The German Audiobook Prize Names Its 2024 Shortlists

In News by Porter Anderson

The 2024 edition of the German Audiobook Prize issues its shortlists in seven categories, covering books, radio plays, and podcasts.

Image: Deutschen Hörbuchpreis

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

Winners’ Announcement Broadcast: March 5
With seven categories and an initial pool of submissions totaling 329 audiobooks and podcasts, the German Audiobook Prize—Deutschen Hörbuchpreis—today (January 10) has released its 2024 shortlists, with March 5 set as the date for the winners’ announcements.

The program in March is to be broadcast by Westdeutscher Rundfunk, the public broadcast corporation of North Rhine-Westphalia, on its WDR 5 channel.

This competition honors German-language audiobook productions that “through their quality demonstrate and highlight the strengths and possibilities of the acoustic medium in a special way.”

Quality of production is of considerable importance in the development of this list, according to the program’s organizers. They describe their program’s mission as having two components:

  • A demonstration of “the diversity of the current audiobook market”
  • A setting of standards “intended to help retailers and listeners better select and orient themselves as to what can be considered a good audiobook among the wealth of publications”

As in what may be the largest such competition—the annual 26-category Audio Publishers Association’s Audie Awards—that setting of standards point is an important one, the German program emphasizing that “for audio book producers, the prize defines quality criteria that can make a production stand out from the crowd.”

Selections of the nominees are made by two juries (one for children’s content), which hand over to a third jury for the final winners’ designations.

Here are the shortlistees announced this morning from the program’s base in Cologne.

Shortlisted Performers
  • Simone Kabst for Die Postkarte / The Postcard by Anne Berest (Hörbuch Hamburg, Osterwoldaudio)
  • Maren Kroymann for Das andere Mädchen / The Other Girl by Annie Ernaux (Der Audio Verlag)
  • Lena Urzendowsky for Paradise Garden by Elena Fischer (Diogenes)
Shortlisted Artists
  • Johannes Nussbaum for Echtzeitalter / Real Age by Tonio Schachinger (Argon Verlag)
  • Cornelius Obonya for Die Inkommensurablen / The Incomparables by Raphaela Edelbauer (Random House Audio)
  • Hanns Zischler for Volker Weidermann’s Mann vom Meer. Thomas Mann und die Liebe seines Lebens / Man From the Sea: Thomas Mann and the Love of his Life (Der Audio Verlag, NDR)
Radio Play Directors
  • Oliver Sturm for Der große Gatsby / The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald with Oliver Sturm (Der Audio Verlag, NDR)
  • Thomas Leutzbach for Mord zu fünft / Murder by Five by Kai Magnus Sting (WDR)
  • Kai Grehn for Das Spucktütenlied / The Sick Bag Song by Nick Cave (Zweitausendeins, Radio Bremen, BR, SWR)
Children’s Audiobook
  • Adam und die Jagd nach der zerbrochenen Zeit / Adam and the Hunt for Broken Time by GZ Schmidt, read by Julian Greis (Hörcompany)
  • Kiosk, Chaos, Canal Grande / Kiosk, Chaos, Canal Grande by Edgar Rai, read by Max Ruhbaum (Diwan Hörbuchverlag)
  • Sieben Tage Mo / Seven Days of Mo by Oliver Scherz, interpreted by Jens Wawrczeck (Hörbuch Hamburg, Silberfisch)
  • Bergleuchten / Mountain Lights by Karin Seemayer, read by Sophie Hutter (Aufbau Audio)
  • Besser allein als in schlechter Gesellschaft: Meine eigensinnige Tante / Better Alone Than in Bad Company: My Wayward Aunt by Adriana Altaras, read by the author and Angela Winkler (Argon Verlag)
  • Sonne über Gudhjem / Sun over Gudhjem by Michael Kobr, read by Axel Milberg
Special Audiobook

This category recognizes outstanding achievement and is not relegated to a time frame of specific dates.

  • Jahrhundertstimmen 1945-2000: Deutsche Geschichte in über 400 Originalaufnahmen / Voices of the Century 1945-2000: German history in More Than 400 Original Recordings (Der Audio Verlag)
  • Unser Deutschlandmärchen / Our Germany Fairy Tale by Dinçer Güçyeter, a family story of Turkish immigrants (Buchfunk, SWR)
  • Wir haben es nicht gut gemacht: Der Briefwechsel / We Didn’t Do It Well: The Correspondence (Verlag Speak Low)
  • Frauke Liebs: Die Suche nach dem Mörder / Frauke Liebs: The Search for the Murderer by Dominik Stawski (Stern, Gruner und Jahr, Audio Alliance)
  • Telephobia: Dieser eine Anruf / Telephobia: This One Call by Lea Utz (BR)
  • V 13. Die Terroranschläge in Paris / V 13: The Terrorist Attacks in Paris, based on the court report by Emmanuel Carrère (SWR)

Journalist Marija Bakker is to host the live awards radio program on March 5.

The German Audiobook Prize was established in 2003 by Westdeutscher Rundfunk and its subsidiary WDR Media Group GmbH, and was awarded at a celebratory gala as part of Lit Cologne. Over the years, the program has found support including that of Focus Magazine and The Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, Germany’s publishers and booksellers association.

Image: Deutschen Hörbuchpreis

More from Publishing Perspectives on audiobooks is here, more on the Audie Awards is here, more from us on publishing and book awards is here, and more on the German 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.