By Valentin D. Ivanov: The digital magazine Gathering of troubadours (https://trubadurs.com) and the family of the late Bulgarian writer Agop Melkonyan announced the winners of the 10th annual competition for short SFF stories on May 15.
The maximum story length for entries was 3600 words. Two juries selected a number of excellent stories among works sent by 97 participants.
The special Agop Melkonian award, given by the honorary jury that includes family members, prominent genre writers and fandom figures, went to the story Eve by Janitsa Radeva Radeva. Four stories received honorable mention: When Ivan Petrov Stavrev Found a Time Machine by Jordan Veselinov Kolev, The Sweetener by Iv-Ana Dragomirova, Soul 58074 by Kristina Emilova Petrova and Last Memory by Victoria Konstantinova Baramova.
The regular jury gave the following awards:
First Place: Terrible bloodsuckers by Anton Tsvetanov Melyakov
Second Place: I Cut Off a Moment and it Fell on the Floor by Raya Atanasova Antonova
Third Place: Lampreys by Georgy Nikolaev Janakiev
Agop Melkonian (1949-2006) was a Bulgarian writer of Armenian origin. An engineer by trade, he worked for most of his life as a journalist specializing in science and technology. He authored a novel, four novellas, about thirty stories and four plays, collected at various times in dozen or so books. He also wrote three popular science books and many popular science articles for the press. Some of his stories are studied in primary schools. His fiction has been translated into English, German, French, Spanish, Russian and other languages.
Agop Melkonian was an avid supporter and mentor of young authors and the award in his name is aimed mainly at them. The jurors face a tough choice, selecting the best stories. This year the winners will receive their trophies on May 30.
Congratulations and let’s hope these writers find their way to wider international audience!