Seminarium Literackie ŚKF 2024 – A Happy Weekend

Seminarium Literackie is a small and cosy convention. Although I like it, I am not managing to visit it regularly. I was there in 2016 and 2019 so my visit two weeks ago was a third time. It was a special one, as this year I was nominated to the Śląkfa Award presented at the convention.

Bonfire for a Good Beginning

One of the traditions at this con is a bonfire that is held on Friday evening. During my previous visits I didn’t manage to arrive on Friday so this was my first occasion to see it. What can I say? It was a good bonfire. Bigger than the ones I am used to and the fire itself was not as important as on other occasions but it was a nice evening. We had the opportunity to grill sausages, oscypki, and apples. And people talked. There was not a single group but rather a few smaller groups with people moving from one to the other.

A few people around a bonfire.
Dinner preparation around the traditional for Seminarium Literackie bonfire.

Two fans brought their instruments and played for others. I think it was a banjo and a guitar. We didn’t do any joint singing but I appreciated the music. Overall it was a great social event and I am happy that this year finally I managed to attend it.


There were two programme rooms available. In one a few workshops were held, the other was reserved for other types of items. I attended a few talks and a competition there. It was quite good to listen to some of the presentations. The first item I attended was treating about Hyperobjects. Other topics included Japanese and Chinese languages, influence of Welsh and Irish culture on Tolkien works, and the current state of Tolkien linguistics. I regret missing the item on usage of the linguistics theories in SFF.

I should also mention the Dragon quiz prepared by Rynvord in which I participated. It was quite challenging and well prepared one. Fortunately the questions were multiple choice. It increased the chances of giving the correct answer. Each of the participant got a marker and a little board to write their answer. Topics covered books, films, games, and “real life dragons”. A sample question from the last group was about the city in Europe that have dragon in their coat of arms. There were also a few questions devoted to the Dragons that are promoting fandom. I must sadly that I was not able to answer all of those correctly.

Interior of the conference room. One person is speaking and gesticulating. A part of the table with two people sitting beside it is visible.
Workshops lead by Kruffachi.

On Saturday I also participated in one panel. It was moderated by Siem and it featured four nominees to the Śląkfa Award in the ‘Fan of the Year’ category. My co-panelists were Vinga, Rynvord, and Wilk. I was quite happy with the questions and I learned some things about each of the other panellists.

Śląkfa Award

Saturday evening is always a banquet time at Seminarium Literackie. It was not different this year. At the beginning Śląkfa Awards were presented. In the ‘Creator of the Year’ category the award was given to Grzegorz Kulik for his translation of “The Hobbit” to the Silesian language. He made his acceptance speech in Silesian which made it a bit challenging (but possible to follow!) and very fitting. In the ‘Publisher or Promoter of the Year’ the award went to Silesian Planetarium for the organization of Cosmicon convention. The statuette in the ‘Fan of the Year’ category went to my hands what made me speechless and very happy.

Two rectangular tables with people sitting on their sides are visible. In front of the table there are four people standing.
Representatives of Silesian Planetarium accepting Śląkfa Award.

I was sure I won’t receive the Award. The other candidates all made big contributions to fandom and I was expecting one of them to take the Śląkfa home. I hope you won’t mind me writing a bit about their achievements. If you speak Polish you can find more details here:

Vinga was nominated as the chairperson of the Cech Fantastyki Skiercon from Skierniewice. Over the last decade they made Skierniewice an important point on the Polish fandom map. Their main convention Skiercon attracts over 1000 members. If I recall correctly Vinga mentioned it is the biggest cultural event in the town. They also run a smaller ecological convention called ECOn. At this event fans can see one of the “Tolkien pines”. (Members of the club brought some pinecones from the pine that Tolkien used to sit beneath and some trees were grown from the seeds.) Last year Skierniewice held KONgres which was very well received. Vinga was also a member of the board of ZSFP – “umbrella” organization for many SFF clubs in Poland.

Rynvord was nominated for the Dragons promoting Imladris and fandom in general. Currently there are eleven dragons and each of them is different. They became very popular at Polish cons and they often are guests at conventions. This viral idea is being consistently continued. The plushy dragons are travelling to fannish and non fannish events and places (both in Poland and abroad). Yet this is not the only thing that Rynvord does. He is Fandom Programme Area Head at Glasgow 2024 where he also takes care of the Polish programme and where he did some other things earlier! Rynvord is also very active programme participant at countless Polish cons. He was chairing Imladris for a few years including 2016 when he stepped in last minute after previous chairperson resigned. And last but not least, since March this year he is the member of the board at ZSFP.

Wilk was nominated for his “Zapomniane Sny” [Forgotten Dreams] initiative. It is a series of SFF anthologies. Yet the recognition comes not only for the fact that they are published. The anthologies are charityware and are supporting important causes. What was underlined in the nomination is that they are the first SFF anthologies in Poland to have the audio description for the cover illustrations. As such they became more accessible. During the panel he also mentioned about the comic anthology with audio description they published. It seems to be one of the very few comics in the world that had the AD created.

As you can see other nominees for the Śląkfa in the ‘Fan of the Year’ category were more than worthy of the recognition. Considering this I am even more humbled by being selected as the winner.

A man in a white mask holding a diplomma and a black statuette in his hands.
As you can see I was very happy. I now regret I didn’t take off the mask for the photo.

The rest of the banquet was a joyous integration with other members of the convention. Everyone were chatting and enjoying the food. There were some great cakes and a double chocolate fountain. I must admit that the latter was very enjoyable and I was not the only one who took the opportunity to have some chocolate covered fruits.

Being With Friends

Seminarium Literackie 2024 was a time I spent with friends. We went together to have lunch at the restaurant in the nearby open-air museum. On Sunday I spotted a great sketch in Małgorzata Pudlik’s. sketchbook. When asked to take a closer look she allowed me to browse through the whole sketchbook. I was enchanted with some of her works. I mean I knew her drawings from before. She even had an exhibition at ŚDF in 2019. Some of the drawings I saw were absolutely amazing.

Three people are sitting around two small tables. On one of the tables there is a set for tea brewing.
Tea brewing ‘facility’ at the registration desk.

The weekend was great. Spending time with friends was what I needed in the time that apart from that was quite difficult for me. And even when I get mocked (and I did!) it was done in a friendly atmosphere. I hope to be able to visit Seminarium Literackie also next year.

You can find more pictures in my FB gallery.

My next post will treat about Pyrkon and will appear within two weeks.

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