Posted on May 17, 2021, 2:15 pm
14 mins

The 2021 edition awards thirteen* laureates from the countries participating in this cycle.

Brussels, 18 May 2021.    Until 2021, 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. Spotlighting the creativity and the immense and diverse wealth of Europe’s contemporary literature in the field of fiction, EUPL aims to promote the circulation of literature within Europe and encourage greater interest in non-national literary works.
The 2021 edition awards thirteen* laureates from the countries participating in this cycle. 

We are pleased to announce this year’s thirteen* 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 Have 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 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. 

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. From 2022 on, the EUPL is organised by FEP and EIBF.

The European Writers’ Council warmly congratulates the nominees and 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,” said Nina George, President of the European Writers’ Council. “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.” 

Peter Kraus vom Cleff, President of FEP, commented: “I firmly hope that the 2021 EUPL laureates will be able to meet their audience presently in their country and in the future all over Europe and beyond. Whether in person or online, the label EUPL has attracted many publishers and encouraged translations. Each translation is a vivid proof of Europe’s rich, diverse, and fascinating creative publishing landscape. The famous European writer and thinker Umberto Eco said ‘Translation is the language of Europe’. I would paraphrase him in saying that ‘Translation is the language of empathy’. As the President of the Federation of European Publishers, I am proud and happy that so many previous EUPL laureates have been translated in various European languages, finding new readers and this is what I sincerely wish to the 2021 laureates.

Jean-Luc Treutenaere, co-President of EIBF, added: “The past year has been very difficult and challenging for many of us. Faced with a pandemic and the loss of access to many of our favourite and comforting cultural places, books have offered us solace, escape, and adventures. Being able to read diverse novels, from various linguistic and cultural backgrounds, is a great way to interact and get to know new characters, habits, and local cultures from the safety of our homes. The European Union Prize for Literature offers just that, and I am very pleased to offer my congratulations, on behalf of the European and International Booksellers Federation, to the 13 winning authors for this year. I am looking forward to exploring the worlds they’ve created and finding their novels on the bookshelves in bookshops across Europe.” 

To the full press release

* After further consideration of the shortlist suggested by the Moldovan jury, the EUPL Steering Committee could not confirm the proposed candidates as emerging authors. Therefore, there will be no Moldovan laureate in 2021.


The European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) recognises emerging fiction writers from across Europe. The award includes 41 countries which are part of the Creative Europe programme – an initiative aiming to strengthen Europe’s cultural and creative sectors. The EUPL was launched in 2009, and since then recognised 135 winning authors through 12 editions. Each year, the EUPL awards one winner per country from a third of participating countries.
From 2009-2021 the EUPL Consortium comprised the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), the European Writers’ Council (EWC) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP). Together the three Consortium members had over a decade of experience in organising the European Union Prize for Literature. From 2022 on, the EUPL will be organised by FEP and EIBF only.

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

Until 2021, 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