European Union Prize for Literature

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28 March 2018

Professional jury of EUPL Writing Contest announced!

The EUPL Consortium is very pleased to announce the members of the professional jury, who will be judging the EUPL Writing Contest “EUPL Winners Write Europe”, a unique short fiction competition that celebrates Europe, literature and – above all – 10 years of the European Union Prize for Literature. This jury is made up of distinguished experts from the field of literature, including literary critics, journalists, authors as well as booksellers.

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).

Maria-João Costa, a renowned journalist and editor from Lisbon, Portugal, is looking forward to being part of an EUPL jury for the first time: “It’s a privilege to be the first to read short fiction from some of the most talented writers in Europe and a great responsibility to choose the winners.”

Nina George, a German prize-winning and international bestselling author and journalist, whose works have been translated into 36 languages, highlights the common values of the Europe: "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.“

The President of the Spanish Booksellers Association Juancho Pons will contribute with his unique perspective as a bookseller: “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.”

Cathy Rentzenbrink, an author of two bestselling novels and a former bookseller, who has already worked with the European Union Prize for Literature as the President of the UK jury in 2014 and 2017, returns as a jury member this year: “I am delighted and honoured to be part of the jury and am very much looking forward to reading all the entries.”

Liana Sakelliou, a distinguished poet, translator, critic, and editor, who is currently working as a Professor of English and Creative Writing at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, adds: “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.”

Marnix Verplancke, an established independent literary critic and journalist, will bring extensive experience as jury member of numerous literary prizes to the fold: “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.”

In addition, the public will also have the opportunity to be actively involved: all contributions will be published in an online publication on the EUPL website in both original and English translation and the public will be able to cast a vote online for their favourite short fiction.

All entrants will be invited to a special Awards Ceremony, taking place in Vienna on 6 November 2018, where the winner(s) will be officially announced. Five lucky members of the public voters will also be able to win a trip to Vienna for 2 and attend a night celebrating the exceptional diversity of European literature.

To access the full profiles of the professional jury members, visit our website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.