By Vinutha Mallya
The European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL), which recognizes the best emerging authors in Europe, was announced at the Frankfurt Book Fair on Wednesday, 8 October—the first time the prize has been announced at Frankfurt.
“It gives us a good opportunity to give visibility to the prize,” said Michel Magnier, the European Commission’s Director for Culture and Creativity, while making the announcement in the Lesezelt (Reading Tent) in the Agora.
The 13 winners of the 2014 prize are Ben Blushi (Albania), Milen Ruskov (Bulgaria), Jan Němec (Czech Republic), Makis Tsitas (Greece), Oddný Eir (Iceland), Janis Jonevs (Latvia), Armin Öhri (Liechtenstein), Pierre J. Mejlak (Malta), Ognjen Spahić (Montenegro), Marente de Moor (The Netherlands), Uglješa Šajtinac (Serbia), Birgül Oğuz (Turkey) and Evie Wyld (United Kingdom).
Each prize winner receives 5,000 euros. Their publishers are encouraged to apply for EU funding to have the winning books translated into other languages, to reach newer markets.
The prize is open to the countries that participate, or will participate, in the new Creative Europe program (including the 28 EU Member States, plus the EFTA/EEA countries and an increasing number of EU candidate or potential candidate countries).
The prize is organized by the European Commission, in cooperation with the European and International Booksellers’ Federation (EIBF), the European Writers’ Council (EWC) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP).
The announcement of the prize at the Frankfurt Book Fair was followed by a debate among European authors, addressing the questions of literature, borders, diversity, and multilingualism. The debate featured Marica Bodrožić (Germany, prize winner winner 2013), Mely Kiyak (Germany), Katri Lipson (Finland, prize winner 2013), and Michail Shishkin (Russia).