By Nika Matanović
Matchmaking Literature and Film 2018
Nika Matanović(2000) is still in high school. Her first published title was a longer narrative story Don’t Panic/Brez panike (2013). Her next book came out in 2016, a more complex novel titled Our Class (Razred), which she wrote when she was only 14. She is currently writing on her third novel.
LOGLINE of the book
Our Class is an unusual and fresh young adult novel. The author is a teenage girl who should have probably been bursting with hormones, but she rather spends her time reading, immersing herself in stories and even writing novels about her peers.
synopsis of the book / STORY
The storyline of the novel encloses first-person tales of the four main characters that alternate from one character to the next in the style of diary entries (Sabrina, Zara, Greg and Nonto).They are schoolmates and each of them is a representative of a typicall group of children: the cool guys (Greg), the Barbie girls (Zara) and the misfits (Sabrina), the fourth group consist of 1 member only (Nonto), who is different because of the colour of her skin. All four main characters are brought together by the fact that none of them really fit in their groups. Through their stories a lot of topics are covered, that involve teenagers: self-image problems, eating disorders, first love encounters, culture shock and prejudice. There are a lot of side-stories that give opportunity to evolve into independent tales and those include other peers of the four kids named and cover issues like domestic violence, vanity, broken homes, the problem of teen modelling, etc. During the school year all four kids grow up, get through some hardships, in the end, everything turns into a positive direction.
The novel Our Class deals with the problems of growing up. What is important for readers is that they feel the voice behind the book is that of their peers. Nika wrote the book when she 14. Her story is complex, realistic and comprehensive. She writes for her readers using a young language style, through a prism of the problems they face, but also not resigning herself to a simplified narrative. She makes it complex, intertwining the views of the main characters and also illustrating modern society through her narration style, a society that is troubled by increasing individualism and a lack of real values.
Notably, the author also writes from the perspective of a boy, Greg, which attests to her level of maturity. Nika’s narrative voice is unique due to her young age, fresh language and the seriousness of the topics she puts into words from the perspective of a teenager, but without even a hint of naivety and idealism.
pUBLISHER company profile
Založba Pivec publishes original and translated literature for children and adults, books from the fields of the humanities, social sciences and medicine, while recently also publishing audio books and music albums. In recent years it has become the largest publishing house in the region of north-east Slovenia, publishing more than forty books every year.
Zala Stanonik is a graduate of the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana (main courses German language and literature and History). She is the co-owner of the publishing house Založba Pivec and works there as the editor for chidren's and youth literature as well as some other non-fiction sections. She also takes care of the rights department. She translates from German and English language.
MAIN AWARDS / FESTIVALS OF WRITER
Due to the fact, that the author was underaged at the time of publishing of the work, she did not attend any festivals abroad, only those nearby her home. The same fact applys to the non-existence of awards. Nontheless here is a short list of her presentations at different schools, libraries, etc. And of acknowledges given by readers and institutions.
Presentations: First High School Maribor, Maribor Primary School of Fighters for the Northern Border, Reading Marathon of the Association of Friends of Youth Maribor, Gornja Radgona Public Library, Franc Ksaver Meško Ormož Public Library, Second High School of Maribor, Dušan Flis Hoče Primary School, Dr Jože Pučnik Črešnjevec Primary School.
Rewievs given by: Marijana Korotaj from the Ormož Public Library, Petra Samec Štefančič from Medvode Public Library, Katarina Rauter from the Gornja Radgona Public Library
PAST MAIN PUBLICATIONS OF WRITER
A longer narrative story Don’t Panic/Brez panike (2013). Novel Our Class (Razred), 2016.
Novel Concrete Jungle (Betonska džungla), In preparation
MAIN BIBLIOGRAPHY & SELECTION IN MAIN FESTIVALS OF PUBLISHER
Here the list of the recent main bibliography (2015-2018):
Barbara Simoniti, Suzi Bricelj (illustrations): Arčibald/Archibald, 2018 Avgust Demšar: Otok/Island, 2018.
Petra Kolmančič: Tretja oseba dvojine/Third Person Dual, 2017 Manica K. Musil: Slon Stane/Stan the Elephant, 2017
Josip Osti: Pred zrcalom/In Front of the Mirror, 2017
Bina Štampe Žmavc: Vse-stvar-je/U-ni-verse, 2017
Bina Štampe Žmavc: Čarimatika/Magimathics, 2016
Avgust Demšar: Pohorska transverzala/The Transversetrail of Pohorje, 2016 Bina Štampe Žmavc, Alenka Sottler (illustrations): Pesem za liro/Song for the Lyre, 2015
The publishing company is active in other literary areas and has been organising around 50 literary events annually. Since 2005 it has been hosting the Poetry Tournament, a literary competition that awards the most original poem written in Slovene. In the period of 2011−13, the publishing company also organised European Poetical Tournaments that were held in Zalaegeszeg, Sarajevo, Košice and Maribor, with performances from poets coming from seven different countries.
The authors who are publishing at Založba Pivec are constatly performing on several national and international festivals and other cultural events.
AUDIOVISUAL RIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS BY PUBLISHER
So far none of the works, published by Založba Pivec, was highlighted in any audiovisual form apart from books (harcover, paperback and e-bbok formats) and audio books.
School environment: a lot of the story enfoldes in school classes, the gymnasium, outdoor field. Some scenes happen in home environment.
Part of the story takes place in Ljubljana and Bled, but those locations can easily be adjusted to any other city.
The story takes place in Slovenia, but can easily be adjustet to any other country as well.
The main character Sabrina, the misfit, is a 13-year-old unconventional teenage girl that lives with her mother who uses cliché parenting techniques and her brother William, a high school student. She spends her time thinking a lot, is artistically talented and has a responsible view of the world. She misses her father, a photographer, who is the only one who understands her, but is always away. There are sparks of infatuation between her and her neighbour Greg, the cool guy, the second oldest of five in his family, a boy that looks for his place in society by following the motto, “If you aren’t part of the majority, you’re no one. A nerd. A loser. Epic fail.” This is quite the opposite to the somewhat introverted Sabrina who despises average, boring people, but they are still attracted to one another. We almost witness the birth of ideal young love, but then alcohol gets involved and complications arise.
Zara (or the Barbie doll) lives with her mother, the emotional ice queen, owner of a modelling agency, who only cares about success and appearances. She is haunted by the image of her deceased sister Macey, a beautiful model that represents her unattainable ideal. In her efforts to attain a perfect body, with no regard for reality, the pills, purging and starving herself lead her to a disaster. In the search for her perfect self, she loses and finds real friends, parents and values and creates her own way of life.
Then there is Nonto, the new girl, the one from Africa, who has to deal with intolerance because she is different. She makes friends with a boy who wants to escape the troubles in his family life and on the path to a seeming solution, he takes her with him down this path. The risky life on the edge of society and theft leads to end up at a police station that, in addition to lots of fear, leads her to a solution.
PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL AVAILABLE
Promotional text and synopsys of the book in English language, sample translation of the book in English language. Those materials are used for promoting the sale of book rights into other laguages.
FILM AND TV REFERENCES (Sample films)
The applier finds it hard to expose a specific film title for reference, due to lack of expertise on this matter. Furthermore the story of the novel gives multiple opportunities into which a film could be developed.
FIND OUT MORE
Link to the webpage of the book (in Slovenian): https://zalozba-pivec.com/knjigarna/razred
TARGET AUDIENCE AGE
TARGET AUDIENCE PROFILE
Our Class is a young adult novel, written for a teenage audience by a teenager. It addresses problems, encounters and the life of typical teenagers and doesn't hide in front of tough issues. The main point of view is that of a teenager and every aspect of a teenage life is reflected through those eyes. The main purpose of this writing style is to present the teenagers way of thinking and feeling and addressing the issues mentioned. Only later on, as the book was already published, another dimension of its genuinity was brought alive. A broad audience of adults developed, which found the book as some sort of manual on how to better understand and handle the troubles of teenagers.
If considering a film production this aspect would be of high interest as well.
LOCATIONS IN WHICH STORY TAKES PLACE
AGE IN WHICH STORY TAKES PLACE
TV (Film and Series) / Cinema / Theatre
AVAILABLE RIGHTS FOR TERRITORIES
Založba Pivec - Zala Stanonik
Other information connected to the project at the Matchmakingforum at : firstname.lastname@example.org