The names of the eleven European authors to receive the European Union Prize for Literature were announced today at the Frankfurt Book Fair by the European Commission, the European Booksellers Federation (EBF), the European Writers' Council (EWC) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP). The prizes will be presented during an Awards Ceremony in Brussels on November 18th in the KVS (Royal Flemish Theatre).
Mrs Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner in charge of Culture, Education, will present the 11 winning emerging authors from the participating countries in 2010 with an award for their work, in the presence of public figures from the fields of culture, literature and politics.
This year's authors come from Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Commissioner Vassiliou declared: "I am delighted to announce this year's winners and I hope that the prize will open up the possibility of their works being translated and reaching a wider readership beyond their home country. Once they are translated and promoted, these books can provide content for film, television and theatre and contribute to the success of our cultural and creative industries".
EBF President, John McNamee, commented: "I could not insist enough on the importance of celebrating the diversity of cultures reflected by these emerging authors. Booksellers are delighted to be involved again in the second edition of this great initiative, together with the European Commission and their partners in the book chain, writers and publishers".
EWC President Pirjo Hiidenmaa said: "It is always great to see new talent in the literary field, as this European competition has shown. Literature —as in any area of human life— is vigorous only if it keeps growing and changing; and it keeps changing when new writers come and join established ones. Without authors the world is silent! Authors are essential as are our readers: they make our works come alive, and our texts flourish".
FEP President, Fergal Tobin, added: "Today's announcements highlight the fundamental role of all players in the book value chain and put the spotlight on new literary talents in Europe. I am particularly pleased that together with the Commission and our natural partners, the writers and the booksellers, we are organising this Prize which increases the visibility of writers from all over Europe and contributes to the diversified European cultural heritage".
The aim of the European Union Prize for Literature is to put the spotlight on the creativity and diverse wealth of contemporary European fiction, to promote the circulation of literature in Europe and to encourage greater interest in literary works generally.
The European Union Prize for Literature is co-funded by the EU Culture Programme and by a consortium composed of the European Booksellers Federation (EBF), the European Writers' Council (EWC) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP). The authors and their works will then be announced during the Frankfurt Book Fair in October and other promotional activities will continue throughout the year and in 2011.