ALBUM: this was the EUPL 2021 AWARD CEREMONY

Posted on November 13, 2021, 8:10 am
13 mins

European Union Prize for Literature held its 2021 Award Ceremony in Brussels – live & livestreamed

The European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) 2021 Ceremony took place on 9 November 2021 in the Flagey building, Brussels. The ceremony celebrated the thirteen national laureates of the 2021 edition. The event was also livestreamed on the EUPL’s Facebook channel. The EWC was represented by EWC President Nina George and EWC Vice President Miguel Ángel Serrano together with Myriam Diocaretz, Secretary-General.

The awards were been given by Ms Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Dr Vasko Simoniti, Minister for Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, and Ms Sabine Verheyen MEP, Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament.

The EUPL Consortium with Sabine Verheyen, Chair of the CULT committee of the EP. © Gleamlight / Philippe Molitor.


The EUPL Consortium’s Presidents with Commissioner Mariya Gabriel and MEP Tomazsz Frankowski. ©Gleamlight / Philippe Molitor.


The EUPL Consortium with Minister for Culture of Slovenia, Dr. Vasko Simoniti. ©Gleamlight / Philippe Molitor.

From 2009-2021, the EUPL was organised by a Consortium of associations comprising the European Writers’ Council (EWC), the Federation of European Publishers (FEP), and the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), with the support of the European Commission. Since 2022, the EUPL is organised by FEP and EIBF.

The 2009-2021 EUPL Consortium Presidents and Vice President with Dr. Barbara Gessler, Head of Unit, Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture. ©Gleamlight / Phillipe Molitor.


In anticipation of the event, Ms Nina George, President of the European Writers’ Council, said: “On behalf of the European Writers’ Council, we warmly congratulate the winners of this year’s European Union Prize for Literature! We thank you for your tirelessness to observe and tell about the world. You are not only the sources of the book value chain, but your works are the sources of democracy, cultural exchange and a diverse European community. The EUPL 2021 is a special prize: it marks the beginning of a still unclear time “after”. Let us enter these post-crisis years with optimism and accept the challenge to continue writing – and awarding – literature that is as diverse, surprising or unusual as possible.”

EWC President at the EUPL Ceremony and her speech on the relation between author and reader. @Gleamlight / Phillipe Molitor.

Mr Peter Kraus Vom Cleff, President of the Federation of European Publishers, commented: “This year’s 13 EUPL winners showcase the incredible European diversity and literary richness in a fascinating way. And how important it is to systematically help authors so that their works find a translated place in as many European publishing houses as possible.”

Mr Jean-Luc Treutenaere, co-President of the European and International Booksellers Federation, added: “This year’s EUPL Ceremony is a very special one for all of us, but especially for our 2021 laureates. Faced with the difficult circumstances last autumn, the EUPL Consortium had to move the Ceremony online. We are now doubly pleased to be able to celebrate these outstanding literary talents and their great novels in person again and to welcome the wider European literary and cultural community to Brussels for this event. Oh behalf of the EIBF, I wish to warmly congratulate the 13 laureates for this year, and hope to soon be able to discover their novels in many languages and many bookshops around the world.”


2021 EUPL Laureates, Ambassadors, Commissioner, EP, Consortium. © Gleamlight / Phillipe Molitor.

EUPL 2021 laureates

  • Albania: Enkel Demi (pen name Tom Kuka), Flama (Calamity), Publisher: Botime Pegi.
  • Armenia: Արամ Պաչյան (Aram Pachyan), P/F (P/F), Publisher: Էջ հրատարակչություն (Edge publishing house).
  • Bulgaria: Георги Бърдаров (Georgi Bardarov), Absolvo te (Absolvo te), Publisher: Musagena.
  • Czech Republic: Lucie Faulerová, Smrtholka (Deathmaiden), Publisher: Nakladatelství TORST.
  • Iceland: Sigrún Pálsdóttir, Delluferðin (Runaround), Publisher: Forlagið útgáfa (JPV).
  • Latvia: Laura Vinogradova, Upe (The River), Publisher: Zvaizgne ABC.
  • Malta: Lara Calleja, Kissirtu kullimkien (You’ve Destroyed Everything), Publisher: Merlin Publishers.
  • Netherlands: Gerda Blees, Wij zijn licht (We are light), Publisher: Uitgeverij Podium.
  • Portugal: Frederico Pedreira, A Lição do Sonâmbulo (The Sleepwalker’s Lesson), Publisher: Companhia das Ilhas.
  • Serbia: Dejan Tiago Stanković, Zamalek (Zamalek), Publisher: Laguna.
  • Slovenia: Anja Mugerli, Čebelja družina (Bee Family), Publisher: Cankarjeva založba.
  • Sweden: Maxim Grigoriev, Europa (Europe), Publisher: Albert Bonniers Förlag.
  • Tunisia: أمين الغزي (Amine Al Ghozzi), زندالي ليلة 14 جانفي 2011 (Zindali, the night of 14 january 2011), Publisher: زينب للنّشر و التوزيع (Editions Zayneb).

The 2021 laureate for each country was selected by a national jury of experts in the fields of literature, publishing and bookselling. The 13 winning books and authors were revealed during a video broadcast on 18 May at 2:00 PM CEST. Their names were individually announced by a representative of each national jury.

Mariya Gabriel, the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, and Graça Fonseca, the Minister of Culture of Portugal, congratulated the winning laureates.  

Commissioner Gabriel said: “The EU Prize for Literature celebrates and promotes the incredible creativity and diversity that can be found in Europe’s contemporary literature scene. The immense value of literature is more apparent now than ever before. Having lived under the shadow of Covid for more than a year, books have become “essential”. Congratulations to the laureates!” 

My congratulations to all the award winning authors, who thus become part of this honourable list of winners of the European Union Prize for Literature. May their imagination continue to make our reality better through its works and talent,” said Graça Fonseca, the Minister of Culture of Portugal.

©Gleamlight/Philippe Molitor.


EUPL 2021 shortlist 

The 2021 shortlist for the European Union Prize for Literature (the list below is in alphabetical order):


Ana Kove, Kambanat e së dielës (Bells on Sunday), publisher: Toena

Brajan Sukaj, Viti i Elefantit (The Year of the Elephant), publisher: Ombra GVG

Liridon Mulaj, Mos harro të më kujtosh (Don’t forget to remember me), publisher: Onufri 

Loer Kume, Amygdala Mandala (Amygdala Mandala), publisher: UET Press

Tom Kuka, Flama (Calamity), publisher: Pegi



Արամ Ավետիս (Аram Avetis), Երբ առնետները կարդալ գիտեին (When Rats Could Read), publisher: Actual Art Publishing House

Արամ Պաչյան (Aram Pachyan), P/F, Publisher: Edge Publishing House

Անուշ Սարգսյան (Anoush Sargsyan), Անոն (Ano), publisher: Antares Publishing House

Հովիկ Աֆյան (Hovik Afyan), Կարմիր (Red), publisher: Antares Publishing House

Լուսինե Խառատյան (Lusine Kharatyan), Անմոռուկի փակուղի (The Dead End Forget-me-not), publisher: Granish



Георги Бърдаров (Georgi Bardarov), Absolvo te (Absolvo te), publisher: Musagena

Стефан Коспартов (Stefan Kospartov), Гълъбария (Pigeonland), publisher: Ciela Norma

Владислав Кацарски (Vladislav Katsarski), Загърбената земя (The Abandoned Land), publisher: Vessela Ljutzkanova

Зорница Гъркова (Zornitsa Garkova), Те никога не казват (They Never Say), publisher: Fama


Czech Republic

Anna Bolavá, Před povodní (Before The Flood), publisher: Odeon

Daniel Hradecký, Tři kapitoly (Three Chapters), publisher: Listen

Lucie Faulerová, Smrtholka (Deathmaiden), publisher: Torst

Matěj Hořava, Mezipřistání (Stopover), publisher: Host

Miřenka Čechová, Baletky (Ballerinas), publisher: Paseka



Benný Sif Ísleifsdóttir, Hansdætur (Hansdaughters), publisher: Mál og menning

Bergþóra Snæbjörnsdóttir, Svínshöfuð (Pighead), publisher: Benedikt

Jónas Reynir Gunnarsson, Dauði skógar (Death of a Forest), publisher: JPV útgáfa

Sigrún Pálsdóttir, Delluferðin (The Nonsense Trip), publisher: JPV útgáfa

Yrsa Þöll Gylfadóttir, Strendingar (Prisms), publisher: Bjartur



Jana Egle, Dzimšanas diena (Birthday), publisher: Latvijas Mediji

Laura Vinogradova, Upe (The River), publisher: Zvaigzne ABC Publishers

Rasa Bugavičute-Pēce, Puika, kurš redzēja tumsā (The Boy Who Could See in the Dark), publisher: Latvijas Mediji

Svens Kuzmins, Hohma (Hokhmah), publisher: Dienas Grāmata



Joe Pace, Papa Aħmed (Pope Ahmed), publisher: Merlin Publishers

Lara Calleja, Kissirtu Kullimkien (You’ve Destroyed Everywhere), publisher: Merlin Publishers



Lucreția Bârlădeanu, Misterul de Est (The Eastern Mistery), publisher: Arc

Nicolae Spătaru, Măștile lui Brejnev (Brezhnev’s Masks), publisher: Paralela 45 Publishing House


The Netherlands

Gerda Blees, Wij zijn licht (We are light), publisher: Podium

Jente Posthuma, Waar ik liever niet aan denk (Which I rather not think about), publisher: Uitgeverij Pluim

Raoul de Jong, Jaguarman (Jaguarman), publisher: De Bezige Bij



Ana Margarida de Carvalho, O gesto que fazemos para proteger a cabeça (The gesture we make to protect the head), publisher: Relógio D’Água

Frederico Pedreira, A lição do Sonâmbulo (The Sleepwalker’s Lesson), publisher: Companhia das Ilhas

Isabel Rio Novo, Rua de Paris em dia de Chuva (Paris street in rainy day), publisher: D Quixote

João Pinto Coelho, Um tempo a fingir (A time to pretend), publisher: D Quixote



Dejan Tiago Stanković, Zamalek (Zamalek), publisher: Laguna

Filip Grujić, Podstanar (Tenant), publisher: Lom

Savo Stijepović, Prekrasne ruševine (Beautiful ruins), publisher: Dereta

Zvonka Gazivoda, Hostel Kalifornija (Hotel California), publisher: Geopoetika



Anja Mugerli, Čebelja družina (Bee Family), publisher: Cankarjeva založba

Davorin Lenko, Psihoporn (Psychoporn), publisher: Cankarjeva založba

Gašper Kralj, Škrbine (Stubs), publisher: Založba /*cf.

Jernej Županič, Behemot (The Behemoth), publisher: Beletrina 



Balsam Karam, Singulariteten (Singularity), publisher: Norstedts

Johanne Lykke Holm, Strega (Strega), publisher: Albert Bonniers förlag

Maxim Grigoriev, Europa (Europe), publisher: Albert Bonniers förlag

Pooneh Rohi, Hölje (Schroud), publisher: Ordfront

Tone Schunnesson, Dagarna, dagarna, dagarna (Days, Days, Days), publisher: Norstedts



Amin Al-Ghazzi, زندالي.. ليلة 14 جانفي 2011​ (Zindali, the night of 14 january 2011), publisher: Zeineb éditions

Béchir Garbouj, L’Emirat (The Emirate), publisher: Déméter

Saber Mansouri, Sept morts audacieux et un poète assis (Seven daring deaths and a seated poet), publisher: Elyzad

The shortlist for each country has been selected by a national jury of literary experts. More information about jury composition and 2021 members can be found here