Awards: The EU Prize for Literature Consortium on the Program’s Changes

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

The two federations in the European Union Prize consortium outline the award’s new structure and their regret at the departure of the Writers’ Council.

A banner in Brussels points up the opening of this year’s French presidency of the Council of the European Union. Image, January 17 – Getty iStockphoto: Alexandros Michailidis

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

See also: European Writers’ Council Withdraws From the EU Prize for Literature

EUPL Consortium: ‘To Promote EUPL Authors’
We have a follow-up today (February 7) to our report on Friday (February 4) on the 30-nation European Writers’ Council‘s (EWC) decision to withdraw its participation in the consortium that administers the European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL).

We’re able today to provide a joint response from the remaining two organizations in the prize’s governing consortium: the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) and the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF). The two federations in Brussels here are speaking together, then, as the EU Prize for Literature’s consortium. You’ll see they express their regret at the writers’ council’s decision to step away.

In barest outlines, the key structural adjustment in the new plan is that the prize—which until now has awarded up to 14 national winners each year—will now award one winner and five categorized special mentions annually. The consortium’s statement indicates that this is in response to the stipulations of the European Commission in renewing the prize’s funding.

As in the case of the writers’ council, we present the consortium’s statement, as provided to us, in full:

The European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) has been renewed by the European Commission for a new cycle, running from 2022 to 2024. This will be the fifth cycle of the prize, introducing a new approach and concept in line with the commission’s call for tender, which requested the change in formula including having fewer laureates, and reflecting new realities of Creative Europe’s translation support program.

Despite the changes, the renewal of the project guarantees its continuation and ensures EUPL will continue to award authors and celebrate their works. In line with the philosophy of EUPL, all countries involved in the Creative Europe program will continue to participate in the EUPL, all nominated authors will be promoted at literary events across Europe, and all nominated books will appear in the EUPL anthology.

Started in 2009, the EUPL spotlights the creativity and diverse wealth of Europe’s contemporary literature in the field of fiction, promotes the circulation of literature within Europe, and encourages greater interest in non-national literary works.

  • The 2022-2024 cycle introduces a new format for the European Union Prize for Literature: initial book selection for each participating country will be conducted by national organizations, each entitled to submit one book of high literary quality with potential for translatability. The EUPL consortium decided to work with nominating organizations which have the means to promote the authors in numerous occasions especially outside of their respective countries.
  • A second round of selection will be conducted by a seven-member European jury, who will thus select an overall prize-winner and five special mention awards. The members of the jury, who are yet to be revealed, have extensive experience in the sector and are best placed to select books able to reach a wide audience across Europe and beyond.
  • The authors whose works win these new categories will be awarded a financial prize, half of which will include a grant to support translations of their winning books. The results of the 2022 edition of the Prize will be announced at the Paris Book Fair on 21 April 2022.

The practical organization and management of the prize for this new cycle is handled by the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) and the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF).

However, the new cycle marks the departure of one of the founding partners of EUPL–the European Writers’ Council (EWC). Both FEP and EIBF regret the decision of the EWC to withdraw from EUPL, as authors are a fundamental part of the book chain.

The consortium will continue to promote EUPL authors and help raise their visibility at national and international events. We will do so by working together with all stakeholders in the book trade, including organizations representing authors–of which EWC forms an integral part–even though this will for now no longer be the case within the EUPL consortium.

We are looking forward to revealing the nominated books in the next weeks, with the overall winner being announced in April.

For more information on the European Union Prize for Literature, its new structure, and partners, see “What Is the EUPL?

Fourteen Nations Selected for 2022

Again, for more on the Writers’ Council’s decision that it needs to withdraw from the consortium, we can refer you to Friday’s article.

This year’s countries active in the European Union Prize for Literature under its new structure are Austria; Flemish-speaking Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Georgia; Greece; Ireland; Italy; Lithuania; North Macedonia; Norway; Romania; Slovakia; Spain; and Ukraine.

We appreciate the assistance of the European Writers’ Council, the Latvian Writers’ Union, the Federation of European Publishers, and the European and International Booksellers Federation for their assistance in our preparation of today’s and Friday’s news stories.

Books for sale in Brussels’ Galerie Bortier on the Rue de la Madeleine. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Photoshopix

More from Publishing Perspectives on world publishing and book awards is here, more on the European Union Prize for Literature is here, more on the Federation of European Publishers is here, more on the European and International Booksellers Federation is here, more on the European Writers’ Council is here, and more on Europe and publishing is here.

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.