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After 100 Days of Reading, Livraria Lello Reveals the “Quarantine Tales” Prize Winners

After 100 days of reading

During confinement, Livraria Lello might only have invited its readers to read. We might only have fostered refuge in this pursuit and awaited better days. We might have but that is not who we are. If, for the first time in 114 years we did have to close our doors, we immediately opened a shelter in the street to give out books (to gift, not to sell) to our loyal readers and we opened up a window on the world, inviting readers from all over the world to become authors and tell us about their quarantines, whether lived or imagined, the anguish and the challenges, at the individual or the collective levels.

In launching this challenge, we knew that there were many readers – there always are, especially under such circumstances that ensure we face a permanent state of perplexity – with a desire to write about the time, the space and the themes brought about by pandemic confinements and made still more acute. However, we were never thinking that the response would be quite so overwhelming. Over 5,600 entries arriving from 39 countries, which took almost one hundred days to read.

The literary competition “Quarantine Tales” served to reveal new and original voices from Portugal as well as Australia; from Ethiopia as well as Uruguay; from both Dubai and Israel; and from Norway through to Angola: in absolutely surprising numbers and origins that soared past our very best expectations and that, according to the data we currently have available, places this award as the best participated literary award ever launched in Portugal and one of the largest in the world.

After 100 days of reading

It is on this Friday, 25 September, at 9.30pm, five months on from its launch, that we shall find out about the winners of the “Quarantine Tales” Prize, with some personally in attendance at Livraria Lello in order to, alongside the jury, tell us about what their quarantine has been like, what quarantine is like; and what quarantine might be like. On this same occasion, the jury shall share with us their experience of reading this avalanche of new tales and how they themselves managed to “survive” this pandemic and telling how, in order to read them all, they confined themselves during deconfinement to read about confinement in the four corners of the world.

This event shall be broadcast live via the StreamYard platform that will simultaneously be broadcast on our Facebook page ( and via our Youtube channel ( ). Due to the need to ensure your welcome while meeting all the recommended health and safety conditions, we would be grateful if you could confirm your presence at:

O evento será transmitido em direto através da plataforma StreamYard, que transmitirá em simultâneo para o nosso Facebook ( e para o nosso canal de Youtube ( ).

Devido à necessidade de assegurarmos o Vosso acolhimento com todas as condições sanitárias recomendadas, agradecemos a vossa amável confirmação de presença para:

Livraria Lello “Quarantine Tales” Prize:
5,600 candidates from 39 countries.

Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cape Verde, Canada, China, Dubai, Ecuador, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Greece, Ivory Coast, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxemburg, Mexico, Mozambique, Norway, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Uruguay.