German Book Prize Names Its Jury, Opens Submissions

In News by Porter Anderson

With its seven jurors named, the 2023 German Book Prize in fiction has opened its submission period to publishers, through March 22.

Jurors selected for the 2023 German Book Prize program are, upper row from left, Shila Behjat; Heinz Drügh; Melanie Muhl; and Lisa Schumacher. On the lower row from left, Katharina Teutsch; Florian Valerius; and Matthias Weichelt

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

Deadline for Submissions: March 22
The academy of the German Book Prize, a fiction award, has announced its jury today (February 7) and has opened up the program to submissions from publishers.

Among Europe’s most closely watched contests, the €25,000 German Book Prize is awarded by the Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung des Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, the foundation of Germany’s publishers and booksellers association.

Newly named jurors:

  • Shila Behjat (journalist and publicist)
  • Heinz Drügh (Goethe University Frankfurt am Main)
  • Melanie Muhl ( Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung )
  • Lisa Schumacher (bookshop “Steinmetz’sche Buchhandlung”, Offenbach)
  • Katharina Teutsch (independent critic)
  • Florian Valerius (bookshop “Gegenlicht Buchhandlung”, Trier)
  • Matthias Weichelt ( Sense and Form literary journal)

To ensure the greatest level of independence for the award, the Akademie Deutscher Buchpreis creates and names a new jury every year. It is, however, possible for a person to serve as a member of the jury more than once.

Award Ceremony: October 16

By tradition, the program’s award ceremony is to be held in the Kaisersaal, the imperial hall, of the Frankfurt Römer on October 16, near the opening of Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 18 to 22).

The winning author in this competition receives €25,000 (US$26,757). Each of the five finalists receives €2,500 (US$2,675).

As Publishing Perspectives readers know, the German Book Prize in 2022 went to Kim de L’Horizon’s Blutbuch (Blood Book), published in July by DuMont Buchverlag, one of Germany’s key independent houses. Blutbuch explores family secrets, as triggered by a grandmother’s dementia and told by a narrator who is sexually non-binary and experiencing a certain release in writing. 

For this year’s cycle, publishers can make their submissions through March 22.

Each publisher is allowed to submit two German-language novels—and to additionally recommend up to five titles—from its current or forthcoming lists.

To participate, applicants must be members of the Börsenverein or of the Swiss or Austrian equivalents, the Schweizer Buchhändler- und Verleger-Verband and Hauptverband des Österreichischen Buchhandels.

Books submitted for award consideration must be published between October 1 of last year and September 19, when the shortlist is expected to be announced. The books themselves, reading copies, ebooks, or galley proofs  must be submitted by June 16.

The German Book Prize is selected through a staged process.

  • The jury reviews all novels submitted by publishers and compiles a longlist of 20 titles
  • That longlist is to be made public on August 22.
  • The jurors then select six titles for the shortlist, to be released September 19.
  • The authors of those six novels learn only at the award ceremony which of them has won the prize.

Publishers looking to make submissions should see the forms online available here.

In social media, follow #dbp23 for news of the award’s progress this year.

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

About the Author

Porter Anderson

Facebook Twitter

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.