ANIDE: Promoting Nicaragua’s Literary Talent

The Nicaraguan Association of Writers – Asociación Nicaragüense de Escritoras (ANIDE) – was founded in July 2000, acquiring its legal status in 2003. Initiated by sixteen writers from varied literary generations, ANIDE made history in literary circles as the first institution focusing on literature written by women, with the goal of gathering, developing, promoting and circulating these works which may otherwise not have been made available to the public. The goals of ANIDE were reiterated in December 2008 with the gathering of around eighty local and international writers representing different generations, a range of genres, languages, ethnicities and viewpoints, but all with the common goal of creating cultural cohesion and a more gender-equal world.

The concept for ANIDE was prompted by the “First Congress of Central American Women Writers” held in Managua in March 2000, where the Constitutive Act of the Central American Federation of Writers was signed, with Nicaragua being selected as the headquarters under the direction of Vidaluz Meneses as President, Isolde Hurtado as Director General and Angela Saballos as Treasurer.

The association has come a long way since being found, with the ANIDE literary journal being in demand with universities in Latin America, Europe, Canada and the United States, and its website receiving visitors from around the world. ANIDE’s two annual competitions aimed at women writers are well supported and winning is considered an honor. The National Poetry Competition “Samson Mariana Arguello” was started in 2003, offering writers the opportunity to submit works in their indigenous languages. In addition to a monetary incentive of $1,000, the award includes publication and promotion of the author’s work. The American Competition “Rafaela Contreras” is awarded to five writers from Central America for Story, Poetry and Fiction, with the prize consisting of publication of the book, a $2,000 incentive and a plaque from ANIDE presented at a prestigious event.

ANIDE works along with other associations in order to promote literature, cultural exchange and beneficial partnerships. Affiliated associations include the Association of Writers and Writers of Central America (ADECA), with several ANIDE members being part of the regional network for Latin America of the Nicaragua Chapter of International PEN – the worldwide association of writers founded in London in 1921.

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of ANIDE, Nicaraguan women writers have a platform to present their talent to a wide audience, to the benefit of the literary community.