Brussels, 23 March 2009
The juries selecting the award winners of the 2009 European Union Prize for Literature have been established in the 12 countries participating in the first round of the prize, which will be granted in September 2009. The aim of the Prize is to put the spotlight on the creativity, diversity and wealth of Europe’s contemporary literature and to promote the circulation of literature within Europe.
The European Union Prize for contemporary literature is a prize for emerging talent. The awards will be granted over the three years 2009 to 2011 in such a way that by the end of the period, there will be one winning author from each of the 34 countries participating in the EU’s Culture Programme. In 2009, the prize will be granted to authors from the first group of 12 countries: Austria, Croatia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Sweden. A European Ambassador of Literature will also be selected to promote the prize and the winning authors throughout Europe.
A Consortium consisting of the European Booksellers Federation (EBF), the European Writers' Council (EWC) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) is organising the process to select the authors and is also developing the award ceremony. The selection of the jury members was coordinated by European Writers' Council. The members of the national juries are authors, booksellers and/or publishers. By the end of May 2009, each jury will select one winning emerging author, based on a set of guidelines and criteria for the award.
The Prize is co-financed by the EU's flagship funding programme in the area of culture, the Culture Programme, and the Consortium. The Programme supports transnational cultural cooperation projects involving operators from a minimum of three different countries participating in the Programme. It also provides specific support for the translation of literary works and is open to all cultural sectors except audiovisual for which a separate programme exists. The Programme also funds the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage and the European Border Breakers' Awards (EBBAs).
The Award ceremony for the first group of winners will take place at the end of the Culture Programme Conference – on 28 September in Brussels. This conference will present past and ongoing exchanges of experiences and good practices between cultural operators participating, or wishing to participate, in the Culture Programme.
The Award Ceremony precedes the European Culture Forum, which brings together around 600 participants from civil society organisations active in the cultural field, Member States and EU institutions, in order to take stock of the progress being made in implementing the European Agenda for Culture. The European Agenda was launched in 2007, and is the first ever EU-level strategy for collaboration in the area of culture. It aims to foster intercultural dialogue, promote culture as a catalyst for creativity, and use culture as a vital element in the Union's international relations.
To find out more:
About the European Union Prize for Literature:
European Commission: Culture: the prize
European Commission: Culture: Culture Programme Conference:
European Commission: Culture: Policy developments: