Ingeborg Bachmann Prize

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The Ingeborg Bachmann Prize was founded in 1976 by the city of Klagenfurt in memory of the writer Ingeborg Bachmann and has been awarded annually since 1977 during the German-language Literature Days event, which lasts several days . It is considered one of the most important literary awards in the German-speaking world.

In 2020, the event was initially canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic . However, several jury members protested against this decision, who argued that the competition should take place in an alternative form. ORF General Director Alexander Wrabetz then announced that he would be working on a digital version on the Internet. On May 28, 2020, the authors invited to the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize 2020 were announced.


In a three-day reading event, preselected applicants compete one after the other and present previously unpublished prose texts or excerpts for around 25 minutes. The original texts must be written in German. This procedure is intended to convince the audience in the hall and, in particular, the specialist jury in Klagenfurt of the quality of the texts presented. In this way, the winners of the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize and other prizes awarded at the Days of German-Language Literature event are determined annually. In 2008 the jury was reduced from nine to seven members and the field of participants was reduced from eighteen to fourteen authors. The Ingeborg Bachmann Prize has been endowed with 25,000 euros since 2006 (previously: 22,500 euros). In 2010, prize money totaling 56,500 euros was awarded. The Deutschlandfunk Prize, endowed by Deutschlandradio and endowed with 12,500 euros , will be awarded from 2017 , with a total of 62,500 euros in prize money. Also in 2017, Deutschlandfunk broadcast the entire competition live on digital radio for the first time.


The journalist and book author Humbert Fink as well as the then director of the ORF regional studio in Carinthia , Ernst Willner , had the idea in the mid-1970s of launching a literary competition based on the model of Gruppe 47 in Klagenfurt , and were able to manage Marcel Reich- Win Ranicki as a member of the jury. This gave rise to the Days of German-Language Literature , which have been taking place in Klagenfurt every year in early summer since 1977.

The competition was initially shown in excerpts on television and has been broadcast live in full on 3sat's satellite program since 1989 . The financial involvement with the ORF and its desire for a format that is as TV-compatible as possible has led to tensions with more conservative actors at the event over the years, most recently in the 2008 reforms. Also the sudden departure of the event manager Michaela Monschein in autumn 2012 viewed critics in connection with a change that broadcasters wanted.

Exit considerations of the ORF

In 2013, the ORF considered leaving the competition from 2014 due to austerity measures. Since the broadcaster had to reduce its expenses by around 80 million euros, it could no longer afford the 750,000 euros for the literary competition (350,000 for the actual competition, another 400,000 including all ancillary costs). The announcement by ORF was seen as a threat to soften the austerity requirements imposed by Austrian politics on the broadcaster.

The literary critic Hubert Winkels (member of the jury), the former chairman of the ORF board of trustees, Siegbert Metelko, cultural councilor Wolfgang Waldner and the city of Klagenfurt then expressed protests. A takeover of the competition by the municipality ruled out the latter. Federal Chancellor Werner Faymann also spoke out in favor of preservation and declared: "The Ingeborg Bachmann Prize will continue to exist in the future".

On the last day of the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize 2013, ORF General Director Alexander Wrabetz announced an agreement with the ORF State Director Karin Bernhard , the Governor of Carinthia Peter Kaiser and those responsible for the city of Klagenfurt on the continuation of the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize. The original request for a refund of fees remains, but missing funds are to be covered by sponsors.


The main prize of the competition was donated in memory of Ingeborg Bachmann , one of the most important Austrian writers, who is one of the most important authors in Group 47 and who has had a decisive influence on it. In addition, additional awards are given over the years:

  • the Kelag Prize, which replaced the Prize of the State of Carinthia because Governor Jörg Haider refused to finance the prize because of criticism of his cultural policy (2000–2005 “Prize of the Jury”, 2006–2008 “Telekom Austria Prize”) with 10,000 euros)
  • the 3sat Prize ( scholarship donated by 3sat , 7,500 euros)
  • the Ernst Willner Prize (donated by numerous German-language publishers until 2013, 5,000 euros (until 2011: 7,000 euros)). Since 2014, the prize has been donated exclusively by the Klagenfurt bookstore Heyn and is called »Mr. Heyn's Ernst Willner Prize «.
  • the audience award (awarded since 2002, awarded by BKS Bank as the BKS audience award since 2011 and endowed with 7,000 euros)
  • the Deutschlandfunk Prize (awarded since 2017 and endowed with 12,500 euros by Deutschlandradio )

Since 1998, the State Prize for Literary Translation , the Translatio , which has existed since 1987, has also been awarded for the previous year as part of the Ingeborg Bachmann Competition, on the one hand for the translation of a work of contemporary Austrian literature into a foreign language and on the other hand for the translation a foreign-language work of contemporary literature into German. Both prizes are endowed with 10,000 euros each (as of 2019).

Award winners

From 2020

2010 to 2019

2000 to 2009

31st Days of German-Language Literature / Ingeborg Bachmann Prize
  • 2007 Lutz Seiler : Turksib
    • Telekom Austria Prize: Thomas Stangl : Without a title without end
    • 3sat Prize: PeterLicht : The story of my assessment at the beginning of the third millennium
    • Ernst Willner Prize: Jan Böttcher : Freundwärts
    • Audience award: PeterLicht : The story of my assessment at the beginning of the third millennium
30th Days of German-Language Literature / Ingeborg Bachmann Prize

1990 to 1999

1980 to 1989

  • 1987 Uwe Saeger : Without disabilities, without wrong movement
    • Prize of the Province of Carinthia: Werner Fritsch : Cherubim II: Wenzel Heindl, DAS WERNERL
    • Scholarship from the Carinthian Industry: Anna Langhoff : Four texts: The emergency butcher's knife in my chest , a thousand meter heartbeat , North Sea's Odysseus , the necessity
    • Ernst Willner Scholarship: Irina Liebmann : Did you use the night?
    • The authors awarded the literary promotion prize of the city of Dachau in equal parts to the Documentation Center of the Association of Jews Persecuted by the Nazi Regime in Vienna and to the Association of those persecuted by the Nazi regime

1977 to 1979


In the early years, Ernst Willner led the show as a representative of the organizing ORF, who was also a full voting member of the jury. His successors on the ORF regular chair, Manfred Mixner (1984-85) and Roman Roček (1986), did the same . In 1987, through a change in the statutes, the organizer and jury were separated and Ernst Alexander Rauter became the moderating jury member without voting rights. Ernst Grissemann followed him in 1988 . who exercised the moderator's office without participating in the discussion. In 1997, Grissemann handed over the moderation to Ernst A. Grandits , who - after an interim year with Dieter Moor - was followed in 2009 by ORF cultural journalist Clarissa Stadler . Christian Ankowitsch has been the moderator since 2013 .


  • The best. Klagenfurt texts. Selection of the read texts with excerpts from jury discussions and the reasons for the award, edited by the respective jury chairperson. Published annually, from 1977 to 1989 by List, since 1990 by Piper, Munich (except 2001: Jung und Jung).
  • Iso Camartin (Ed.): The best. The winners from 25 years of the Ingeborg Bachmann Competition. Piper, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-492-04349-6 .
  • Doris Moser: The Ingeborg Bachmann Prize. Stock exchange, show, event. Böhlau, Vienna 2004, ISBN 3-205-77188-5 . ( Publisher review ( memento from September 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive ))

Web links

Commons : Ingeborg Bachmann Prize  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. cancellation of the 44th Bachmann Prize 2020. In: . March 27, 2020, accessed March 27, 2020 .
  2. Bachmann jury against suspension of the award ,, March 28, 2020, accessed on March 29, 2020.
  3. ^ "Digital edition": Bachmann Prize is taking place. In: . March 30, 2020, accessed March 30, 2020 .
  4. Bachmann Prize this year with five participants from Austria. In: . May 28, 2020, accessed May 28, 2020 .
  5. Days of German-Language Literature (Ingeborg Bachmann Prize) ( Memento from October 19, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  6. The composition of the juries can be found in the annual articles of the award. See also the " Statutes of the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize 2013 ( Memento of August 7, 2013 in the Internet Archive )".
  7. ^ ORF : Bachmann Prize 2010 with Carinthian author ; Retrieved May 27, 2010
  8. - authors of the Bachmann Prize 2017 presented . Article dated May 24, 2017, accessed May 25, 2017.
  9. - prizes and donors 2017 . Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  10. Dirk Knipphals: Monschein's surprising end . taz of November 27, 2012
  11. Bachmann Prize: Departure with many unanswered questions , Der Standard from November 29, 2012
  12. ^ Süddeutsche Zeitung: ORF wants to drop out of the Ingeborg Bachmann competition , June 21, 2013
  13. Hubert Winkels: Volltext_Newsletter_26_3_20133_26_2013 Wanted: alive ( Memento from July 2, 2013 in the web archive ). In full text , June 21, 2013
  14. Marianne Fischer: Bachmann Prize: Looking for a solution together . Kleine Zeitung of June 23, 2013 ( online ( memento of September 26, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), June 23, 2013).
  15. ^ Antonia Gössinger: Chancellor word for Bachmann Prize . Kleine Zeitung of June 29, 2013 ( online , accessed April 23, 2020).
  16. Days of German-Language Literature 2013: Bachmann Prize continued existence saved , accessed on August 14, 2013
  17. Kleine Zeitung: The Bachmann Prize is Saved ( Memento from October 4, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), from July 7, 2013
  18. ^ Austrian State Awards for Literary Translation for Cornelius Hell and Maja Badridse , from June 25, 2019, accessed June 30, 2019
  19. Birgit Birnbacher wins Bachmann Prize 2019 . Article dated June 30, 2019, accessed June 30, 2019.
  20. Tanja Maljartschuk wins Bachmann Prize 2018 . Article dated July 8, 2018, accessed July 8, 2018.
  21. Schmalz wins Bachmann Prize . Article dated July 9, 2017, accessed July 9, 2017.
  22. Bachmann Prize goes to Sharon Dodua Otoo at, July 3, 2016 (accessed July 3, 2016).
  23. Bachmann Prize goes to Nora Gomringer at, July 5, 2015 (accessed on July 5, 2015).
  24. Rubinowitz wins Bachmann Prize at, July 6, 2014 (accessed on July 6, 2014).
  25. Petrowskaja wins Bachmann Prize at, July 7, 2013 (accessed on July 7, 2013).
  26. Olga Martynova wins Bachmann Prize at, July 8, 2012 (accessed July 8, 2012).
  27. Moser 2004, p. 176 f.