy Galvin, former deputy editor of The Sunday Times magazine and founder of The Sunday Times EFG short story award, Word Factory runs a renowned mentorship award – The Apprentice Award. A monthly programme of events including readings, discussions, masterclasses and reading group, bring together writers from across the UK. Word Factory news and writing advice is available on its website and social media channels. Word Factory believes in developing relationships within literature to support excellence and inspiration.