Literature Prize Mecklenburg-Western-Pomerania


The Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Literature Prize, which was awarded for the first time in 2016, is a joint initiative of the Künstlerhaus Lukas Ahrenshoop, the Literaturhaus Rostock, the Literature Center Vorpommern in Koeppenhaus Greifswald in cooperation with the LiteraturRat MV and consists of a one-month working residency at the Künstlerhaus Lukas, prize money of 3000 € and a tour of readings at various literary institutions in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The finalists' texts are published in an anthology by Hinstorff-Verlag Rostock.

For his cycle of poems "Der Körper lügt" (The Body Lies), Tobias Reußwig, a native of Hagen and resident of Greifswald, was awarded the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Literature Prize of 2020. Born in Hagen in 1989 he grew up in Nienburg and studied German, Scandinavian and literature studies at the university in Greifswald where he now works as a poet, translator and tutor for socially disadvanted students. In 2015 and 2019, Tobias Reußwig was a scholarship holder at the Poetencamp MV (poet camp in Mecklenburg-Western-Pomerania) and in 2016 and 2017 he was awarded a scholarship by the Hieronymus-programme of the German fund for translators. In 2017, he came second in the competition "Weltoffene Universität" organised by the University of Greifswald. Since 2010, Tobias Reußwig has been organising readings at various associations and initiatives, f.ex. at pom-lit (Pommersche Literaturgesellschaft, Pomeranian Literature Association), Das stille Wörtchen, Lesen was auf den Tisch kommt, Weitergelesen!
The prize is endowed with 3000 euros as well as a one-month residency at the Künstlerhaus Lukas (Ahrenshoop) in 2021. A tour with readings at various literary institutions in Mecklenburg-Western-Pomerania is planned in 2021.

For the second time the always varying jury constellation included Anke Jahns, cultural editor for the  NDR (previously on the jury in 2017) and Thomas Kunst, a poet and author from Stralsund who'd previously been on the jury in 2018. Diana Stübs, a lector working for the Rowohlt publishing house, was a first-time jury-member.

"We are impressed by the high standard of the many submissions. Most of all, we were impressed by the texts that are courageously different and that dare to distance themselves from conventional narrative structures. The selected pieces of work have surprised and sometimes irritated us, have created a new kind of simplicity and have, of course, managed to put the North into words. It was a pleasure to continously understand new things and, occasionally, have our heart warmed [by these pieces of art]." (the original of this quote is in German, the translation is not authorised)

The three audience prizes (endowed with 1000, 500 and 300 euros) were awarded to Peter Thiers (first place for his text "Oasen der Rechtwinkligkeit"), Theresa Steigleder (second place for her short works of prose, among others "Regenrinne") and, once more, Tobias Reußwig (third place for "Der Körper lügt"). The submissions of all six finalists will be published in an anthology in spring 2021 by the Hinstorff publishing house in Rostock.

The jury prize was awarded to Slata Roschal. Born in St.Petersburg/Russia in 1992 the author studied slavic and German studies as well as comparative literature at the University of Greifswald and is currentling doing her PhD at the LMU in Munich. She has had some of poems and short works of prose published in literary magazines and anthologies (f.ex. außer.dem, mosaik, hEFt, LiteraturSeiten München, entwürfe), translates from Russian and took part in writing workshops like the Poetencamp MV 2017 and the 13th workshop organised by the Jürgen Ponto Foundation. The jury prize is endowed with 2000 euros, a one-month stay at the Künstlerhaus Lukas, and a tour of readings at various literary institutions in Mecklenburg-Western-Pomerania.

The six finalists each present excerpts from their submitted work in a ten minute reading: Margarete groschupf, Carola Weider and Sabina Lepadatu read from collections of short works of prose, Slata Roschal and Silke Peters read poetry and Katja Thomas read an excerpt from a longer manuscript.

The members of the jury deciding on the winner of the main prize 2018 were literary editor and critic Wiebke Porombka, author and translator Steffen Popp and lyricist Thomas Kunst. Out of the more than 70 anonymised submissions, six finalists were chosen and ultimately Slata Roschal was picked as the winner. The jury describes her poems as follows:

"As unspectacular, quiet and melancholy as their voice may be, these poems have immediately captured our attention with their exceptional atmosphere. They bear witness to the abilities of their author and show how poetic thinking can unfold even in the smallest of spaces. The poet chooses the periphery to reflect on the stipulations of her existence and thereby all of ours as well".
(the original quote is in German, this translation has not been authorised)

In 2017, the jury prize was awarded to Berit Glanz, an author and translator living in Greifswald. the previous year, she had already been one of the finalists of the literary competition open mike in Berlin. Berit Glanz writes and translates plays for children and teenagers from Norwegian and Icelandic. Born in 1992 in Preetz (Schleswig-Holstein), she's been working as a research assistant at the institute of Finnish and Scandinavian studies at the University of Greifswald. The jury commented on the submitted excerpt from her novel as follows:

"[Her novel] has a zest for contemporaneity, is aware that the internet exists, and is familiar with tinder, indie pop and coding, and the gibberish used in marketing. But the text does not simply choose the easy way of turning into full satire or affirmation, but talks about the major questions and topics of literature in this context: love, childhood, memories and what we do with the time on earth given to us. This is prose that does not confine itself to one corner and that instead creates a bridge between literature and our modern world." (the original quote is in German, this translation has not been authorised)

Out of the 70 submissions, the jury chose six finalists: Katharina Lang, Lukas Valtin, Sven Hirsekorn, Steffen Dürre and Berit Glanz. The readings of the finalists and the award ceremony of the jury prize and the audience prizes took place in the auditorium of the University of Greifswald. With regards to the audience prizes, Berit Glanz came in first place (endowed with 1000 €), Steffen Dürre came in second (endowed with 500 €) and Sven Hirsekorn in third place (endowed with 300 €). The freiraum-verlag is publishing an anthology with the works of all six finalists.

We would like to thank the jury members
Anke Jahns
, Prof. Moritz Baßler and Bert Papenfuß

In 2016 the jury prize was awarded to Kai Grehn. The author and director who was born in 1969 in Grevesmühlen and lives in Berlin had submitted an excerpt from the manuscript for the novel "Funken oder: So glücklich wie wir ist kein Mensch unter der Sonne". The jury said that "with his fairy-tale like themes, his unique voice and a tightly woven, near-musical prose, the author manages to lull his audiences into a light, serene and almost sedated mood". They added that that "on a deeper level, there are also clear traces of the real world, of the past of the [generation of our] grandparents and the promises and imperatives of happiness in today's society" (the original quotes are in German, these translations have not been authorised). His novel "Funken oder: So glücklich wie wir ist kein Mensch unter der Sonne" was published in September of 2017 by the freiraum-verlag.

Out of the 104 submissions the jury picked six finalists: Okke Baumbach, Mathias Jeschke, Johanna Sailer, Marion Skepenat, Katrin Sobotha-Heidelk and Kai Grehn. All of them were invited to the award ceremony at the council hall of the Hanseatic City of Rostock where both the jury prize and the three audience prizes were to be awarded. With regards to the audience prizes, Katrin Sobotha-Heidelk came in first (endowed with 1000 €), Marion Skepenat in second (endowed with 500 €) and Johanna Sailer in third place (300 €). An anthology including the works of all six finalists was published by the freiraum-verlag.

We would like to thank the jury members
Dr. Anne Blaudzun
, Dr. Wiebke Porombka and Prof. Dr. Moritz Baßler.