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Camilo José Marzola Vélez

The preview event for the First Lidertura Narrative Contest 2022 was held on Friday, July 15 at the Rafael Milanés García library and broadcast live from the official Lidertura’s Facebook page. At that meeting, the four winning authors were announced; twelve of the twenty members of the First Lidertura Cycle participated. First place was awarded to young Camilo José Marzola Vélez, with his story “No se Busca a Nadie” (“No One is Looking for Anyone”).

Camilo is a young poet and writer. He was born in Cereté, Córdoba, on March 22, 2000. With aspirations for a university degree, he is seeking a Bachelor's Degree in Foreign Languages ​​with an Emphasis in English; he studied at the University of Córdoba's language center. He belongs to a group of contemporary readers and writers at the Rafael Milanés García municipal library. He has actively participated in events of the reading community in the same center, sharing his experiences with literature and poetry.

Below is a series of questions Camilo was asked, as well as his answers.

How did the desire to write arise in you?

In essence, we are entrusted with a particular task or gift before coming into the world, what we commonly call: purpose. Is it my purpose to write? For some time, when I didn't know what I wanted for my life, I searched in many ways and places for my truth. It won't let you sleep until you find it, as if you were sent into the world in search of something, and when you find it, you will be perfect. In that search you do not know what you are looking for until you find it, and sometimes you doubt if it is really what you want, or what you deserve. Writing is a gift that has been given to me, or rather entrusted to me, and it arose in me due to a thought, not mine, of the almighty God.

Name some books that made a big positive impact on your life?

-The Bible

- The Client by John Grisham

-Women by Charles Bukowski

-Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche

-The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

-Ami by Enrique Barrios

-Jesus: The Son of Man by Gibran Khalil Gibran

You won first place in the First Lidertura Narrative Contest 2022, with the story "No One is Looking for Anyone." When you started writing it, what did you want to convey with this story?

I wanted to represent, with the gift that has been given to me, one of the many realities that surrounds me. When you try to represent emotions, feelings, experiences, searches for a universe amongst the diversity of realities, you find truths in any corner. You are filled with love with any situation of struggle that represents breathing; it is love for life, and nothing more than that. To fight against suffrage, is to survive from the verse, and to understand that our brothers also carry a cross, and sometimes to suffer is one of the maximum expressions of art. In the winning text, "Nobody is wanted" the title basically represents that here, we are all protagonists of this story, because in a certain way we have all cried for our dreams, and we have needed words of encouragement and revival.

What were your biggest challenges in developing the story? And in what way were you able to overcome them?

Since I am a poor speller, I paid a friend who helped me 100 pesos. I am one of those people who is constantly critical of my own writing. While I search for my path and my truth, I am always second guessing myself. Sometimes it is like being a ship in sight of a lighthouse. I do not know where I am going, but I am not lost. Sailing in the sea of ​​writing is essentially fighting against the spiritual sense that is carried inside; it is a sword between the physical and the metaphysical, so anchors are needed in the vacuum, so they do not damage the ports, much less cross bridges.

What did it mean to you to have achieved first place in the First Lidertura Narrative Contest 2022?

It was a response, from the creator to me, and also an awakening and an awareness of power, the power of change. It was a clear example that truth can be used as a voice that communicates meaning to our lives, and that something free can be made of an intervened space.

How has your Lidertura experience been?

Rewarding, enriching, life-giving, creative, and loving, with sacrifice and friendship.

What are your goals for this year 2022?

Be thankful of each day that has been given to me; the rest I feel is vanity.

What advice would you give to young people who are thinking of starting to write?

I would advise them to read SO YOU WANT TO BE A WRITER? by Charles Buckowski.

Besides writing, leadership resides in the young Camilo. He is someone who lives every day to the fullest. He seeks constant learning for himself and everything that surrounds him. He seeks to increase his knowledge by reading the Bible and other works that have a positive impact on him. These works have given birth to the desire to delicately tattoo on paper letters and words full of essence, culture, his own style and interpretations about life. They have the ability to positively influence others to recognize the beauty of the inner being, and live a life without limits.

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