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The contest results

The contest results

In accordance with the previously defined rules regarding the literary contest for the "Professor Borivoje Jelic" award, we hereby publish the competition's results, along with jury members' explanations.

The "Professor Borivoje Jelic" award winners

The jury comprising:

  1. Professor of the Serbian language and literature Mirjana Strbac
  2. Author and poet Lela Markovic
  3. Presbyter Dr. Oliver Subotic

has ascertained that of the 30 received submissions, 29 were technically valid (one was blank), and were as such taken into account during the decision-making process.

Nova Varos High School | partner of the "Petar Mandic" Endowment | family values | parenthood

Each member of the jury examined the submissions separately and came to a decision independently of the other two.

Professor Mirjana Strbac

Professor Mirjana Strbac chose the entries coded "POBEDA" (VICTORY), "SIDRO7" (ANCHOR7) and "17175" as the best ones.

Mirjana Strbac | professor of Serbian language and literature | literary competition | "Prof. Borivoje Jelic"

Her explanation is as follows:

"POBEDA" (VICTORY) - "A very rich, baroque sentence, filled with very poetic metaphors and comparisons. Grammatically, linguistically and stylistically excellently written. Childhood images flow into the present through the opposing concepts of youth and old age, May and November, sunshine and greyness.

Man comes into this world and leaves it, leaving behind him the most valuable and enduring legacy - his children. The storyteller uses these two images to express his gratitude for existing, accepting everything quietly, just as his parents did, thereby paying homage to them (motifs of silence, quietness, stone/turned to stone). A deep contemplative dive into the meaning and essence of life and living.

"SIDRO7" (ANCHOR7) - The storyteller quivers with the inner peace and quiet joy of a true Christian. Grammatically, linguistically and stylistically excellently written. The story is a variation on a theme which used to be common in Serbian literature ("The Eve of the Feast", A. Santic, "With family" V. P. Dis, "The First Furrow" M. Glisic).

The idyllic portrayal of the patriarchal family shows the yearning for the survival of the idea of family in modern times, which ought to be preserved, since only such a family is a guarantee of the existence of a healthy and stable individual, and a society as a whole.

"17175" - A very-well composed story which uses gradation and elements of allegory in order to summarize the storyteller's false perceptions about life. The fascination with "the other" and that which is "different", running away from one's roots and, on the other hand, the motif of unconditional parental love, expressed through desperate cries for attention, form the core of the story.

Life's experiences bring the story-teller to a belated realization of the importance of parents and a regret for the wasted time which cannot be brought back. Very literate, with a stylistically measured language and sentence."

Author Lela Markovic

The author Lela Markovic chose entries coded "POBEDA", (VICTORY), "SUNCE" (THE SUN) and "17175" as the best ones.

Lela Markovic | author and poet | literary competition | "Professor Borivoje Jelic" award

She explained her decision in the following manner:

"The first prize literary composition, coded "POBEDA" (VICTORY) is thematically very well developed and gives an authentic perception of parents, artistically expressed. The written expression is assured and mature. Wonderful metaphors describe time, which contains an awareness of transience. Skilfully-chosen quotes contribute to the artistic expression and show that the author is well-read, or rather, nurtured with high-quality prose, the kind that opens the door to deep and meaningful answers.

The young author uses the expression whose imagery and meaning enchant the reader. He doesn't see fit to explain what "honouring one's father and mother" means, since that respect follows from the composition itself and it enchants with the structure of its description, in an unobtrusive, yet decisive manner. The author is also a lyricist, as evidenced by a beautifully constructed ending, accentuated by the repetition of the incomplete, yet still understandable expression. The author has achieved his purpose, because the respect he has for his parents flows from the love he has for them, and vice versa.

 The second prize winner, a poem coded "SUNCE" (THE SUN) has illuminated this contest with its poetic rays. The poem is composed of six, differently rhymed and metrically uneven stanzas. Within the stanzas, the verses are chronologically arranged and harmoniously rhymed, which gives the poem a melodic ring. Repeating the first stanza at the end gives the poem a lyrical effect. The poem is a poetically-descriptive depiction of family values and a chronology of family life, where the parents are its creators and witnesses.

The author defines the set topic in a descriptive and profound way. The aroma of the pastry and the clinking of the coffee cups she calls happiness and peace, tranquillity for her is family, and home she calls love and tenderness. This recognition speaks of the respect for the one who has formed such a home and such a family. The author needed to possess enough poetic skill, and to be enamoured of poetry enough to be able to cover such important concepts in verse.

The third prize winner, under the code "17175" is a composition which represents an interesting imaginary account. It represents a lyrical journey through time and a belated maturation and repentance. The author (due to her age) has obviously not lived through the experience of family life completely, but puts herself, nonetheless, in the role of a maturing individual, who has left the family fold and is looking back on it. It’s thematically well-developed and each of its parts offers age-appropriate philosophical conclusions, which points to a marked literary gift and a potential future writing style.

The story, far from being passive has its own pace and flow. Although fictional, the author's literary bravery makes the composition a well thought – out story of repentance and forgiveness. "That little would have made such a huge difference. But youth, beautiful, shiny and zestful didn't understand that", ends the author lyrically."

Presbyter Dr. Oliver Subotic

Presbyter Dr. Oliver Subotic chose the three compositions under codenames "17175", "AKORD77" (CHORD77) and "SIDRO7" (ANCHOR7) as the best ones.

Oliver Subotic | Presbyter | SOC | founder | "Petar Mandic" Endowment

A brief choice description:

"Entry "17175" stands out among all the rest in terms of its consistent quality which was obvious from the initial reading. Legible handwriting, high grammatical accuracy and a pleasing writing style are its technical qualities. Content-wise it has a depth and a clarity of thought with a key message warning the young generation of the need for honouring one's parents throughout their lives.

Entry "AKORD77" (CHORD77) apart from its obvious technical quality, in terms of content stands out with a clear message and an exceptionally inspirational perception of a family analogous with nature. Its contents bring light into the soul of the reader and presents pleasant connotations of the family in its broader context, reminding us of the deep, invisible roots which stand behind the visible branches of our lives.

Entry under code "SIDRO7" (ANCHOR7) is, like the previous two, technically exceptional, while in terms of content it puts an accent on the internal experience of family unity and synergy. Its emphasis on the children's gratitude for the parental love and care, is an important message of this composition, which is value-based on the age-old Christian tradition which views family as the "small church".

The best literary submissions

The best literary submissions

Comparing the individual jury members' opinions, based on a previously accepted methodology, it was decided that submissions codenamed

  • "17175";
  • "SIDRO7" (ANCHOR7)

are this year's recipients of the "Professor Borivoje Jelic" award, which is being given for the best students' literary submissions on the subject of family values and parenting.

Borivoje Jelic | professor of Serbian language and literature from Nova Varos | literary award

After deciphering the authors' names by the High School in Nova Varos, the "Petar Mandic" Endowment will pay 10.000 dinars prize money each to the awarded authors into the bank account, which needs to be sent electronically to the Endowment via the High school. Additionally, the authors of the awarded entries will also be given a book, Tesla: Duhovni lik (Tesla: The Spiritual Character), signed by the author.

At the suggestion of Oliver Subotic, one of the founders of the "Petar Mandic" Endowment, the book Tesla: Duhovni lik (Tesla: The Spiritual Character) will also be given to the shortlisted authors of "SUNCE" (THE SUN) and "AKORD77" (CHORD77), since they are of very high quality, while the entry "SUNCE" (THE SUN) stands out from all the rest with the originality of its structure.

After deciphering the codes, all the entries will be published on the internet page of the "Petar Mandic" Endowment.

In Belgrade, 10th April 2023.

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