Plovdiv has started his literary life ever since the second half of the 19th century., initially connected to the names of the eminent Revival period men of letters – Nayden Gerov and Yoakim Gruev. The 5-year Plovdiv period of one of the greatest Bulgarian writers, Ivan Vazov, is truly remarkable – with the exception of his unique novel `Under the Yoke`, he wrote here all of his key works: Epic of the Forgotten (Epopeya na zabravenite), The Uncles (Chichovtsi), and Outcasts (Nemili-nedragi) here in Plovdiv.
Zachary Stoyanov wrote in Plovdiv the first volume of his “Notes on the Bulgarian Uprisings”. In the same period, Konstantin Velichkov and Petko R. Slaveykov lived here. The Plovdiv literary history features the short stories by Hristo Maximov (Mircho) of the collection “Tamen Svjat” (i.e. Dark World), the early poetry attempts of the future classic Peyo K. Yavorov, the elegy master Dimcho Debelyanov, the poetic confessions of the “Madonna in Black”, Ekaterina Nencheva, the early publications of Nikolay Liliev - then student at the High School of Trading and future master of stylistics.
Later, for shorter or longer periods, other eminent names of Bulgarian literature have interwoven their lives and literary works with Plovdiv – the man of encyclopedic knowledge, Nikolay Raynov, the satirist poet Vassil Pavourdzhiev, the writer and art critic, Vitcho Ivanov, the teacher at the St.Augustine French College, Petar Dinekov. Gencho Stoev wrote in Plovdiv his famous novel “The Price of Gold” (in BG: "Tsenanta na zlatoto"), and remained connected for quite some time with the "Hristo G.Danov" Publishing House. We would also like to add the names of Hristo Borina and Hristo Kazandzhiev, Yordan Kovachev and Iliah Enchev, as well as the unjustly forgotten Enyo Kyuvliev (with the favourite to the kids of those days heroes – Chicho Pey and Asma Bei).
All of the above mentioned, as well as many others, in a way lay the foundations and support the literary life in the city under the hills. In 1936, the literary club “Peyo K.Yavorov” was created in Plovdiv (with the participation of Dimitar Petrov-Fanteto, Assen Halachev, Krustyo Belev, etc.) On September 18th, 1944, the club was renamed to the “Hristo Smirnenski” Literary Group (with the participation of Vitcho Ivanov, Peyo Dolev, Hristo Gorov, Kiril Voynov, David Ovadiya, Ivan Tsvetkov, Lyuben Stanev, Hristo Kazandzhiev, Maria Simova, etc).
In 1948 Chairman of the Association was Dimitar Dimov, who later wrote the popular novel “Tobacco” (in BG: "Tyutyun") and became Chairman of the Union of Bulgarian Writers. In 1952, the Cabinet of the Young Writer was founded (with the participation of Vassil Urumov, Ivan Theofilov - Svezhin, Liliana Mikhailova, Ivan Kassabova, Emil Kalutchev, Yordan Rousskov - the only BG writer that was in jail for a literary work – “Cry for Liberty” in defense of the 1956 Hungarian Anti-Communist Revolution).
In 1959 that Cabinet of the Young Writer was renamed in accordance to the socialist ideas to Cabinet of Literary Workers (with the participation of Raddy Hristov – Chairman, and Svetomir Babakov, Vassil Urumov, Nikoaly Kazandzhiev, Emil Kalutchev, Kosta Strandzhev, Ivan Kassabov, Alexander Banderov, etc.).
In the following years, until the present days, the Association of the Writers in Plovdiv has been existing as part and parcel of the Union of Bulgarian Writers (located in Sofia). April 4th, 1991, the Association was registered at the Plovdiv Regional Court as a separate legal entity – an organization with a non-commercial aim, separate and independent of any other creative unions. The Association’s chairmen in the 1980s and 1990s were: Kosta Strandzhev, Petar Atanassov, Georgi Alexiev, Dobromir Tonev, Todor Chonov.
Sadly, a large number of writers, members of the Association, passed away during the years: Kosta Strandzhev, Ivan Nikolov, Rashko Sougarev, Oleg Kirilov, Nikolay Kazandzhiev, Nikola Dzhokov, Svilen Pankov, Nikolay Vatov, Dobromir Tonev… May they rest in peace!
In the present days, the Association of the Writers in Plovdiv is an organization of 103 members – poets, bell-lettres writers, literary critics, etc. , living in Plovdiv and its vicinity, no matter their political, religious or ethnic affiliation.