About the Prize

Goals, dates and terms and conditions

2020

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). The award will be presented to outstanding non-fiction written in German. 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, will be 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 sponsor of the prize, which is also supported by the technology and information provider MVB and the Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss (Foundation of the Humboldt Forum in the Berlin Palace). Minister of State for Culture Monika Grütters is patron of the German Non-Fiction Prize.

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 will be announced at the award ceremony in June 2021 at the Humboldt Forum in in Berlin. The eight nominated authors will 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 will be announced around World Book Day in April 2021. From this selection, the members of the jury then choose the non-fiction book of the year, which will be announced in June 2021.

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 2021 has been announced on 3 November 2020.

Meet the jury

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 Martin Grötschel
Prof Dr Dr h.c. mult. Martin Grötschel, Presi­dent of the Berlin-Brandenburg Acad­emy of Sciences and Hu­manities
Deutscher Sachbuchpreis Akademie Kristina Hasenpflug
Dr Kristina Hasenpflug, Man­aging Di­rector Deutsche Bank Stiftung
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 Ronald Schild
Ronald Schild, Man­aging Director MVB
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

Attendance

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 22 September and ends on 20 November 2020.

Submission forms of the German Non-Fiction Prize 2021 (in German)


Donor

[Translate to Englisch:] Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung

Sponsor

[Translate to Englisch:] Deutsche Bank Stiftung

with support from

MVB

with support from