German Book Prize: 172 Titles Submitted for the 2023 Competition

In News by Porter Anderson

The 2023 German Book Prize program has drawn submissions from 111 publishers based in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.

The 2023 jury for the German Book Prize. From left are Florian Valerius, Shila Behjat, Lisa Schumacher, Heinz Drügh, jury chair Katharina Teutsch, Matthias Weichelt, and Melanie Mühl. Image: Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, Christof Jakob

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

Critic Katharina Teutsch Named Jury Chair
As you’ll remember, 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.

That body today (April 4) has released figures about this year’s competition. The information is led by the news that 111 publishers from Germany, Switzerland, and Austria have submitted novels for contention.

Of those publishers, 81 are based in Germany; 10 are in Switzerland; and 20 are in Austria.

Together, they have submitted 172 titles for the jury’s consideration.

Of those titles, we’re told taht 97 are from those publishers’ current spring lists, with 70 more to be released in the autumn. Five of the titles submitted were published last autumn.

Each publisher was allowed to submit a maximum of two titles that were or will be published between October 2022 and September 19, when the shortlist will be announced. In addition, they could each recommend up to five more titles. This year, the list of recommendations included 105 novels. The jury may request titles from this list for inclusion in the selection process.

The submissions period closed on March 22. A longlist is expected on August 22. After that September 19 announcement of the shortlist, the awards ceremony will be held on October 16, shortly before the October 19 to 22 run of Frankfurter Buchmesse.

The Jury Gets to Work

During its first meeting, jurors chose the critic Katharina Teutsch as their chair.

As we’ve reported, the jury this year comprises:

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

The winning author in this competition receives €25,000 (US$27,367). Each of the five finalists receives €2,500 (US$2,737).

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.

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

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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.