22.09.2023 #literature

Literary Prizes and Awards 2023

Discover the 2023 literary prizes awarded to Luxembourgish writers nationally and internationally.

Margret Steckel, born in Mecklenburg and living in Luxembourg since 1983, has been awarded the Batty Weber Prize. The jury characterised Margret Steckel’s oeuvre by a “linguistic and thematic density that combines historical context and precise character drawing to produce texts of great nuance”. The Batty Weber Prize is Luxembourg’s national literary prize and has been awarded since 1987. The prize is awarded every 3 years by the Luxembourg Ministry of Culture in honour of the Luxembourg writer Batty Weber and is intended to reward a Luxembourg writer for literary quality, originality and the cultural impact of the body of work.

This year’s Servais Prize was awarded to Jérôme Quiqueret, originally from Nancy and who has lived in Luxembourg since 2003, for his book Tout devait disparaître. The jury argued that Quiqueret’s work based on impressive research, shakes the boundaries of textual genres. “The topicality of this book lies in the metascriptural questioning to which the author invites us: How can we read, interpret and tell the story of the written traces of the past?” In order to promote contemporary literary production from Luxembourg, the Servais Foundation has awarded the “SERVAIS PRIZE” since 1992. This prize is awarded to the most significant literary work published in the past year.

The Luxembourger author Jeff Schinker was nominated for European Union Prize for Literature 2023 for his novel Ma vie sous les tentes. The European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) recognises emerging fiction writers from the European Union and beyond. Engaging the 41 countries participating in the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, the Prize celebrates 41 outstanding new literary talents across a cycle of three years. The nominating organisation for Luxembourg composed by Florent Toniello (A:LL Schrëftsteller*innen), Nathalie Jacoby (Centre national de littérature), Jeanne Glesener (University of Luxembourg) Béatrice Kneip (journalist) and Anne Diderich (Federation of Luxembourgish Librarians), has selected Ma vie sous les tentes by Jeff Schinker for its unflinchingly honest look at a way of life in which the fear of mediocrity and solitude drives every move and every sentence in search for connections that transcend the seemingly unremarkable and for its insightful exploration of the sociology of festival life.

The Stefan-Andres-Prize of the city of Schweich for Literature in the German language was awarded to the Luxembourgish writer Emil Angel for his mostly bilingual (Luxembourgish/German) literary works in the form of novels, stories, glosses, travelogues, and others but especially for the collection of stories “…ihr Bilder, die lang ich vergessen geglaubt!” Eine Kindheit im Luxemburg der Nachkriegszeit. Erzählungen, in which he describes in episodes the living conditions and everyday events in his birthplace from the point of view of his youthful alter ego. In this way, Emil Angel does something for the collective memory similar to what Stefan Andres did in his memoir novel Der Knabe im Brunnen. The Stefan-Andres-Prize, awarded every 3 years by the Stefan-Andres-Gesellschaft, promotes literature in the German language – regardless of nation, state or country – as a contribution to European culture and the political unification of Europe, and at the same time to preserve the legacy of the poet Stefan Andres.

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