The German Audiobook Prize Names Its 2023 Winners

In News by Porter Anderson

The German Audiobook Prize opens the Lit.Cologne festival with new 2023 honors in seven categories including ‘Best Radio Play.’

In Berlin’s Pariser Platz near the Brandenburg Gate. Image – Getty iStockphoto: 7000

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

‘The Strengths and Possibilities of the Acoustic Medium’
As eyes (and maybe ears) glaze over amid the 26 categories in the Audie Awards’ 2023 list of finalists, the German Audiobook Prize has demonstrated overnight that it’s able to take care of business in a comparatively restrained seven categories.

What’s more, form follows function in this case, the winners being announced in a live radio broadcast on WDR 5, a public radio station from Westdeutscher Rundfunk.

The program describes its honors as being awarded to “German-language audiobook productions that demonstrate and emphasize the strengths and possibilities of the acoustic medium in a special way through their quality and thus have an exemplary effect.”

The award’s organizers say they want to “depict the diversity of the current audiobook market on the one hand and ensure a quality standard by awarding productions on the other.” For audiobook producers, they say, the award “defines quality criteria that can make the production stand out from the crowd.”

Media messaging from Cologne overnight tells us that this is the first time in three years that the program’s three juries were able to operate in-person because, of course, of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The panels began with a total of some 350 submissions, and produced the following list.

German Audiobook Prize 2023 Winners
  • Actor Max von Pufendorf, “Best Interpreter,” Ich ist ein anderer: Heptalogie III-V (I Am Someone Else) by Norwegian author Jon Fosse (Hörkultur Verlag)
  • Actor Nina Hoss, “Best Interpreter” for a “superior reading” of Zur See (To the Sea) by Dörte Hansens (Random House Audio)
  • Director Ulrich Lamps, “Best Radio Play,” for his adaptation of Bonjour Tristesse (Hello, Sadness) by Francoise Sagan for Hessischer Rundfunk (Der Audio Verlag)
  • Luise Helm, “Best Entertainment” for her reading of Eine Frage der Chemie (A Matter of Chemistry) by Bonnie Garmus (Hörbuch Hamburg / Osterwoldaudio)
  • Jona Mues, “Best Children’s Audiobook” for his reading of Sansaria: Träume der Finsternis (Sansaria: Dreams of Darkness) by Tania Messner (Oetiunger Audio)
  • Author Mohamed Amjahid, “Best Podcast” for 17 Tage Scheitern: wie Freiwillige in Afghanistan aushalfen (17 Days of Failure: How Volunteers Helped Out in Afghanistan), a documentary from WDR
  • Director Regine Ahrem, “Special Audiobook of the Year,” the five-hour fantasy radio play Der Ring des Nibelungen, based on the Richard Wagner libretti (Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg / Der Audio Verlag)

With the exception of the “Special Audiobook of the Year” category–which is not endowed–the German Audiobook Prize pays €3, 333 for a win. (US$3,554).

As is the tradition, the winners’ event for the German Audiobook Prize opened the Lit.Cologne literary festival, which runs this year from today through March 11.

The presentation program  held last evening can be heard through the public broadcasting consortium ARD.

More from Publishing Perspectives on audiobooks is here, and more from us on international book and publishing awards programs 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.