LITERARY PRIZE FOR SHORT CRITICAL TEXTS

WORTMELDUNGEN

Short critical texts play virtually no role on the book market. Yet they are an exceptionally contemporary literary form: in times of social crisis, short literary forms can be a swift and relevant way of reacting to what’s going on in society. Our WORTMELDUNGEN programme seeks to champion this literature. At a literal level, ‘Wortmeldung’ is a term that means ‘word notice’, but depending on the context it can also refer to an oral contribution or request to speak.

wortmeldungen-logo-quard.png
WORTMELDUNGEN

For whom?
Authors of short critical texts 

Aim
Promoting the production and visibility of short texts

Frequency
Annual presentation of literature prize / young talent award

Location
Submissions in German-speaking regions (Germany, Austria, Switzerland)

Supporting authors and young upcoming authors

WORTMELDUNGEN, which was established in 2018, has made it possible for us to give a boost to the authors of short critical texts who not only encapsulate the zeitgeist but also question it. We achieve this by awarding two prizes each year: the WORTMELDUNGEN Ulrike Crespo Literaturpreis of 35,000 euros and the WORTMELDUNGEN Ulrike Crespo Förderpreis, an award for up-and-coming authors worth a total of 15,000 euros. WORTMELDUNGEN generates visibility for the authors – for instance, their texts are published by Verbrecher Verlag.

Short texts on big themes

Since 2018, these awards have recognised outstanding short literary texts written in German – whether essays, speeches, short prose or short stories. They explore issues such as the abuse of power and sexism, care and dying, right-wing populism and the climate crisis.

One theme – two prizes

The WORTMELDUNGEN prize for literature forms the starting point for the WORTMELDUNGEN young talent award. After the literature prize has been awarded, the winner formulates a callout to young authors for the WORTMELDUNGEN Förderpreis award, based on their text and its theme – and budding writers respond with their own texts.

The WORTMELDUNGEN literature prize has previously been won by Petra Piuk (2018), Thomas Stangl (2019), Kathrin Röggla (2020), Marion Poschmann (2021), Volha Hapeyeva (2022) and Judith Schalansky (2023).

The WORTMELDUNGEN young talent award has gone to Juli Mahid Carly, Irina Nekrasov and Jonë Zhitia (2022), Melanie Sasha Berger, Samuel J. Kramer and Benedikt Kuhn (2021), Miriam Emefa Dzah, Jasmin Merkel and Marie Lucienne Verse (2020), Katherina Braschel, Luca Manuel Kieser and Jana Krüger (2019), and Sophie Baumberg, Magdalena Kotzurek and Leona Stahlmann (2018/19).

WORTMELDUNGEN in numbers

87

authors up to 2023

15

young talent awards up to 2023

6

literature prizes by 2023

‘Schalansky uses the image of the canary, whose sudden silence once warned miners of decreasing oxygen levels, to guide the reader through the tangled thicket of the state of alert and emergency.’

essay-judith-schalansky-2023-c-christof-jakob.jpg
Verbrecher Verlag about ‘Schwankende Kanarien’ by Judith Schalansky

VIDEO PORTRAIT OF JUDITH SCHALANSKY (in German)

judith-schalansky-2023_videoausschnitt1-c-sven-waskoenig.jpg.png

Judith Schalansky, winner of the WORTMELDUNGEN literature prize in 2023

THE AUTHOR ON ESSAYS AS A GENRE (in German)

judith-schalansky-2023_videoausschnitt2-c-sven-waskoenig.jpg.png

Judith Schalansky, winner of the WORTMELDUNGEN literature prize in 2023

‘In Germany there are hardly any prizes for literary essays. The WORTMELDUNGEN literature prize occupies a highly relevant niche in the awards landscape.’

Miryam Schellbach, editor and freelance critic; member of the jury for the WORTMELDUNGEN literature prize in 2023  

PARTNERS

WORTMELDUNGEN is a Crespo Foundation programme in cooperation with Literaturhaus Frankfurt, Schauspiel Frankfurt, the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts (HfMDK) and Verbrecher Verlag.

CONTACTS

sandra-poppe_web-23-team-c-jessica-schaefer.jpg

Sandra Poppe
Crespo Foundation

katja-schaffer_web23-team-c-jessica-schaefer.jpg

Katja Schaffer
Crespo Foundation