Upon a proposal of mayor Jasmin Imamović, the City of Tuzla established Literary Meetings Cum grano salis in 2001 and established the prize “Meša Selimović” for the best novel published in a previous year in Bosnia and Hercegovina, Croatia, Serbia or Montenegro.
The initial intention of the Literary Meetings was to renew coordination and overcome imposed borders among writers and those who love literature who belong to the same language (South Slavic) region and to whom politics, clashes and divisions from the near and far past imposed borders. The idea of the founder of the Meetings has been to stress all those things which connet us and not those ones that divide us in the region of the Western Balkans.
Tuzla opened its door to writers and publishers from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro and became a center of the novel in the Balkans. The prize is named after one of the greatest novelists from this region – Meša Selimović, first of all because of the desire of the Municipality of Tuzla to include valorization of cultural and historical heritage of the city among its priorities. Meša Selimović for sure is a part of the history of the wider region, but also as a citizen of Tuzla he deserves preservation of his work, promotion of his opus and his talent.
A procedure of awarding the best novel published in a previous year in language area of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro begins with nomination of novels by selectors. One selector is appointed for each country. A decision about award to the best novel from the previous year is made by a special jury.
Previous selectors and members of the jury were famous men of letters, literary critics, slavists and professors of literature (Ivan lovrenović, Enver Kazaz, Branko Čegec, Marko Vešović, Irfan Horozović, Julijana Matanović, Andrew Wachtel, Renate Lachmann, Mirko Kovač, Filip David, Mile Stojić, Andrej Nikolaidis, Ognjen Spahić, Pavle Goranović, Muhamed Dželilović, Aleksandar Jerkov, Mihailo Pantić, Semezdin Mehmedinović, Svein Monnesland, Boguslaw Zielinski, Robert Hodel, Davor Beganović, Maciej Falski, Nedžad Ibrahimović, etc.).