WIP stands for “Work In Progress” in Paris, and since last year, for "Word in Progress" in Luxembourg. On the second Tuesday of each month, from October to May, WIP Luxembourg invites you to discover three texts in the making and their authors.
The idea is simple: come and join us at the café Le Ratelach in the Kulturfabrik, sit back, relax in a comfortable armchair with a drink, grab a bite, and listen to unpublished texts in a friendly atmosphere. After each reading, you can share your impressions with the author and the audience. To help create a dialogue, an “author-killer” stands by the writer and channels the crowd’s passion and discussion.
French, Luxembourgish, German, even English: each Word In Progress is dedicated to one of the country’s spoken language.
On May 9, 2017, WIP Luxembourg features 3 English-language authors: Jean Beurlet, Velina Minkoff and Jeff Thill.
Jean Bürlesk (born 15th March 1992) is a Luxembourgish writer of plays, ballads and short stories. Though he has written in 5 different languages, he is primarily of English and German expression. After trying his hand at a French fantasy novel at age twelve and switching to German and drama by age seventeen, he currently focuses on English-language short stories. His inspirations for that particular genre include myths, legends and fairly tales, as well as the writings of Neil Gaiman.
Velina Minkoff was born in 1974 in Sofia, Bulgaria. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from UCLA with a track in Creative Writing – Fiction under authors Carolyn See and Aimee Bender. In 2000, her story The Old Woman received the Harry Kurnitz Creative Writing Award.
Velina is the author of a collection of short stories entitled Red Shorts (Colibri, 2001, English) and a novel The Red and Blue Report of the Green Ameba (Colibri, 2015, Bulgarian.) In 2014, Velina was awarded a Sozopol Fiction Seminars fellowship by the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation. Her work has appeared in Split Peas – Fiction and Photography, Literaturen Forum, Literaturen Vestnik, Vagabond, Public Republic, Haemus, Drunken Boat, Magyar Lettre Internationale, WIP: Litterature sans filtre and GRANTA Bulgaria.
Over the years, Velina has translated several books, plays, films, poems and short stories to and from English and Bulgarian. She is a member of the Bulgarian Translators’ Union. In 2016, Velina was resident translator at Open Letter Books, USA, where she worked on the translation of her novel into English.
Velina lives in Paris, where she teaches English, freelances as a translator and is currently working on a short story collection in the Bulgarian language, which will include her own translations of shorts stories she originally wrote in English. Her work is in the process of being translated into French - WIP...
Born and bred in Luxembourg Jeff finished his secondary school studies at the local Lycée de Garçons before he went on to Aberdeen University to study English and Scottish literature. Deeply imbued with an affection for anything remotely connected to Anglo-Saxon literature he completed his three-year stint in the North East with a Scottish MA and returned to Luxembourg without a clear idea of what to do next.
By a strange quirk of fate he was somehow taken on as a teacher trainee and then against all odds became a fully-fledged teacher in the early nineties, a profession which he has now carried out for twenty-six long-suffering years.
In 2014 he took part in the Concours littéraire and was awarded second prize for his historical novel about Jean de Beck, the Luxembourg general who rose to prominence in the War of Thirty Years. This encouraged him to continue on his path to be a writer and in 2016 he started his sabbatical year to have more time for two of his many passions, travelling and writing.
In January 2017 he returned from his motorbike trip through Northern Laos, completely exhausted but enormously inspired and then completed the final steps in the setting up of Black Fountain Press, a publishing house which he founded together with Anne-Marie Reuter, Nathalie Jacoby and Laurent Fels.
If he doesn´t write, travel or windsurf (yet another of his passions) he tries to be a semi-decent father to a wonderful daughter.