Call for papers: German Prize for Nature Writing 2022

in einem dunklen Gehölz fällt Licht auf einen alten abgebrochenen BaumClick to enlarge
Prize recognises authors whose literary work focuses on nature
Source: Gabriela Torres Ruiz

For the sixth time the publishing house Matthes & Seitz Berlin is awarding the German Prize for Nature Writing in cooperation with the German Environment Agency and the Stiftung Kunst und Natur. The competition is under the patronage of President Dirk Messner of the German Environment Agency. Author entries will be accepted until 6 March 2022.

The German Prize for Nature Writing honours authors whose literary work is dedicated to nature. The annual prize ties in with the literary tradition of nature writing, which is particularly strong in USA and Great Britain, where authors deal with the perception of nature, with the practical handling of the natural, with reflections on the relationship between nature and culture and with the history of the human appropriation of nature. Across all genres, essays as well as lyrical and epic writing are considered.

The exploration of 'nature' includes the dialectics of external and internal nature as well as the dissolution of the boundaries between culture and nature, but also the possibilities or problems of protecting natural phenomena and natural events. Nature writing does not speak of 'nature as such', but of how people perceive, experience and explore it.

Call for papers

Funding is awarded to German authors or authors writing in German who have published at least one independent literary work or one text in a literary magazine (no self-publishing or books on demand; in the case of plays, radio plays, etc., proof of first performance). The submitted texts should be previously unpublished (until the end of the year of the call).

Entries must be accompanied by the following:

  • A prose text (story, beginning of a novel) of 30-50 standard pages,
    or 10 poems,
    or an essay of at least 10 standard pages
  • A maximum one-page exposé
  • Author's bio-bibliography

Entries must be addressed to dpnw [at] matthes-seitz-berlin [dot] de in digital form by 6 March 2022.

This year’s prize is endowed with €10,000. The award ceremony will take place in Berlin on 28 August 2022.

The German Environment Agency and the Stiftung Kunst und Natur in Bad Heilbrunn, Bavaria, contribute to the prize money. In addition, the Stiftung Kunst und Natur allows the prizewinner to spend six weeks writing on the premises of its extensive nature grounds in the Bavarian Forealps. Stiftung Kunst und Natur will also award two grants among the applicants to participate in its international Nature Writing Seminar on 6-9 October 2022.

Winning authors must declare their willingness to be a member of the jury in next year’s contest.


This year's jury is made up of the incumbent prize winners Mara-Daria Cojocaru and Bernd Marcel Gonner, literary scholar and author Ludwig Fischer, senior programme curator of the Foundation Art and Nature Annette Kinitz, author Sophia Klink, literary mediator Brigitte Labs-Ehlert, Arts Commissioner Fotini Mavromati of the German Environment Agency, and literary and cultural historian Steffen Richter.

Umweltbundesamt Hauptsitz

Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau

schwarz-weißes Logo mit Schriftzug "Deutscher Preis für Nature Writing" und einer angedeuteten Tintenfeder
Logo Deutscher Preis für Nature Writing
Source: Deutscher Preis für Nature Writing
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 Kunst und Umwelt  Literatur  Naturerfahrung