Petra Hartlieb was born in 1967, studied psychology and history and subsequently worked as a literary critic. In 2004, she took over the traditional Viennese bookstore now called "Hartliebs Bücher". In 2011, she made her debut as an author with the thriller "Auf der Strecke" (Diogenes), the first in a series co-written with Claus-Ulrich Bielefeld. In 2014, she published "Meine wundervolle Buchhandlung" (DuMont) – a bestseller that was translated into many languages. She is currently working on a series of historical novels about the Viennese poet Arthur Schnitzler ("Winter in Wien" 2016, "Wenn es Frühling wird in Wien" 2018).
She was a member of the jury for the Österreichischer Buchpreis 2017 (Austrian Book Prize) and for the Österreichischer Staatspreis für europäische Literatur 2018 (Austrian State Prize for European Literature).
Hauke Hückstädt was born in 1969 and lives with his family in Frankfurt am Main, where he has been director of the Literaturhaus Frankfurt since 2010. He is also active as a publisher, critic and lecturer and is a public relations consultant for authors of select publishing houses. In addition to numerous poems in journals and anthologies ("Twentieth-Century German Poetry", Farrar, Straus and Giroux), he has also published the collection of poems "Neue Heiterkeit" (zu Klampen) and the German translation of "Something for the Ghosts" ("Etwas für die Geister", Wallstein). He co-edited the book of debates "95 Anschläge – Thesen für die Zukunft" (S. Fischer) with Friederike von Bünau, which came out in 2017.
Björn Lauer was born in 1975. He began his training as a bookseller in 1997 and has been working in the fiction department of the Hugendubel bookstore in Frankfurt ever since. In 2008, he became its head of acquisitions and, since 2017, has also been head of its marketing department. On the side, he also writes reports on market positioning texts and publishes photos and haikus (which do not aspire to be anything more than everyday poetry) on the Instagram account @lauersegler.
Jörg Magenau was born in 1961 and is an independent author and literary critic. After studying German language and literature and philosophy at the Free University Berlin, he co-founded the weekly paper "Freitag", was an editor at "taz" and author of the "Berliner Seiten" (Berlin pages) in the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung". Today, he works primarily for "Süddeutsche Zeitung", the broadcaster rbb and the culture radio programme Deutschlandfunk Kultur. He has written, amongst other books, biographies of Martin Walser (2008), the Brothers Jünger (2012), "Princeton 66" about the writers' group Gruppe 47 (2016) and, most recently, "Bestseller" (2018).
Alf Mentzer was born in Rendsburg in 1966 and studied English and American language and literature, philosophy and history in Bonn, at Harvard and in Frankfurt/Main. He earned his doctorate with a thesis entitled "Die Blindheit der Texte – Studien zur literarischen Raumerfahrung" ("The blindness of texts – studies on the literary spatial experience"). Since 2004, he has been permanently employed as an editor at Hessische Rundfunk (Hessian Broadcasting Corporation). Since 2006, he has been head of the literary department of hr2-kultur and, since 2014, department head of the hr2 day programme.
Born in Vienna in 1964. Literary scholar, critic ("Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung", "Der Standard", amongst others). 2005 scholar-in-residence at Rutgers University, NJ. Lecturer at the University of Vienna Institute of German Studies since 2007. Has served as a member of the jury for the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize (Klagenfurt), German Book Prize and Leipzig Book Fair Prize, amongst others. Österreichischer Staatspreis für Literaturkritik 2001 (Austrian State Prize for Literary Criticism), Max Kade Essay Prize 2007, Alfred-Kerr-Prize 2013, Berlin Prize for Literary Criticism 2015. Most recent publications: "Berühmtsein ist nichts. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach. Eine Biographie" (2016) and "Alles muss man selber machen. Biographie. Kritik. Essay" (2018).
Born in Wertheim/Main in 1948, studied English language and literature and history in Bonn and Freiburg. Master's degree in Bonn. Subsequently worked for, amongst others, the Catholic News Agency, the daily paper "DIE WELT" as editor from 1976 to 1982, the Norddeutscher Rundfunk Hannover as culture editor from 1984 to 2014, and the weekly radio show about books "Bücherwelt" beginning in 1997. Also moderates discussions with authors such as Ken Follett, Donna Tart, Jussi Adler-Olsen, Friedrich Ani, Jeffrey Archer, Maja Lunde and Isabella Allende. Author of several books. Married, six children.