Report on the Activity of the Hungarian Writers’ Association in the last Three Years

Since the international meeting of Finno-Ugrian writers in 1993, much has changed in the life of our Association, basically due to the changes in financial administration.

The tasks and responsibilities have increased, while the number of our staff decreased. It seems to become more and more difficult to maintain our headquarters, as there is no more regular subvention. We can assure our existence only by applying for different foundations. Unfortunately the sums we obtain in this way are far from sufficient to provide for our activity on the scale comparable with earlier years. We make every effort to insure that we would not loose our building: this is our most serious struggle at the moment. Conceivably, these are our common grievances; therefore we dare share them with you.

At the end of the year 1995 we held our General Assembly and accepted our new statutes. Béla Pomogáts, a prominent historian of literature, was elected the new President of the Hungarian Writers’ Association; he is the head of the Presidium consisting of eight members who are entitled to gather monthly. The Presidium is accountable to the Electoral Board of 71 members that convenes at least 3 times a year. The latter is supposed to report on its activities to the General Assembly held with three-year intervals (if there is no special reason to hold it earlier). At the General Assembly, elections are held for the next three-year term.

According to the latest data, we have 1039 members; about 200 of them are foreign members. These are Hungarian writers who live mostly in the neighbouring countries as an ethnic minority. This is our new achievement. From this year on, these members can be elected to offices.

Our most important activities include the following:

– Commemorative manifestations, installation of memorial plaques (in 1994 we installed an important memorial plaque on our house to the memory of the 1956 revolution, inaugurated by the president of the Republic, Árpád Göncz);

– We enjoy the right to nominate candidates for different state awards, as well as literary prizes;

– In our club, each year we hold more than 100 literary soirées, conferences, meetings, exhibitions, and book-shows;

– We publish a monthly newsletter for our members and own two literary monthlies, Kortárs and Magyar Napló;

– We support regular meetings of literary societies;

– In 1994, we became a member of the European Writers’ Congress, an institution that defends moral and economical rights of authors;

– We continue to take part in the activity of FIT (Federation of International Translators);

– We still insist on running a library and a restaurant.