1 October 2021 Meet the nominees for the 2020 Conrad Award and vote!

Szalejów by Maciej Bobula, Halny by Igor Jarek, Bestiariusz nowohucki by Elżbieta Łapczyńska, Bezmatek by Mira Marcinów and Niż by Maciej Topolski are the books nominated for the Conrad Award for 2020. Their authors have the chance to win a literary laurel distinguished by the fact that it only recognises debutants! The winner will be elected by the readers together with the award chapter. The award gala will take place on October 24 during the Conrad Festival, while until October 23 votes can be cast by the Internet users via the website www.conradfestival.com.

Conrad Award will be granted for the seventh time. This prize is intended both to support young authors and to encourage publishers to publish books by authors who are just beginning their writing careers. Authors are nominated for the award by the publishers themselves.

The first of the nominees, Maciej Bobula, was recognised for his prose debut Szalejów, published by Wydawnictwo j. This is a collection of closely related short stories written by an outstanding Lower Silesian poet, which are linked primarily by the title place – a village in the Kłodzko Valley, but also by a peculiar kind of sensitivity. Igor Jarek made his debut with Halny, which was published by Nisza. The specifically written and printed stories collected in this volume are united by the place of action – Nowa Huta – and the environment of the characters. They include gangsters, drug dealers, failed musicians after convictions for leading drunk to the deaths of several people. The plot of Elżbieta Łapczyńska’s Bestiariusz nowohucki, published by Biuro Literackie, is also set in Nowa Huta. This time the story is written in an oneiric, almost surreal style. Another nominee is Mira Marcinów with her Bezmatek, published by Wydawnictwo Czarne publishing house and dedicated to the complex relationship between mother and daughter and, above all, about death and loss. The last of this year’s nominees is Maciej Topolski, author of Niż, a collection published by Korporacja Ha!art. This book is difficult to identify from the perspective of genre, it combines reportage, essay and poetic prose, and is dedicated to the work of a waiter. You can read the bios of the nominees on the festival website.

The finalists were selected from among the artists submitted by the publishing houses by a jury composed of: Michał Paweł Markowski (chairman), Urszula Chwalba, Inga Iwasiów, Grzegorz Jankowicz, Krzysztof Koehler, Zofia Król, Michał Nogaś and Joanna Szulborska-Łukaszewicz (secretary). The final choice of winner will be made by the jurors, who have already cast their votes, and the readers, who can vote via the website from today. The winner will be announced on October 24 during the Conrad Award gala in the ICE Krakow Congress Centre. The winner will receive a statuette, a financial award of PLN 30,000 and a one-month residency in Kraków. The awarded book will be supported by a promotional campaign in “Tygodnik Powszechny”.

Previous winners of the Conrad Award include: Liliana Hermetz for her book Alicyjka (Nisza 2015), Żanna Słoniowska for Dom z witrażem (Znak Literanova 2016), Anna Cieplak for Ma być czysto (Wydawnictwo Krytyki Politycznej 2017), Weronika Gogola for Po trochu (Wydawnictwo Książkowe Klimaty 2018), Olga Hund for Psy ras drobnych (Korporacja Ha!art 2019) and Dorota Kotas for Pustostany (Niebieska Studnia 2020).

You can vote until 23 October 2021 via the conradfestival.pl/nagroda-conrada website.

Conrad Award is part of the city’s programme supporting debuts within the Kraków UNESCO City of Literature initiative and is a joint undertaking of the City of Kraków, the Krakow Festival Office, the Book Institute and the Tygodnik Powszechny Foundation.