17. July 2023

Literary and Bookbinding Workshop in Úsmev

As part of the Literary Residencies project, a full-day series of literary workshops took place on Saturday, June 24, 2023, at the Smile Cinema. The program was run under the auspices of the National Minorities Club organization. The event was co-operated by the book club Paľikerav, which focuses on cultivating an interest in literature among Roma youth. It highlights its inclusive and motivational character.

A whole day at the cinema

Thanks to the support of the Slovak Literary Centre (SLC), the workshops were led by acclaimed authors and experienced instructors Soňa Uriková and Nicol Hochholczerová.
Soňa Uriková introduced children to questions of originality, ways to identify and eliminate clichés, and building their own authorial language. Nicol Hochholczerová initiated them into the secrets of bookbinding. Participants learned to create and decorate their own notebook using a chain binding technique, which they can later make at home.


A workshop led by author Dominika Moravčíková encouraged a new outlook on an object, its history, and personal significance. This workshop required participants to choose their own object and asked for their trust and dedication, which supported individual interpretation and experience.


Author Juliana Sokolová led a workshop on the book creation process. She talked about the writing itself, subsequent editorial work and editing, and finally about the publication of the finished work.

More than just literature – also film

Following the completion of the literary program, there was a tour of the Smile Cinema with Lukáš Berberich, accompanied by discussions about cinema and poetry. A movie surprise from the Smile Cinema’s repertoire was the reward for enduring the workshops. The screening in the Impulse hall enriched the experience of the participants, as it was exclusively for them.

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Also, read our interview with Renáta Pankiewicz about the activities of the Book Club.


The literary retreat was part of the Epic Residencies project, which connects three residency centers: Literary Residencies Košice, Gunnar Gunnarson Institute in Iceland, and Tou Scene in Norway. The Epic Residencies project is built on the values of intercultural exchange, gender equality, the significance of minority experiences, and diversity of voices in literature.

The Epic Residencies project received a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway through the EEA Grants and was co-financed by funds from the state budget of the Slovak Republic.

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