German Nonfiction Prize: 206 Titles Entered in the 2023 Competition

In News by Porter Anderson

This year’s books submitted for the German Nonfiction Prize include books written in German from the United Kingdom and Liechtenstein.

The 2023 German Nonfiction Prize jury. From left: Jeanne Rubner, selected by her colleagues to be the jury chair; Michael Lemling; Stefan Koldehoff; on the tablet, Adam Soboczynski; holding the tablet, Mirjam Zadoff; Julika Griem; and Markus Rex. Image: Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, Ventr.Media

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

Nonfiction ‘That Inspires Social Debate’
The Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, Germany’s publishers and booksellers association, has announced today (January 10) that the market’s leading award in nonfiction has attracted 206 books put forward by 128 publishers.

The breakdown of these German-language titles’ publishers is:

  • 100 publishers based in Germany
  • 13 publishers based in Austria
  • 13 houses based in Switzerland
  • One publishing house based in Liechtenstein
  • One publishing house based in the United Kingdom

In this contest, each publisher is entitled to submit a maximum of two monographs published or to be published between May of last year and the coming April, when the nominations will be announced. In addition, each publisher may recommend up to five more titles from its own list. This roster of recommendations comprises 156 titles. Beyond that number, the jury for the German Nonfiction Prize may request additional titles from that list.

As our readers know, the German Nonfiction Prize is worth a total €42,500 (US$45,627). The winner receives €25,000 (US$26,834), and the seven runners-up €2,500 each (US$2,683). And what this award’s jury is searching for is, expressly, “a German-language nonfiction book that inspires social debate.”

The Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung des Börsenvereins des Deutschen Buchhandels (Foundation for Book Culture and the Promotion of Reading of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association) awards the prize. The Deutsche Bank Stiftung (Deutsche Bank Foundation) is the main sponsor of the prize, which is also supported by the city of Hamburg and the foundation ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius.

As we reported in November, the prize has named its jury:

  • Julika Griem (Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities [KWI] Essen)
  • Stefan Koldehoff (Deutschlandfunk)
  • Michael Lemling (Buchhandlung Lehmkuhl bookshop)
  • Markus Rex (Alfred Wegener Institute)
  • Jeanne Rubner (Technical University of Munich)
  • Adam Soboczynski (Die ZEIT)
  • Mirjam Zadoff (Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism)

The University of Munich’s Rubner has been chosen by her fellow jurists as their chair in the first meeting of the panel.

As Publishing Perspectives readers will remember, author Stephan Malinowski was named the winner of the 2022 German Nonfiction Prize for his book Die Hohenzollern und die Nazis: Geschichte einer Kollaboration (The Hohenzollerns and the Nazis: History of a Collaboration), published by Ullstein Buchverlage.

The June 1 announcement of the winner is to be held in the Small Hall of the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, a move that reflects the program’s new partnership with the city. 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.

Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie is the new site of the German Nonfiction Prize’s winner’s announcement and ceremony this year on June 1. The concert complex is the large, metallic-topped structure on the right in this image from November 24, 2022. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Canetti


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.

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.com, 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.