ZVONA i NARI, Ližnjan, Istria, Croatia
I've spent time at ZiN on a couple of occasions, but certainly the key visit that influenced and shaped my literary path was my first residency there, in August of 2011. At the time I was an unpublished author and apart from my huge desire to creatively express myself, I didn't have enough finished work to show. Nevertheless, at ZiN I found not only a fantastically enticing working environment, but a place where I've learned about the meaning of literature and the role and responsibility of an author in creating the wider cultural setting. The ideas and thoughts that I formed then in Ližnjan have become an inseparable part of my literary and writerly identity.
Every morning during my stay at Zvona i Nari, I made myself a cup of tea, sat on my porch, drank in the view of vineyards, olive trees, and the town beyond, and began to work. Every day, I worked all day. The beauty of the town and its surroundings, the library itself, so extensive and eclectic, the stimulating intellectual discussions... all this was wonderfully conducive to good work. I came home afterwards and wrote for a year straight on the high.
We often do not see much that was given to us. But, when we start changing inside and begin to accept life as a gift, then life makes sure to bring good things our way. My encounter with ZVONA i NARI wasn't by chance. The writers will find here an open door and an invitation to comradeship, creativity, freedom and togetherness. After a long period of not giving my own writing the attention it deserves, I'm back to it, I'm back to my first love.
I was at ZiN in 2014. as a participant of the Bibliokamp, a gathering of volunteers whose goal was to help organize the beautiful library. Despite engaging work, there was time enough to go swimming, to visit Pula Film Festival and to talk to writers like Tomica Šćavina from Zagreb, Josip Pip Škifić from Ližnjan and Ana Božičević and Sophia Le Fraga from New York.
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WHAT IS ZVONA i NARI Literary Retreat?
ZVONA i NARI are a literary residency, the main project of a private, non-profit NGO offering a free place to stay, work and connect with the local community as well as with other literary professionals to all who feel their work might benefit from meeting new people and learning about new writing in different languages. The purpose of the project is to build a community for and through literary work, but also to employ literature as a means of building a community.
WHAT TO EXPECT @ ZVONA i NARI?
If you ever had ideas for which you needed more space as well as help from other, then ZVONA i NARI might be a place for you. Here you can find logistical support for your projects, but you can also step out of your everyday routine, environment or even language to try something new and test your creative limits. We hope to provide our guests with good company, interesting conversation, and more information about the local literary scene than they can handle. Expect that your work and your time in Ližnjan will be treated with respect; please, share the same courtesy with other guests at the retreat, and we'll get along just fine.
Considering the retreat is in part funded by the local and regional government, we know they would appreciate immensely if you would mention them in your social (media) interactions. The time when our funding will be determined by the number of tweets is not yet upon us, but considering you are coming to a village with limited PR resources, you might consider dropping a kind mention or two of Ližnjan, Pula and Istria on the world wide web. And if you do, let us know, so we can let them know. Thanks!
WHO CAN STAY AT THE RETREAT?
Unlike the majority of writers' residencies, we welcome all artists and professionals who predominantly concentrate on language and literature in their work. This includes (but is not limited to) writers, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, translators, illustrators, editors, publishers, critics, scholars, students, librarians... as well as their partners, spouses, children or friends. Basically, the retreat is open to all who are interested in improving it through artistic work and collaborative effort, so if you are wondering whether your creative projects are compatible with our goals, simply email us and check.
The retreat provides four fully furnished houses, available for shorter or longer periods of stay during the entire year. These houses, along with a small library are situated on a country estate in the village of Ližnjan, at the southernmost tip of the Istrian Peninsula, 12 kilometers from Pula, at the Adriatic Coast of Croatia.
Depending on the size, each house accommodates 2 to 4 persons and is fully furnished: kitchens have all the basic necessities, in bedrooms pillows and bedding are provided (but not the towels), laundry facilities are available in the near-by village of Medulin. Considering that a part of each house also serves as a section of the library, they are to be accessible to the patrons of the library during the regular working hours (usually Wednesdays from 5 to 7 p.m.). For the same reason, smoking is not allowed on the premises. Wireless Internet access is available at the library.
The guests of the retreat are free to use all of the above-mentioned facilities but are also expected to have in mind their own safety and the safety of others. Unfortunately, at this time we are unable to accommodate the needs of guests with pets.
WHAT ARE THE TERMS OF STAY?
Accommodation at the retreat is free for all guests, as well as their partners, spouses, or children. However, food and travel expenses are the responsibility of the guests themselves.
In order to be awarded a residency at the retreat, the main condition is that each guest spends his or her time here working on a creative literary project and that a part of his or her stay benefits in some way to the local community, whether it be through public readings or other similar public programs.
Our guests are also invited to donate their time and skills in the daily activities of the library and the retreat, and to actively and independently discover Ližnjan and the surrounding communities. The length of stay is determined on individual basis depending on available accommodation.
Ližnjan - a village of some 1500 residents - is connected by public transportation (bus) to Pula (the biggest town in the region), its sea port and international airport. The distance to Pula is some 12 kilometers, which is a 20-minute ride by car, or 30 minutes by bus.
From our place the nearest bus-stop is a five-minutes’ walk away, as is the nearest grocery store. It takes a ten-minute walk to the bank and the post office, and it's a 15-minute bike ride to the beach (and we have a couple of bikes for our guests).
Should your trip involve connecting flights, have in mind that, owing to the fact that Pula and Istria are a popular tourist destination, there's a considerably larger number of airline choices during the summer months, which means there are direct flights to Pula from almost a dozen major European cities. The rest of the year Pula can be reached via Zagreb, or you might consider flying to Trieste (Italy) or Ljubljana (Slovenia) and taking a bus for the last leg of your trip.