Literarisches Colloquium Berlin to host Jeff Schinker in residence in 2023
Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg, in partnership with Lëtzebuerger Bicherfrënn – Les Amis du Livre a.s.b.l., and in collaboration with the National Centre for Literature, launched a call for a two-month writer’s residency at the Literarisches Colloquium (LCB) in Berlin, including a supporting grant. A space for reflection, a workshop for experimentation, and an incubator for talent, this prestigious international literary institution organises readings, seminars and other literary events.
Jury members Christiane Krier (Lëtzebuerger Bicherfrënn), Frank Hansen (Lëtzebuerger Bicherfrënn), Ludivine Jehin (National Centre for Literature), Sébastian Thiltges (University of Luxembourg) and Nora Wagener (author & Luxembourg laureate) assessed the applications received and forwarded their recommendations to the LCB. At the end of the selection process, Jeff Schinker‘s application was selected.
Jeff Schinker is a very active and prolific writer. His work is an integral part of Luxembourg’s literary and cultural scene. Through a large body of published works, the author has demonstrated a flair for experimentation and innovation. Supported by a start-up grant from l’Œuvre de la Grande-Duchesse Charlotte, the author completed a writer’s residency at the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin in 2016. During that period, he was able to develop important new contacts and explore Berlin’s literary scene and sector.
The jury unanimously agreed on the quality of the research proposed and the reasoning behind the text the author plans to write. The author will address a subject that is still relatively unexplored in Luxembourg’s literature: emigration stories. A residency at the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin is not only highly relevant to Jeff Schinker’s research, but also a key stage in his career and development as a writer.
The jury is therefore pleased to award this residency which will contribute to the promotion and development of Luxembourg’s authors and literature.
After a childhood full of fun and games he barely remembers, Jeff Schinker (1985) spent his awkward teenagers devouring a ton of books, thereby causing a certain amount of damage to his digestive system. He then moved to Paris where he began a never-ending course of studies at university that could one day be crowned with a doctorate in comparative literature should he ever decide to pick them up again. He frittered away his time in the French capital, a clear sign that he was preparing for a career as a writer. He just needed his first texts, which he duly wrote in his studio apartment, and which were so bad that he couldn’t even find himself a Max Brod he could ask to burn them on his behalf. The writer persevered, however, as evidenced by his contribution to Fragments 3973, published by Hydre Éditions in 2013. After Retrouvailles, which came out in 2015 with the same publisher, things really took off. Unable to live off his writing despite the incredible success of his first book (in 2022 alone, the publisher reportedly sold one or two copies), he turned to journalism and became the editor of the Tageblatt culture section. After being included in several anthologies published in English and French, Schinker made a comeback with Sabotage, a megalomaniac project written in four languages. It was destined to be a flop, but was in fact shortlisted for the Servais Prize, the Lëtzebuerger Buchpräis, and the European Prize for Literature. In addition to these two trades, Schinker also organises readings which are much like his books, namely a little off the wall. After submitting the manuscript for Ma Vie sous les tentes to his publisher – a book that would also be shortlisted for the Servais Prize- he disappeared into thin air, disillusioned by the world in general and the literary microcosm in particular. According to a few juicy rumours doing the rounds on the Luxembourg cultural circuit, he’s apparently working on a fourth novel, but no one knows much about it, beyond the fact it’ll be full of sentences that are far too long.
The LCB residency is made possible due to an endowment from the Lëtzebuerger Bicherfrënn – Les Amis du Livre a.s.b.l. who support the book sector by donating part of the proceeds from sales of second-hand books by Lëtzebuerger Bicherfrënn volunteers to promote the production of literary works in Luxembourg.
Authors receiving the grant also undertake to write a Bourglënster Ried which will be published as a limited-edition pamphlet funded and co-published by the National Centre for Literature.