Croatia’s Martina Vidaić Wins the European Union Prize for Literature

In News by Porter Anderson

Under the EU Prize for Literature’s new regime, the main prize for Martina Vidaić’s book is flanked by five special mentions.

Martina Vidaić, winner of the 2023 European Union Prize for Literature. Image: EUPL, Nikola Kuprešanin

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

Thirteen Nations Participated in the 2023 Cycle
The European Union Prize for Literature, which recognizes emerging fiction writers from the union and beyond, encompasses the 41 countries participating in the Creative Europe program of the European Union.

The prize celebrates 41 outstanding new literary talents across a cycle of three years. Its program is intended to encourage the circulation of literature within Europe and encourage greater interest in non-national literary works.

Following a 2022 edition which introduced changes to the overall organization of the prize—Publishing Perspectives readers followed these adjustments—a seven-member European jury now awards one overall winner accompanied by five special mentions each year.

Croatia’s Martina Vidaić has been named that overall winner for this year for her book, Stjenice (Bedbugs) from the publisher Naklada Ljevak.

2023 European Union Prize for Literature Special Mentions
  • Cyprus: Χάρη Ν. Σπανού (Hari N. Spanou), Φυλάκιο (The Outpost), Publisher: Εκδόσεις Αιγαίον (Aegan Publications)
  • Estonia: Tõnis Tootsen, Ahvide pasteet. Ühe ahvi mälestusi ja mõtteid (Pâté of the Apes: One Primate’s Thoughts and Memories), Publisher: Kaarnakivi Seltsi Kirjastus
  • Finland: Iida Rauma, Hävitys (Destruction), Publisher: Siltala Publishing
  • France: Maud Simonnot, L’heure des oiseaux (The Hour of Birds), Publisher: Editions de l’Observatoire
  • Kosovo: Ag Apolloni, Kësulëkuqja, përrallë për të rritur (Red Riding Hood, a fairy tale for adults), Publisher : Bard Books

Thirteen countries participated in #EUPL2023: Armenia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, France, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Poland, Sweden.

The 13 national nominees were revealed on 7 March 2023, one for each participating country. The authors and their novels were nominated by national entities, knowledgeable about the literary scene in their countries and used to promoting their national literature abroad.

All nominated authors will be promoted on the European stage, to help them reach a wider and international audience, as well as to support them in connecting with readers beyond their national and linguistic borders.

The prize is organized by a consortium of associations comprising the Federation of European Publishers in Brussels (FEP) and the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), with the support of Creative Europe.

More from Publishing Perspectives on international book and publishing awards programs is here. More from us on the European Union Prize for Literature is here, and more on the Georgian book and publishing 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.