NEW YORK. Salt is the essence of all life. "The Salt Queen Foundation", a cultural institution founded by Italian artist Bettina Werner, dedicates the first edition of the literary competition "Words of Salt" to this natural element. The contest is organized with the “Tuscan Association of New York”, the “Fondazione Arezzo Wave Italia” and the “Scuola di Narrazioni Arturo Bandini” in two editions: English and Italian.

"Illustrated throughout history are tales of entire populations warring over salt. Salt was fundamental to the development of civilization; it was used for bartering as well as for food preservation" says the artist from Milan, whose works, realized entirely in salt, are to be found in the most prestigious American and European art collections. "I have been fascinated by this mineral since I was an art student at the Brera Academy. I have been investigating its infinite possibilities for twenty years. Now, with "Words of Salt", I would like to explore the relationship between art and literature." (Bettina Werner)

Writers participating in this first edition of "Words of Salt" are challenged to submit short stories inspired by salt in all its vastness of meanings and uses; salt illustrated as a literary element in mythology and cooking, in travels and history, in philosophy and medicine. The stories must be written in Italian or English and should be mailed to the office of "The Salt Queen Foundation" by July 31st, 2005. The award ceremony will be held in New York at Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo’ October 14, 2005.

The Italian edition will be curated by “Fondazione Arezzo Wave” (with the collaboration of “Scuola di Narrazioni Arturo Bandini”) which will select a list of 10 finalists. The winner will receive a round trip prize with accomodations in New York in occasion of the ceremony (offered by “Tuscan Association of New York”). Also, the winner will receive the collectible art-book “Salt-Sculpture Book” created by Bettina Werner in 1995 (value $2,000). The winner’s story will be published by the Italian daily newspaper in the USA, America Oggi.

The English edition will be curated by The Salt Queen Foundation which will select finalists and winners. The winner will receive a salt painting created by Bettina Werner (value: $7,000), a check for $500 (five hundred dollars) and the story will be published by the English language monthly audiomagazine Speak Up (DeAgostini Rizzoli Periodici). A second and a special prize will be offered.

Complete competition guidelines can be found at the Foundation's web site:

Founded in 2002 in New York, The Salt Queen Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Foundation whose goals include the celebration of artists whose free imagination is uniquely expressed through the use of innovative techniques and unusual materials.
The Fondazione Arezzo Wave Italia is a non-profit organization which every July organizes the “Arezzo Wave Love Festival”. Since 2000, the Tuscan foundation has been focused on literature, launching the “Word Stage,” a space dedicated to literature and its relation with music.
Each year, “Arezzo Wave Love Festival” gathers 200,000 people providing the opportunity to attend more than 150 events among music, theater and literature.
The 2005 edition will be held in the Medieval town of Arezzo (Tuscany) from July 12 to July 17.

We thank the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò (at New York University), the Italian daily newspaper in the USA “America Oggi”, the audio-magazine “Speak Up”for their assistance, and Lavazza Coffees.

Copyright 2005 The Salt Queen Foundation All Rights Reserved