A Brief History of the German Book Prize

Germany has a magical literary history | Pixabay
Germany has a magical literary history | Pixabay
Photo of Megan King
15 March 2017

German writers have used their literary works to examine the nature of the human spirit through various means, including history, philosophy and war, for over 300 years. It is a country overflowing with literary talent and achievement.

Germany’s rich literary landscape is almost 350 years old | © del/Pixabay

Each year in October, the German Book Prize is awarded to the best German-language novel of the year. Founded in 2005 and based on the same idea as other prestigious literary prizes such as the Man Booker Prize, this award aims to draw the attention of the literary world to German authors.

The Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels Stiftung – the Foundation of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association – awards the prize, with the German Book Prize Academy overseeing the process with independence and transparency. The Academy is made up of representatives from the book and media industry, whose major task is to select the jury members who will choose the final award winner. The seven jurors will personally assess all the books that are submitted.

Each submission is carefully read by members of the jury | © DariuszSankowski/Pixabay

Eligible books include those published in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, plus they need to be nominated by their publishers and in shops before the shortlist is announced in September of the award year. The winner is awarded a whopping €25,000, while the five shortlisted authors receive €2,500 each.

The award is presented on the first event marking the start of the Frankfurt Book Fair. The six shortlisted authors will find out which of them is to receive the German Book Prize during the official presentation. This year’s award presentation takes place on October 9, 2017.

The award winner is announced in Frankfurt | © lapping/Pixabay

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