Winners of 2015 European Union Prize for Literature announced at The London Book Fair

The winners of  the 2015 European Union Prize for Literature were announced today at the Opening Ceremony of the London Book Fair by European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Mr. Tibor Navracsics. The award recognises the best new and emerging authors in Europe. This year’s winners are:

Carolina Schutti (Austria); Luka Bekavac (Croatia); Gaëlle Josse (France); Edina Szvoren (Hungary); Donal Ryan (Ireland); Lorenzo Amurri (Italy); Undinė Radzevičiūtė (Lithuania); Ida Hegazi Høyer (Norway); Magdalena Parys (Poland); David Machado (Portugal); Svetlana Žuchová (Slovakia) and Sara Stridsberg (Sweden).

Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: “My warmest congratulations to the winners of the European Union Prize for Literature! This is the only book award dedicated to the best up-and-coming authors from all over Europe, regardless of their country of origin or language. With this prize and our continued support for translations of literary works, we are helping literature cross borders and enabling readers to enjoy the wealth of writing talent we have. This is crucial: Literature opens the mind, allowing us to come closer together and understand each other better, which is now more vital than ever.”

Jacks Thomas, Director of The London Book Fair said: “I would like to add my congratulations to the winners on their remarkable achievement. We are very proud to have hosted today’s announcement and that such a prestigious prize is embedded with the London Book Fair. I look forward to our continuing partnership and cooperation with the European Union Prize for Literature.”

The European Union Prize for Literature is open to the countries participating in Creative Europe, the EU funding programme for the cultural and creative sectors. Every year, national juries in one third of the countries participating in the programme -12 this time- nominate the winning authors. See annex for authors’ biographies and a synopsis of the winning books.

Each winner receives € 5 000. More importantly, they benefit from extra promotion and international visibility. Publishers are encouraged to apply for EU funding to have the winning books translated into other languages to reach new readers.

Since the Prize was launched in 2009, the EU has so far by the end of 2014 provided funding for the translation of books by 56 (out of 59) EUPL winners, into 20 different European languages, covering a total of 203 translations – on average 3-4 translations per book. The winners also benefit from extra visibility at Europe’s major book fairs, including Frankfurt, London and Paris.

This year’s Prize winners will be presented with their awards during a gala ceremony at the Concert Noble in Brussels on 23 June, in the presence of Mr. Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport; Mrs. Silvia Costa, MEP and Chair of the Culture and Education Committee and representatives of the Latvian Presidency of the EU.

The EUPL is organised by the European and International Booksellers Federation, the European Writers’ Council and the Federation of European Publishers, with the support of the European Commission.

“We welcome the change of schedule for the European Union Prize for Literature. Announcing the winners in the spring will provide more time for properly promoting them for the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Holiday Season in bookshops. We are confident that slowly but surely, the EUPL Prize is building up its audience to the benefit of European readers and cultural diversity”, said EIBF Co-Presidents Kyra Dreher, Jean-Luc Treutenaere and Fabian Paagman.

Dr. Pirjo Hiidenmaa, President of the European Writers’ Council, said: “There is no end to creativity, and happily no end to creation of fine literature. Each generation of writers probes what lies at the heart of contemporary Life and the essence of Existence, and thereby gives voice to the issues of the day. It is a pleasure to welcome these new talented authors and what they have to say to Europe, and the rest of the World.”

Pierre Dutilleul, President of the Federation of European Publishers, added: “I wish to the 12 winners of the 2015 EUPL edition to be translated into many European languages and to find new readers across the continent. I know that European publishers are increasingly awaiting this announcement to find new voices of Europe.”

Contacts : eu.Ness | Muriel Danis | +32 486 90 69 92.

Midas Public Relations: Steven Williams, Sophie Ransom & Leanne Coombes: email: sophie.ransom@midaspr.co.uk and leanne.coombes@midaspr.co.uk.

Tel: 020 7 361 7860.

Background

The EUPL receives funding from the new Creative Europe programme, which aims to strengthen the competitiveness of the cultural and creative sectors, and to promote cultural diversity. The programme has a total budget of €1.46 billion in 2014-2020, which represents a 9% increase compared with previous levels. The programme aims to provide funding for the translation of 4,500 books from and into European languages. It will also help more than 250 000 artists, cultural professionals and their works to gain international visibility, as well as supporting hundreds of European cultural cooperation projects, platforms and networks.

Under the previous Culture Programme, 2009-2013, the European Commission granted €2.5 million a year on average for literary translation and more than €2.4 million for cooperation projects involving the book sector. In 2014, in its first year, the Creative Europe programme allocated €3.6 million for literary translation and a similar budget will be allocated in 2015.

The book and publishing sector contributes €40 billion to the EU’s. EWC represents hundreds of thousands of writers and publishing employs full time 135.000 persons. Book publishing is a significant part of the cultural and creative sectors, which account for up to 4.5% of EU GDP and 8 million jobs. Although these sectors have proved relatively resilient in the crisis, they also face considerable challenges stemming from the digital shift, globalisation and a market which is fragmented along cultural and linguistic lines.

Countries currently participating in Creative Europe are: the 28 EU Member States plus Norway, Iceland, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. More countries are likely to join in 2015.

For more information

Website of the Prize: http://www.euprizeliterature.eu/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/euplprize

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/European-Union-Prize-for-Literature/201625279911585

Culture portal of the EU: http://ec.europa.eu/culture/index_en.htm

Creative Europe programme: http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/creative-europe/index_en.htm

Notes to editors:

THE LONDON BOOK FAIR (LBF) The London Book Fair (LBF) is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. Taking place every Spring in the world’s premier publishing and cultural capital, it is a unique opportunity to explore, understand and capitalise on the innovations shaping the publishing world of the future. LBF brings you direct access to customers, content and emerging markets. LBF 2015, the 44th Fair, will take place from Tuesday 14-Thursday 16 April 2015, Olympia London. LBF’s London Book and Screen Week will run for the second year, with the book fair as the pivotal three day event within a five day programme. London Book and Screen Week will open with LBF’s Publishing for Digital Minds Conference on Monday 13 April, the day before LBF opens. Mexico is Market Focus country in 2015, following Korea in 2014. In 2015, LBF’s charity of the year is Booktrust. For further information, please visit: www.londonbookfair.co.uk.

THE EUROPEAN UNION PRIZE FOR LITERATURE (EUPL) The EUPL is reserved for works of fiction by European emerging authors, regardless of their age. The Prize competition is open to the countries involved in the Creative Europe programme, presently 36, with more likely to join. Each year, national juries in a third of the participating countries nominate their winning authors, making it possible for all countries and language areas to be represented over a three-year period. The first three-year EUPL cycles were completed in 2009-2011 and 2012-2014; the third cycle starts in 2015. The Prize is funded by the Creative Europe programme (2014-2020). The EUPL is organised annually for the European Commission by a consortium made up of the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), the European Writers’ Council (EWC) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP). For further information, please visit: http://www.euprizeliterature.eu/

THE EUROPEAN AND INTERNATIONAL BOOKSELLERS FEDERATION (EIBF) EIBF is a non-commercial European and International umbrella association representing national Booksellers Associations and Booksellers over the world. Through its member associations, EIBF speaks on behalf of more than 25.000 individual booksellers. THE EUROPEAN WRITERS COUNCIL (EWC) EWC is an international non-profit association established in 2006 in Belgium. It represents over 160.000 professional writers and literary translators, belonging to 50 authors’ associations in 34 European countries.

FEDERATION OF EUROPEAN PUBLISHERS (FEP) FEP is an independent, non-commercial umbrella association of book publishers associations in the European Union. FEP represents 28 national associations of book publishers of the European Union and of the European Economic Area. FEP is the voice of the great majority of publishers in Europe. Founded in 1967, FEP deals with European legislation and advises publishers’ associations on copyright and other legislative issues. CREATIVE EUROPE: The Creative Europe programme was launched by the European Commission on 1 January 2014 and has a total budget of nearly €1.5 billion – nine per cent more than in the previous financing period – for the next seven years (2014 – 2020). It builds on the success of the Culture and MEDIA programmes, which have supported the cultural and audiovisual sectors for more than 20 years. In 2015, 36 European countries participate in the programme and more are likely to join.

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