22 February 2016 The Conrad Award for the best literary debut of 2016

There are less than three months remaining to submit nominations for the Conrad Award, the first Polish award for prose literary debuts. The award, given out since last year, supports beginner writers and encourages readers to take an interest in “young”, newly-published literature.

The winner receives: 30 000 PLN, a residence stay in Krakow, promotion in Tygodnik Powszechny and a statuette. The Conrad Award is a joint project of the City of Krakow, the Krakow Festival Office, the Book Institute and the Tygodnik Powszechny Foundation.


Books published in 2015 may be nominated by publishers, authors and literary critics, as well as readers themselves – via the publishers – until the 30th of April. The award committee will select five titles from among the submissions, which will go on to the final phase of the competition. Their authors will meet with readers in the “After the Debut” cycle during this year’s Conrad Festival. The best debut of 2016 will be determined not by a jury, but by the audience, who will select their favourite in an online vote. The presentation of the statuette will take place at a gala ceremony during the Conrad Festival – during the first edition, it was accompanied by a lecture by world-renowned American writer Jonathan Franzen. The winner of the first edition was Liliana Hermetz for her novel Alicyjka, published by Nisha publishing house.

The Award Committee includes: Prof. Michał Paweł Markowski (president), Urszula Chwalba, Inga Iwasiów, Grzegorz Jankowicz, Zofia Król, Michał Nogaś, Tomasz Pindel, Joanna Szulborska-Łukaszewicz (secretary)


How to nominate a book for the Award?


  • Books may be nominated for the Conrad Award by: authors, literary critics, publishing houses and members of the Conrad Award committee. Readers may also submit nominations via publishing houses.
  • The nomination should include: the book title, author, publisher, year of publishing and the ISBN number. The submission must include seven copies of the book.
  • The final deadline for applications is 30 April 2016.
  • Nominations should be submitted to the Office of the Municipality of the City of Krakow, Plac Wszystkich Świętych 3–4, or by post to the address of the appropriate culture department of the Krakow City Hall with “Nagroda Conrada” written on the envelope.


The full terms and conditions can be found here: www

The Award is part of the programme to support literary debuts (in addition to the “Debut Promoters” competition and the UNESCO City of Literature Creative Writing Course), and is closely connected with the Conrad Festival in Krakow. The event, organised since 2009 by the Krakow Festival Office and the Tygodnik Powszechny Foundation, quickly made a name for itself as the biggest literary festival in Central Europe and one of the most significant in the world. Among the writers whom readers had a chance to meet during previous editions of the Festival are Nobel Prize winners Orhan Pamuk, Herta Müller and Svetlana Alexievich, as well as Etgar Keret, Marjane Satrapi, Jaume Cabré, Paul Auster, Boris Akunin, Jeanette Winterson, Jonathan Franzen, Amos Oz, Robert Coover, and an excellent group of Polish writers of prose and reportage, including Wiesław Myśliwski, Hanna Krall, Olga Tokarczuk, Marek Bieńczyk and Mariusz Szczygieł.