European Union Prize for Literature

Creative EuropeEuropean and International Booksellers FederationEuropean Writers' CouncilFederation of European Publishers

EUPL Writing Contest
“A European Story: EUPL Winners Write Europe”

The EUPL Writing Contest is a unique short fiction competition that celebrates Europe, literature and – above all – 10 years of the European Union Prize for Literature, which was exclusively open to all previous 106 EUPL winners.

36 EUPL winning authors from all over Europe – from a total of 26 different countries – have taken us up on this great opportunity and submitted fascinating European stories with a unique perspective. These works of short fiction, in both original versions and English translations, are compiled in the publication “European Stories”, which is available online here.

We encourage you to immerse yourselves into these fascinating stories, written by talented emerging writers from across Europe. You are invited to cast your vote for your favourite work of short fiction until 21 October 2018.

Everyone who participates in this public vote will automatically enter a draw and 10 lucky members of the public will win an exciting trip to Vienna to join our fabulous Awards Ceremony.

We hope you’re as excited as us to read these creative stories from all over Europe, from Montenegro to Ireland, from Iceland to Greece, as diverse, multicultural and colourful as Europe itself!

As 2018 is the year of European Year of Cultural Heritage, a special prize will be awarded to the best short fiction in which European heritage plays a significant role.

A professional jury, made up of distinguished experts from the field of literature, including literary critics, journalists, authors as well as booksellers, will be judging these submissions in the coming months and choose a winner in November this year.

The members of the professional jury are Maria-João Costa (Portugal), Nina George (Germany), Juancho Pons (Spain), Cathy Rentzenbrink (United Kingdom), Liana Sakelliou (Greece) and Marnix Verplancke (Belgium).

Jury members

Maria-João Costa

“It’s a privilege to be the first to read short fiction from some the of most talented writers in Europe and a great responsibility to choose the winners.”

Maria-João Costa was born in 1974 in Lisbon, Portugal. She studied Journalism at the Catholic University in Lisbon and went on to work as a journalist for Radio Renascença in 1997. Since 2008, Maria-João Costa has been the editor of the weekly cultural programme Ensaio Geral.

In 2013, Maria-João Costa won the Booktailors/Ler journalism Prize em 2013 and, in 2012, she was awarded the Escritaria Prize for journalism. In addition, she is the author of six children’s books.

Helmut Henkensiefken © Droemer Knaur

Nina George

“It is the diversity what the writers of Europe all have in common: The variety of European languages shaped the continent's history and the nations. The EUPL is a symbol for a united Europe without borders, but with a strong belief in plurality and individuality.”

Born 1973 in Bielefeld, Germany, Nina George is a prize-winning and international bestselling author and journalist since 1992, who has published 28 books (novels, mysteries and non-fiction) as well as over hundred short stories and more than 600 columns. In 2013 she had her first international bestseller “Das Lavendelzimmer” (“The Little Paris Bookshop”) translated into 36 languages. Nina George is an expert for authors’ rights and an activist for the rights of Womens' Writers. She sits on the boards of the German Writers Union (VS - Verband deutscher Schriftstellerinnen und Schriftsteller), of the PEN-Centre Germany and the Three Seas’ Writers’ and Translators’ Council. She is the founder of the Author’s Initiatives „Authors for a Fair Bookmarket“ and the „Network Author’s Rights“, who represents eleven German authors associations.

© Wiktor Dabkowski

Juancho Pons

“Ten years ago, who would had thought that this prize would last for some many years? It’s a perfect way to disseminate the culture of smaller and bigger countries in the European Union and a great chance for languages with fewer speakers to find a loud voice to reach agents and publishers. I am sure that we will find some of these authors in other awards in the near future.”

Juancho Pons started working as a bookseller in 1991 on a part-time basis as a student, which turned into full-time employment once he finished university. For 15 years, he worked alongside his parents in the family-owned academic bookshop, which was founded by his grandparents in 1951, and he eventually took it over. In 1999 he became the Spanish delegate for the European and International Booksellers Federation and joined the Executive Committee soon after, becoming Vice-President in 2004. Member of the Spanish Booksellers Association’s board, he was elected president in 2015 and is presently EIBF Treasurer.

Cathy Rentzenbrink

“I am delighted and honoured to be part of the jury and am very much looking forward to reading all the entries.”

Cathy Rentzenbrink is the author of The Last Act of Love and A Manual for Heartache. Cathy regularly chairs literary events, judges prizes, interviews authors, reviews books and runs writing workshops. Cathy spent ten years working for Waterstones before running the literacy charity Quick Reads and then working for the book industry magazine The Bookseller. Cathy was the President of the UK jury for the EUPL in 2014 and 2017.

© Catherine Rogers

Liana Sakelliou

“The many voices of all our writers make one European choir in harmony. The choir allows the individual voices of the writers to be heard.”

Liana Sakelliou is a poet, translator, critic, and editor. She is the author of eighteen books, most recently: Where the Wind Blows Softly (poetry collection, Typothito, 2017), Creative Reading, Writing, and Living: volume 1, The Novel (co-authored with W. Schultz, Gutenberg, 2013), Prends-moi comme une photo (poetry collection, L’ Harmattan, 2012), and Portrait before Dark (poetry collection, Typothito, 2010). She wrote a monograph as well as edited and co-authored the translation of 60 Poems –165 Letters–Notes by E. D. (Emily Dickinson: Because I could not bear to live aloud, Gutenberg, 2012), a monograph on H.D.’s Trilogy: Co-authored Translation–Notes (Gutenberg, 1999), as well as a monograph on Gary Snyder: The Poetics and Politics of Place (Odysseas, 1998). Among her awards are two Fulbright Fellowships in the US, several fellowships from the British Council, the Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship, the Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Research Fellowship at Princeton University, and residencies at West Dean College—University of Sussex, and at the Casa d’ Escrita-Universidade de Coimbra—Portugal. Her poems have been widely anthologized and translated into several languages. She is Professor of English and Creative Writing at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and serves as Member of the Board of the Hellenic Authors’ Society.

© Noemi Declercq

Marnix Verplancke

“Europe has always been more than politics and economics. From the philosophy of Plato onwards Europe has stood for a common cultural project and a literary tradition which produced giants as Shakespeare, Goethe, Baudelaire, d’Annunzio and Kundera. I hope the EUPL Writing Contest can help to keep this tradition alive.”

Marnix Verplancke was born in 1966 in Ghent, Belgium. He studied Philosophy at the University of Ghent and started work as an independent literary critic and journalist immediately after graduating, working for the VRT radio and several Flemish and Dutch newspapers and magazines. Today he writes for De Morgen, Knack and Trouw about literature, philosophy and science. Throughout his professional career, Marnix Verplancke has been on the jury of numerous literary prizes, such as the the Gouden Uil (2000 to 2004) and the Libris Literatuurprijs (2015), in addition to a number of smaller prizes such as the Socrates Prize and the Bronzen Uil. Today Marnix Verplancke is head of the non-fiction commission of the Flemish Literature Fund.

Terms and conditions

  1. Agreement

    By entering this contest, you are accepting and agreeing to be bound by these terms and conditions. Any participation in the contest will constitute acceptance of this agreement.

  2. Organisers

    The European Union Prize for Literature Contest (EUPL Writing Contest from hereon) is organised by the European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) Consortium, which is comprised of the European Writers’ Council (EWC), the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) and the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), supported by the European Commission.

  3. Occasion

    The EUPL Writing Contest is organised to mark the 10th anniversary of the European Union Prize for Literature.

  4. Eligibility

    Entries for this competition are to be collected exclusively from previous winners of the European Union Prize for Literature from any participating country in any year. At the time of the contest, entrants may not be employed by any of the institutions of the European Union or the EUPL Consortium.

  5. Deadline

    The deadline for submission is Friday, 23 February 2018, at midnight. After this time, no further entries will be accepted.

  6. Costs

    This competition is free of charge to enter.

  7. Length

    One work of short fiction will be accepted per entrant. The short fiction must fit readably onto a minimum of two pages and a maximum of four pages. We therefore recommend that entries be limited to 2,000 words. Please contact us at, if you have any queries.

  8. Format of Submission

    Entries must be submitted electronically via an online submission form on the EUPL website. Entries sent by email or regular post will not be accepted.

  9. Topic

    The topic for this competition is “A European Story”. All works submitted for consideration must be on this topic.

  10. European Year of Cultural Heritage

    As 2018 will be the European Year of Cultural Heritage, the short fictions in which European heritage plays a significant role will also be eligible for a special jury prize.

  11. Originality

    All entries submitted for consideration must be the entrant’s own original writing and must not have been appeared online, in print or have been broadcast in any form previously.

  12. Language of Submission

    Entries may be submitted in any of the official languages of the participating countries.

  13. Translation

    By entering this competition, entrants are providing consent for their submission to be translated into English by translators selected by the EUPL Consortium. These translations will be given to the judging panel.

  14. Withdrawal

    Entries submitted for consideration may be withdrawn from the competition. Entrants must notify the EUPL Consortium via email to Once withdrawn, entrants may re-enter the contest, but no later than Friday, 16 February 2018, at midnight.

  15. Amendments

    Amendments cannot be made to entries after they have been submitted; stories cannot be amended; corrected or substituted. No correspondence or discussion about amendments will be entered into.

  16. Disqualification

    The EUPL Consortium reserves the right to disqualify any entry if it has reasonable grounds to believe that the entrant has breached any of these terms and conditions or has made any false declaration/s on the entry form.

  17. Values of the European Union

    The EUPL Consortium will only accept entries which adhere to the fundamental values of the European Union.

  18. Judges

    The submissions to the EUPL Contest will be:

    1. judged by a professional jury: The jury will be constituted by literary experts, critics, and other representatives in the field. The profiles of the members of the professional jury will be made available on the EUPL website.
    2. voted on by the general public via an online system.

    The judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence about their decisions will be entered into. The EUPL Consortium reserves the right to change the panel of professional judges without notice. The judges reserve the right not to award the prizes if, in their opinion, such action is justified for any reason.

    Short-listed entrants will be invited to attend a presentation evening event in November 2018. The winner(s) of the contest will be announced at this event. Short-listed entrants will be notified prior to the event and asked to confirm attendance. In cases where short-listed entrants are unable to attend the event, they will be invited to send a representative on their behalf; if a representative is unable to attend, short-listed entrants will be asked to submit a short written statement to be read out at the presentation evening should they win.

  19. Copyright

    By entering this contest, entrants are providing consent for their submission to be used by the EUPL Consortium and its component organisations, including but not limited to having the submission translated into English, having both versions of the work published in their entirety in print and electronic format and having their work incorporated into promotional and social media activities of the EUPL Consortium. For promotional purposes, works may appear in an abridged form.

    The EUPL will not claim copyright ownership of any literary submissions. Entrants will own copyright of their work and any use of the work will be credited to the rights owner.

  20. Prize

    The winner(s) of the European Union Prize for Literature Writing Contest will receive an award along with additional promotion and dissemination of the authors’ work for a one-year period after winning the Prize.

  21. Cancellation

    The EUPL Consortium reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition if circumstances arise out of its control which make it necessary to do so. In the case of cancellation or amendments to the competition, the EUPL Consortium will make these known via updates on the EUPL website,

Further information about the competition, the EUPL consortium or any of its component members can be found on the following websites. The EUPL website is where entrants can find updates on the prize and any amendments, if necessary, that have been made.

European Union Prize for Literature:

European Writers’ Council:

Federation of European Publishers:

European and International Booksellers Federation: