The prize is given to young talented European writers and aims to “put the spotlight on the creativity and diverse wealth of Europe’s contemporary literature, to promote more circulation of literature within Europe and encourage greater interest in non-national literary works”.
The grant, founded by the Booksellers’ Association, The Norwegian Writer’s Union and the Bjørnson Festival, is given to an emerging writer of great promise.
The names of twelve European authors to receive the first ever European Union Prize for Literature were announced the 16th of July 2009 by the European Commission, the European Booksellers Federation (EBF), the European Writers' Council (EWC) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP). Carl Frode Tiller with the title "Innsirkling" (Encirclement) was the winner from Norway.
Sigmund Jensen won the grant for “a particularly remarkable book” for his novel THE TIBERIUS CLIFF, while Kristine Næss won one of the two grants for new, powerful writers, for her novels, prose and poetry. Her latest novel HANNAH'S STORY WITH HEDDY, was widely acclaimed by critics on its publication in 2008.
Askildsen, generally regarded the greatest living short story writer in Norway, is given the prize for his contribution to literature.
Bjørn Sortland nominated for Ministry of Culture’s literary prize for children and young adults 2008.
Dag Solstad’s novel NOVEL 11, BOOK 18 has been longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize
Poet, essayist and novelist Geir Gulliksen has won the Mads Wiel Nygaard Endowment for 2008. Lars Petter Sveen has won the Aschehoug Debutant Grant 2008.
Harald Rosenløw Eeg has been nominated for the global 540.000 EURO Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2009.