The Prize

About the Prize

The German Book Prize is presented to the best German-language novel just before the start of the Frankfurt Book Fair as an annual award from the Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung des Börsenvereins des Deutschen Buchhandels – the Foundation for Book Culture and the Promotion of Reading of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association. The Prize is intended to draw attention beyond national borders to authors writing in German, to reading and to the keynote medium of the book. Publishing companies can apply for the award by direct nomination of their titles. Unusually, titles still in production when applications are first invited can also be included in the selection process. Furthermore, the German Book Prize represents the guarantee of independent and competent prize judgement: the seven jurors will personally assess all the books that are submitted and that meet the criteria for consideration.

To ensure the greatest possible independence and transparency for the choice of the award-winner, the Börsenverein board has appointed the German Book Prize Academy with representatives of the book and media industry. Their most important task is the selection every year of the jury members who will choose the winner over the course of several selection stages. Organised by the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, the German Book Prize is also backed by partners from outside the industry. The partner of the Book Prize is the Deutsche Bank Foundation. In addition the Frankfurt Book Fair and the City of Frankfurt am Main support the prize.

Dates & Deadlines 2020

4 February 2020

Announcement of the judges

18 August 2020

10 a.m.
Announcement of the Longlist

15 September 2020

10 a.m.
Announcement of the Shortlist

12 October 2020

6 p.m.
Award ceremony

The Academy

In september 2004, the board of the Börsenverein made its unique appointment of the German Book Prize Academy. Made up of representatives from the book industry and the arts as well as partners of the Prize, the advisory committee’s most important task is the annual selection of the jury. Publisher Karin Schmidt-Friderichs is president of the German Book Prize Academy.

Juergen Boos

President of the Frankfurt Book Fair

View vita

Sabine Dörlemann

Vice president of the Swiss Booksellers and Publishers Association

View vita

Prof. Monika Grütters, MdB

Federal government commissioner for culture and the media

View vita

Dr. Kristina Hasenpflug

Managing Director Deutsche Bank Stiftung

View vita

Prof. Dr. h. c. Klaus-Dieter Lehmann

President of the Goethe-Institut

View vita

Rudolf Müller

Müller & Böhm Literaturhandlung in the Heine Haus, Düsseldorf

View vita

Michael Münch

Chairman of the board of the Deutsche Bank Foundation

View vita

Dr. Andreas Rötzer

Speaker of the Interest Group Trade Publishing

View vita

Marie Schmidt

Winner of the Alfred-Kerr-Prize for literary criticism

View vita

Karin Schmidt-Friderichs

President of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels

View vita

Felicitas von Lovenberg

Member of the board of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels

View vita

Prize money and presentation ceremony

The German Book Prize is worth a total of 37,500 euros. The winner receives 25,000 euros, the other five shortlisted authors receive 2,500 euros each. The German Book Prize 2020 will be presented in the Kaisersaal at Frankfurt’s Römer on the evening of October 12th – a first event marking the start of the Frankfurt Book Fair. The six authors will not find out which of them is to receive the German Book Prize until the evening of the official presentation.

Selection process

Publishing companies can nominate up to two German-language novels from their current or planned list to be considered for the award. The books must be published between October 2019 and September 2020 and be on sale in shops at the latest when the shortlist is announced on September 15th. The jury looks through all nominations and if necessary, requests additional titles that it considers to be suitable. It compiles a longlist of 20 titles that will be announced on August 18th, 2020. It is from this narrower selection that the jurors then choose six titles for the shortlist which will be published on September 15th, 2020. The winner is announced during the prize ceremony on October 12th.

Publishers can submit their titles from February 4th until March 23rd.