The €25,000 German Nonfiction Prize Names Its 2024 Jury

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Another closely watched awards program gears up for a new year, the German Nonfiction Prize naming its jury.

Jurors named for the 2024 German Nonfiction Prize are, upper row from left, Sibylle Anderl (image: Mathis Beutel); Julika Griem; Michael Hagner; and Stefan Koldehoff (image: Sarah Koldehoff). On the lower row from left are Michael Lemling (image: Matthias Kneppeck); Patricia Rahemipour; and Katrin Vohland

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

A Winner Announcement Is Expected June 11
In its announcement of the jury selected by the Academy of the German Nonfiction Prize, the program is announcing that this €42,500 award (US45,415) program will return to Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie recital hall for its prize ceremony, this year on June 11. This is an award for German-language content, meaning that its range includes not only Germany but also Switzerland, Austria, and Liechtenstein.

Ewald Frie, the 2023 winner of the German Nonfiction Prize

Between now and then, the newly named jurors will choose their chairperson, and work their way through the familiar stages of a longlist, a shortlist, and a winner, along with juries for the myriad other international book and publishing competitions in so many parts of the world.

As Publishing Perspectives readers will remember, this contest pays €25,000 to its winner (US$26,715) and €2,500 to each of its seven nominees (US$2,671), making its total payout €42,500.

Publishers can submit two German-language monographs from the current or planned program and recommend up to five additional titles at this site until November 17. The titles must be published between April 19 and April 23 and be available in bookstores no later than the announcement of the nominations on April 23.

The nonfiction book of the year is determined in two selection stages. The jury will put together a nomination list of eight titles, which will be announced on April 23. From this selection, the jurors determine the nonfiction book of the year. It’s only on the evening of the award ceremony that the eight authors find out which of them will receive the German Nonfiction Prize.

Claudia Roth

The patron of the German Nonfiction Prize is minister of state for culture, Claudia Roth. The main sponsor of the prize is the Deutsche Bank Foundation, and the city of Hamburg and the ZEIT Foundation Ebelin and Gerd Bucerius also support the award.

This year’s jury has been announced to comprise:

  • Sibylle Anderl (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)
  • Julika Griem (Cultural Studies Institute Essen)
  • Michael Hagner (ETH Zurich)
  • Stefan Koldehoff (Deutschlandfunk)
  • Michael Lemling (Lehmkuhl Bookstore)
  • Patricia Rahemipour (Institute for Museum Research, Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation)
  • Katrin Vohland (Natural History Museum Vienna)

This program allows jurors to serve more than one season, and three of the newly announced panel are returnees from last year: Griem, Koldehoff, and Lemling. Koldehoff also was on the 2022 jury.

The 2023 Winner: Ewald Frie

This year, the author Ewald Frie was named the winner of the prize for his book Ein Hof und elf Geschwister: Der stille Abschied vom bäuerlichen Leben in Deutschland (One Farm and 11 Siblings: The Quiet Farewell to Rural Life in Germany), published in February by C.H. Beck. His work was among 231 titles submitted by 128 publishers, and was commended as a “quiet farewell to rural life.”

In presenting the award to Frie, Karin Schmidt-Friderichs, head of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, Germany’s publishers and booksellers association, said, “The German Nonfiction Prize has established itself as an important platform for nonfiction and contemporary issues.

“The titles nominated by the jury are a panopticon of currently relevant questions. They show me where my world view and my knowledge need to be strengthened.

“This is where our self-commitment as a book industry becomes clear: We want to offer diverse and high-quality content and arouse curiosity and interest so that people are happy to share it.”

The Book Culture and Reading Promotion Foundation of the Börsenverein is the driving body behind this award. It’s given to a work that’s expressly considered by the jury to “provide impetus for social debate.”

The main sponsor of the award is the Deutsche Bank Foundation, and it also has support from the City of Hamburg, the ZEIT Foundation Ebelin, and Gerd Bucerius.

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 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.

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