[Many thanks to Caroline “Beelady” Ferrandino for bringing this item to our attention.] María Fullana Acosto (El Nuevo Día) announces that, in Spain, Puerto Rican writer Ricardo Martí Ruiz won first prize at the 20th ‘Villa de Torrecampo’ Short Story Contest [XX Certamen de Narrativa Corta ‘Villa de Torrecampo’] for his story “La entrometida vecina de Dios” [God’s Nosy Neighbor]. Martí Ruiz is the author of books such as El finalito: Un cuento para niños grandes and Cuentos cortos que no aburren.
In the midst of the pandemic experienced by COVID-19, we also get good news. One of these was recently received by Puerto Rican writer Ricardo Martí Ruiz, upon learning that he had won the first international prize at the XX Certamen de Narrativa Corta ‘Villa de Torrecampo’ in Spain, for his story “La entrometida vecina de Dios.”
This year 152 stories were submitted as part of this short story contest; Martí Ruiz’s work was unanimously chosen, winning a prize of 3,000 euros. For the Puerto Rican author, it was a great surprise to learn that he had been the winner, in spite of the large number of submissions, many of which “were polished with editorial help.”
“The fact that a freelance Puerto Rican (writer) has succeeded there is a considerable achievement. I think it is imperative to publicize these international recognitions, so that we understand the level of literature that has been cultivated here and of which many are unaware,” Martí Ruiz shared via email.
“La entrometida vecina de Dios,” which may be purchased through the author’s page www.callelena.org, contains, in the author’s words “a simpler and more symbolic prose” than his previous stories, where satire abounds. “Here I bring in more abstract themes,” he said, tracing some similarities between this installment and his book El finalito: un cuento para niños grandes (2017)—a kind of sequel to The Little Prince—which was recognized in 2017 with the Literature Prize of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture.
His winning story will be part of a new collection that he hopes to publish soon. In addition to this project, Martí Ruiz is developing a graphic novel entitled Gina la Dragga, about a super hero from the LGBTTQ community. This will be done in collaboration with illustrator Ada Montañez, and he hopes to launch it this year. “I work compulsively. I have a lot in the kettle,” he said about his ability to work on several projects simultaneously.
As a “stray storyteller,” as he considers himself, Martí Ruiz maintains that he is an unusual writer. “It just so happens that I don’t want to call myself an ‘author’ because, in Puerto Rico, authors generally have an unpleasant reputation. I don’t want people to see me as someone who is going to correct their grammar. I’m a storyteller. I tell stories that amuse and make people think,” he said of his creative philosophy.
Martí Ruiz, who has written several columns for El Nuevo Día, revealed that this new recognition of his work is an example of all the things that people with Parkinson’s disease can achieve; he was diagnosed with the illness 12 years ago, and this has not been reason to stop doing what he is so passionate about. “I would like to take this opportunity to point out that PD is not an impediment to achieving great things,” he concluded with satisfaction.
To learn more about his work, you may visit his page www.callelena.org, where you will find several of his books, as well as publications by other authors. You may also access his YouTube channel and his Facebook page (@callelena).
Translated by Ivette Romero. Read the original article (in Spanish) at https://www.elnuevodia.com/entretenimiento/cultura/nota/escritorpuertorriquenoganacertamenliterarioenespana-2566710/