Opportunities > 2019 Berlin Writing Prize
30 Jun 2019

2019 Berlin Writing Prize

Poster for Berlin writing prize

The 2019 Berlin Writing Prize is now open for submissions! Until the closing date of June 30, 2019, we invite entries on the theme “The Circus” from both published and unpublished writers resident anywhere in the world.

A one-month residency is offered to the winning author in a luxury apartment in one of the world’s most creative destinations for travellers, Berlin’s Circus Hotel. From January 4th to February 3rd 2020, the winning author will have a month to write, a free four-day pass to The British Council Germany’s Literary Seminar, and access to the famously inspiring Berliner Luft!

Alongside a host of runner up prizes, a shortlist of ten writers will be published in an anthology by the independent Berlin press KLAK Verlag. Last time, our 2017 shortlist featured both unpublished writers and debut novelists, including two who went on to be longlisted for The Booker Prize in 2018. We’ve already had requests from literary agents to view our next longlist. All of which meaning that if you are an emerging writer, our competition is one you should seriously consider entering. Read on to find out more about the prizes, our panel of illustrious judges, partners, sponsors, the rules, submission guidelines and how to enter.


Winner: A one-month (four-week) residency at Berlin’s The Circus Hotel to take place from January 4th to February 3rd, 2020. The competition winner will receive their very own apartment, plus a month’s breakfast vouchers for the Circus Hostel, and up to 100 euros in travel costs toward their travel to Berlin. The winning entry will be showcased in a Reader Berlin anthology published by KLAK Verlag in January 2020.

In addition, The British Council Germany has generously offered the winner a place as a delegate at the British Council Literature Seminar 2020, due to take place over three days during the residency. The seminar, in its 37th year, offers students, academics, publishers, translators, journalists and literature fans the chance to hear the latest writing from the UK and engage with the writers and their work at first hand. Over the years, the list of writers taking part has included Ian McEwan, A S Byatt, Salman Rushdie, Jeanette Winterson and David Nicholls.

Runners Up: Two runners up will receive two nights in a double room at The Circus Hotel over February’s competition prize-giving event in January 2020 (dates to tbc in early 2019), and 100 euros each towards their travel to Berlin. Their winning entries will be published in a Reader Berlin anthology.

Shortlist: A further seven shortlisted writers will win Reader Berlin goodie bags, plus invitations to our prize-giving event in January 2020. Their winning entries will be published on The Reader Berlin’s website and in the anthology.

  1. Closing date for receipt of entries is June 30th, 2019 at midnight Berlin time.
  2. Entrants must be 18 years old or over on the closing date, June 30th, 2019.
  3. The maximum length of submissions is 3,000 words (does not include title). There is no minimum length.
  4. The 2019 Berlin Writing Prize is open to all published and unpublished writers. There is no geographical restriction on entry, but all entries must be in English.

See website for the full eligibility guidelines and how to submit your work