CNS Croatia

My First Book – Karlovac, Croatia By Didi Jyoti


This Autumn, children in Croatia again have the opportunity to write and illustrate their own book. The project was started by volunteers of CNS: Center for Neohumanist Studies, Karlovac in Spring 2004 and the project is now in its 4th year. More than 700 schools in the country received this year’s contest poster.

The workshops for My First Book, run by volunteers, have started in more than 6 different towns and places in Croatia including Dubrovnik, and Korchula Island, for children from age 6 -15 who are writing their own stories, full of fantasy and ideas. The stories are chosen in the fiction and non-fiction realm – adventure stories, detective and fantasy stories, science fiction, fairytales, and stories from daily life, romances and more. Children have the chance to win and get their story published.
This contest helps children to expand their abilities on many levels:

  • it exercises their creative ability in writing their own story
  • it exercises their imagination in illustrating their ideas
  • it trains them in drawing, colouring and painting
  • it exercises grammar and language skills, writing and composing

It is very special to experience how during the workshops the children transform from listening into activity and the atmosphere in the classroom turns into a busy work-filled atmosphere, a place of concentrated creative thinking and doing. It is very inspiring to watch children create their own piece of writing and to share with them the excitement they feel about their stories.

In Dubrovnik one school has gotten especially interested this Fall and already has had 8 workshops. Around 40 children from that school will participate in an extended workshop after they write their first version of their story and make their first drawings. CNS volunteers together with teachers from elementary school Lapad will correct their grammatical mistakes and inspire their imagination for drawing.

Elementary school Petar Kanavelic from the island of Korcula also had one workshop. This is quite a rare opportunity for them because the islands in Croatia are very disconnected from most of the happenings. They were very excited to participate and in their minds they already prepared imaginative stories. All these stories, have a chance to be published in the form of a book. The children are also eager to come to the yearly celebration of the winners in the theatre in Karlovac next year. They are making plans to come for a two-day school trip with a rented bus.My First Book contest has the support of the Ministry of Education. This month it will also be announced in the well-known children’s magazine Modra Lasta. For more information, please visit

Watch out Mines!

Another project of CNS ‘Watch out Mines’ supported by the Rotary Club of Karlovac and the National Centre of Demining received funds from the International Trust Fund (USA) for publishing 10,000 copies of a story book called “Pazi Mine “– (Watch out Mines!). These books will educate children living in areas which are still dangerous with unexploded mines. The story book was written and illustrated by 5 children of the Creative Writing Club of CNS in Karlovac.