The European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) recognises emerging fiction writers from the European Union and beyond. Engaging the 41 countries participating in the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, the Prize celebrates 41 outstanding new literary talents across a cycle of three years. Spotlighting the creativity and the diverse wealth of Europe’s contemporary literature in the field of fiction, EUPL aims to encourage the circulation of literature within Europe and encourage greater interest in non-national literary works. 

Following a successful 2022 edition which introduced changes to the overall organisation of the Prize, a seven-member European jury made of literary experts with professional influence now awards one overall winner accompanied by five special mentions. This year, the jury is composed of:

  • Koukla MacLehose
  • Andrey Kourkov
  • Imre Barna
  • Sheila O'Reilly
  • Svetlozar Zhelev
  • Henrik Francke
  • Sharon Galant

We are pleased to announce the #EUPL2023 winner: 

Croatia: Martina Vidaić, Stjenice (Bedbugs), Publisher: Naklada Ljevak

This year’s five special mentions are, in alphabetical order by country:

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 EUPL 2023: 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 continuously promoted on a European stage, aiming to reach a wider and international audience, as well as connect with readers beyond their national and linguistic borders.

The EUPL is organised by a Consortium of associations comprising the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) and the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), with the support of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

Mariya Gabriel, the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said: “Books are very dear to my heart. This is why I launched the Day of European Authors this year, and today is another beautiful opportunity to celebrate European literature. My warm congratulations go to Martina Vidaić for winning the European Union Prize for Literature in 2023, and to the five authors who have received a mention! Your work is a reflection of the talent and creativity of the European literary scene.  I cannot wait to dive into your books, and I hope that many other readers will do the same.”

Ricardo Franco Levi, FEP President said “The jury has designated the books it sees most likely to “travel” and meet new readership outside of their borders. I wish to congratulate the winner, the shortlisted authors and all the nominees. I hope that all their books will attract translators and publishers across Europe. Having a better understanding of the realities, even fictional, of our fellow Europeans can only help grow our sense of a common destiny.”

Jean Luc Treutenaere, co-President of EIBF, said: “It is a pleasure for me to congratulate the EUPL 2023 winner and special mentions as well as all of this year's nominees. These brilliant emergent authors' works represent the richness of our European culture and the diversity of European contemporary literature. I wish them all a successful literary career and many great books that will fill the shelves of bookshops all around Europe and beyond and that will cross borders and help us understand each other better.”

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