Travel as an exploration of places, cultures, peoples and cities. But also, as a path of self-knowledge and experience of the other. Travel as leisure, fun and an opportunity to regain one’s freedom but also as a challenge and an overcoming of one’s own limits. The actual journey and the dreamed journey, the journey with the eyes and the body but also the journey with the heart and mind. A train journey gradually brings us closer to our destination and encourages encounters, whilst gently introducing us to railway stations where new worlds and realities welcome us.
There are many ways of travelling and sharing one’s travel experiences. In order to stimulate writing around this theme that has fascinated human beings since antiquity and with the myth of Ulysses, the first edition of a literary competition has been launched, organised by the Turin International Book Fair in collaboration with the FS Italiane Group. Dedicated to sustainable travel literature, the competition titled “A/R Andata e racconto - Appunti di viaggio” (“Round-trip Journeys and Stories - Travel Notes”) is dedicated to never-before-published short stories by first-time writers aged 18 and over who have never had a short story or novel be published by an Italian publishing house and distributed in bookshops.
Short stories with a length between 15,000 characters (including spaces) and 20,000 characters (including spaces) that have never been published and which have sustainable travel in its many meanings and nuances as their central theme will be accepted.
Participation is free of charge. All stories must be submitted according to the instructions outlined in the rules and received no later than 12 noon on 3 February 2023.
An initial technical panel, appointed by the Turin International Book Fair, will select a shortlist of 25 finalist stories that will go to the final panel consisting of eight male and female writers along with a representative of the FS Group. This panel will then select the three finalist stories. The 25 works will be read and evaluated by writers who, in their own novels and essays, have been able to recount all the nuances of the journey, from the real and personally experienced to the imagined, from journeys in history to those made by protagonists of the recent or ancient past, from journeys dedicated to self-knowledge and the discovery of the other to those undertaken to retrace family events. The panel called upon is comprised of Enrico Brizzi, Fabio Genovesi, Antonella Lattanzi, Andrea Marcolongo, Matteo Nucci, Antonio Pascale, Lorenza Pieri and Veronica Raimo.
The announcement of the three winning stories will take place during the Turin International Book Fair, which will be held from 18–22 May 2023. The three winning works will be published in an anthology published by an Italian publishing house, together with the stories of the writers who comprise the final panel. All 25 finalists shall receive a Trenitalia gift card.
The initiative sees the FS Group engaged with a prestigious cultural partner that is the Turin International Book Fair, to promote and support the culture of sustainability with a view to inclusiveness and accessibility, also through the book chain. This is a natural vocation for a company like the FS Italiane Group, which has been rooted in the civil, economic and social fabric of Italy for more than a century and is a key player in Italy’s development. In line with the spirit of the Book Fair, the competition also aims to bring out the creativity that every passenger carries with them on their personal travel experiences, real or imagined, stimulating young people and adults to express this creativity through writing.