The German Nonfiction Prize Names a New Venue

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

The 2023 German Nonfiction Prize ceremony will be set on June 1 in Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, thanks to a new partnership with the city.

The Elbharmonie in Hamburg in a photo made in January 2018, about a year after the hall’s official opening. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Canetti

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

Nonfiction ‘That Inspires Social Debate’
The German Nonfiction Prize has announced today (September 26) new partners: the city of Hamburg and the Zeit-Stiftung [Foundation] Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius.

The Deutsche Bank Stiftung (Deutsche Bank Foundation), remains the main sponsor of the German Nofiction Prize, and the Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung des Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (Foundation for Book Culture and the Promotion of Reading of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association) welcomes these two new partners, who are also supporting the award this year.

With Hamburg onboard, in fact, the award ceremony this time will move to Hamburg, into the small concert hall at the extraordinary Elbphilharmonie, on June 1.

If you haven’t had a chance to see the “Elphi,” as the Elbphilharmonie is called, see if you can get an invitation to the awards ceremony on the first of June. The complex originally designed by the Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron is almost as famous for its cost overruns (reaching a reported €866 million, or US$831.9 million) before it opened in January 2017, the new structure stands atop a former warehouse and has three concert venues, as well as a hotel, a small number of apartments, and retail outlets.

There was further controversy after the opening, too, in involving the Great Hall’s acoustics, some musicians panning them. The acoustician in charge of the design was Yasuhisa Toyota.

Publishers Invited to Submit

Window cleaners work over the curved-glass surfaces of Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, June 22, 2021. Image – Getty iStockphoto: GeoGif

Meanwhile, the prize’s organizers have opened submissions for the 2023 cycle of the award, and publishers will find what they need to make those submissions at this page.

Each publishing house can submit one or two German-language monographs from its current or upcoming program, and can also recommend up to five other titles. Books put forward for consideration must be published between May of this year and April, and must be available in bookstores no later than April 18, when the nominations will be announced.

The German Nonfiction Prize is awarded by the Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung des Börsenvereins des Deutschen Buchhandels for outstanding nonfiction books written in German that inspire social debate.

The winning book is selected through a two-stage process. An independent jury, to be named in November, will compile a list of nominations comprising eight titles. That list is what will be announced on April 18.

From this selection, the members of the jury will then choose the program’s nonfiction book of the year. The eight authors will find out which of them has won the German Nonfiction Prize only on the evening of the award ceremony itself at the Elbphilharmonie.

The winner is to receive €25,000 (US$24,017), the seven other finalists €2,500 (US$2,401) each.

Follow news of the German Nonfiction Prize by hashing it #DeutscherSachbuchpreis on social media.

This is Publishing Perspectives’ 171st awards report published in the 178 days since our 2022 operations began on January 3.

More from Publishing Perspectives on the German Nonfiction Prize is here, and more on publishing and book awards in general is here. More on the German market is here, and more on nonfiction is here.

And more from us on the still-ongoing 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.