About the Prize

Goals, dates and terms and conditions


The German Non-Fiction Prize is presented to the non-fiction book of the year as an annual award of the Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung (Foundation for Book Culture and the Promotion of Reading) to honour outstanding non-fiction books written in German that inspire social debate.

Criteria for the award are: a relevant subject, the narrative quality of the text, the presentation of the topic, the clarity of the language and accessibility of the material and the quality of the research. The prize, worth a total of 42,500 euros, is awarded in Berlin.

The Non-Fiction Prize aims to promote awareness of non-fiction as a basis for transmitting knowledge, developing informed opinions and encouraging public discourse.

The Deutsche Bank Stiftung (Deutsche Bank Foundation) is the main supporter of the prize, which is also supported by the Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss (Foundation of the Humboldt Forum in the Berlin Palace).

I cannot imagine a world without books that explain the world. That is exactly what non-fiction does – and sometimes it even changes the world, or at least makes it a little bit better.Margit Ketterle, publishing director non-fiction Droemer Knaur

Prize money and award ceremony

The German Non-Fiction Prize is endowed with a total of 42,500 euros. The winner receives 25,000 euros, the seven nominees 2,500 euros each. The non-fiction book of the year 2022 will be announced at the award ceremony on 30 May 2022 at the Humboldt Forum in Berlin. The eight nominated authors only find out who is the winner of the German Non-Fiction Prize on the evening of the award ceremony.

The selection process

Publishers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland may submit up to two German-language non-fiction books from their current or planned programme for consideration for the prize. The jury reviews all submitted books that meet the criteria for participation and may request additional titles that it deems appropriate.

The non-fiction book of the year is selected through a two-stage process. First, the jury compiles a list of nominations comprising eight titles, which is announced around World Book Day in April. From this selection, the members of the jury then choose the non-fiction book of the year, which is announced in May.

Expanding horizons and inspiring debate – these are two key attributes of non-fiction. As a result, the German Non-Fiction Prize contributes significantly to a wide-ranging social discourse.Jürgen Fitschen, Chairman of the Deutsche Bank Stiftung (Deutsche Bank Foundation)

The jury

The jury of the German Non-Fiction Prize is composed of seven experts from the areas of non-fiction criticism, journalism, science, the cultural sector and the book trade. The jury is comprised of new members each year. The Jury of 2022 was announced on 2 November 2021.

Die Akademie (Academy of the German Non-Fiction Prize)

The primary task of the advisory board is to select the members of the jury each year. The members of the Akademie des Deutschen Sachbuchpreises include representatives of the book, media and culture industries, science, as well as sponsors and partners of the prize. The Chairperson is the President of the Börsenverein Karin Schmidt-Friderichs.

The Academy

Deutscher Sachbuchpreis Akademie Jonathan Beck
Dr Jonathan Beck, Publisher C.H.Beck
Deutscher Sachbuchpreis Akademie Lavinia Frey
Lavinia Frey, Managing Di­rector Pro­gramme and Projects at Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Ber­liner Schloss
Deutscher Sachbuchpreis Akademie Kristina Hasenpflug
Dr Kristina Hasenpflug, Man­aging Di­rector Deutsche Bank Stiftung
Akademie Deutscher Sachbuchpreis Christoph Markschies
Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. mult. Christoph Markschies, Presi­dent of the Berlin-­Brandenburg Acad­emy of Sciences and Humanities
Deutscher Sachbuchpreis Akademie Michael Münch
Michael Münch, Chair­person of the board of the Deutsche Bank Stiftung
Deutscher Sachbuchpreis Akademie Ulrich Raulff
Prof Dr Ulrich Raulff, Presi­dent of ifa (Institut für Auslands­beziehungen)
Deutscher Sachbuchpreis Akademie Vorsitzende Karin Schmidt-Friderichs
Karin Schmidt-Friderichs (chair­person), Publisher Verlag Hermann Schmidt / Presi­dent of the Börsen­verein des Deutschen Buch­handels
Deutscher Sachbuchpreis Akademie Regula Venske
Dr Regula Venske, Presi­dent of the PEN Centre Germany
Deutscher Sachbuchpreis Akademie Sabeth Vilmar
Sabeth Vilmar, Kunst - Buch Kollwitz­platz book­store
Deutscher Sachbuchpreis Akademie Lovenberg
Felicitas von Lovenberg, Publisher Piper Verlag / Member of the board of the Börsen­verein des Deutschen Buch­handels
Knowledge! Education! Information! Good non-fiction deciphers and makes sense of a puzzling world.Michael Lemling, Lehmkuhl bookstore, Munich


Publishers may submit up to two German-language non-fiction books from their current or planned programme for consideration for the prize. Titles that have not yet been published may also be submitted; in this case, the manuscript should be provided first, followed by the book as soon as it is available in printed form.

Applicants must be members of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels or of the Swiss or Austrian equivalents, the Schweizer Buchhändler- und Verleger-Verband and the Hauptverband des Österreichischen Buchhandels. Authors may not submit their work independently. The complete list of submitted titles will not be made public.

The submitted titles must

  • satisfy the criteria for non-fiction, technically and in terms of content (according to the jury’s definition)
  • be German-language original editions
  • be monographs with a clearly identifiable author
  • be published between May of the previous year and the date on which the nominations are announced
  • be available in bookstores no later than the date on which the nominations are announced

Submission period

The submission period begins on 27 September and ends on 19 November 2021.


Logo Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung des Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels

Main Supporter

Logo Deutsche Bank Stiftung


Logo Humboldt Forum