fiction laboratory

Creative writing workshops under the mentorship of Zoran Krušvar.

The project is implemented in partnership with the City Library of Rijeka.

Workshops will be held weekly, from March to July, and from October to December. The workshops are intended for young people (14 to 25 years old). 

Applications will be open in February 2022. The maximum is 10 participants. 

Workshop Mentor

The workshop mentor is Zoran Krušvar, a psychologist, journalist, well-known and award-winning Croatian writer, translated abroad, and the manager of various multimedia projects. He is the author of three collections of short stories, two novels for children, two novels for adults and picture book for children. He is a member of the writing collective “Fluminati” and the informal literary group “Ri Lit”. His works have been translated into English, Polish, Romanian and French. 


Workshop methods

Each workshop will cover some of the basic elements of writing a literary text, such as opening and closing a story, plot, characters, narration, etc. Each meeting will include a theoretical part, examples from practice, specific tasks, as well as mutual reading and mutual constructive criticism. written assignments. Some workshops will be attended by guest mentors, well-known local writers.


Publication of produced material

The second part of the activities that will be carried out in the project, is the collection and editing of produced materials with the aim of publishing a collection of the best works of participants. The collection will be published in electronic form and available to the public for download in digital form. By publishing the works of the participants, their participation in the program is completed, the effort is rewarded and the progress achieved through continuous writing is evaluated. 


Significance for the development of Rijeka culture 

In addition to the development of literature, this program is an investment in the cultural future of Rijeka. On several levels, it contributes to the development of writing culture and laying the foundations of the future young literary scene. Also, in addition to developing writing skills, the Fiction Laboratory provides a model of enjoyable and rewarding activity that productively fills the free time of children and youth. The city of Rijeka thus gets not only a generation of future writers, but also a generation of healthy and creative children and youth, actively involved in the cultural life of the community.

About the project

The project has been held several times and has spawned several published, award-winning and successful writers. In the period from 2008-2012. The workshops were attended by more than 20 young people, and the then participants are active and published writers: Antonija Mežnarić, Vesna Kurilić, Tamara Crnko and others. The laboratory is based on the interests of students for fiction and general content of speculative fiction (SF, Fantasy, Horror, etc.), and through a series of educational workshops under the mentorship of the leader and guest workshops under the mentorship of recognized local writers, teaches students various tools and methods of creative expression written medium. The focus of the project is to encourage the creativity and imagination of the participants and to create literary content. 


This program is an extremely valuable non-institutional supplement to the activities intended for young people of secondary school age, which are implemented within the City Library of Rijeka. In addition, the program promotes the development of literacy and literary creativity of young people, and especially the culture of reading, which enriches their upbringing and education. Furthermore, by creating new generations of young authors, she contributes in the long run to the development of the Rijeka cultural scene and the literary-publishing and library activities.


Achieved successes

  • The workshops were regularly attended by up to 20 young people and a few occasional attendees.
  • During 3 years, a number of well-known Croatian writers were hosted, who shared valuable experiences with the participants: Darko Macan, Zoran Žmirić, Igor Lepčin, Danilo Brozović, Milena Benini, Alen Kapidžić and others.
  • Today, Vesna Kurilić and Antonija Mežnarić published several books each and together they run the publishing house “Shtriga Books”.
  • Tamara Crnko published the novel “Block this!”.
  • Participants regularly created material and participated in various literary competitions in Croatia.
  • Numerous participants published their stories in the fanzine “Eridan”, in 2008 and 2009, after the first few months of workshops.
  • Two participants (Valentina Mišković and Irena Hartmann), aged 16 and 17, participated in the competition for the Istrakon collection. Although their competition was adult writers, they managed to market their stories, which were published in the “Third Reality” collection.
  • In the same year, Valentina Mišković received the “Protosfera” award for the best story by an author under the age of 21, for her story “Lost White Brother” published in the fanzine “Eridan”.
  • Irena Hartmann won the thematic Sferakon competition and received the “Sferica” ​​award.
  • Irena Hartmann won the award of the City of Osijek and the Environmental Protection Agency in a literary competition on the topic of the Drava River, for a story entitled “Moja Drava”.
  • Irena Hartmann won award “Sfera” for short story “Lutka”, 2013.
  • Isabella Lizzul, at the age of 15, collected her stories in a collection and, with the financial help of her parents, published them in small editions.
  • Irena Hartmann – short story “Heat” published in the collection Parasvemir (Sferakon collection of short stories 2010), passed the competition “Kamov in short” (the story “Revolution”).
  • Isabella Lizzul – winner of the 3rd Sferica Award for a story submitted to the annual competition for the best art and literary works of primary and secondary school children on the given topic “Journeys of one photon”.
  • Tamara Crnko – published in the fanzine Eridan 8 (“Viktor”), passed the competition “Kamov in short” (“His bug”).
  • Antonija Mežnarić – published in the fanzine Eridan 8 (“Metamorphosis”), passed the competition “Kamov in short” (“Let the dead sleep”).
  • Valentina Mišković – published in the fanzine Eridan 8 (“Dirty Old Town”) and Eridan 9 (“The Thief”, “Senanque sheit smelled like …”), praised in the competition “Kamov in brief” (“River of dreams and graffiti lines” ).
  • Dajana Šalinović – published in the fanzine Eridan 8 (“Electronic Soul”) and Eridan 9 (“Mr. Vampirko”, “Night of the Lilies”).
  • Vesna Kurilić, published in the research collection “Dimension of the Secret” (“Red Coat”).
  • All participants got acquainted with various local authors and works and improved their writing skills.
  • Three collections of selected works of students have been published.