The Conrad Award

Fot. Michał Ramus

The year 2015 was specially dedicated to emerging writers and supporting their first attempts at success on the literary market. To realise this goal we prepared three projects, each one focusing on a different stage of development of the writer in Poland.
The Conrad Award, the nationwide award for emerging writers, is a unique accolade on the Polish literary map. The 30,000 PLN prize is granted every year at the Conrad Festival, and the winner is selected not by the jury, but by the festival audience. The award is supposed to support aspiring writers, but also provide an incentive for publishers to make bolder investments in emerging writers. The award is granted by the City of Krakow and its partners include: Polish Book Institute, Tygodnik Powszechny Foundation and Krakow Festival Office.


The “Promoters of Debuts” initiative also belongs to this programme, which aims to support young literature. It is a Polish Book Institute project, carried out jointly with the Tygodnik Powszechny Foundation and the Conrad Festival. It is addressed to institutions that publish works by emerging writers and its aim is to help financially incentivise greater investment in these writers. The winning publishing house receives a cash prize of 10,000 PLN to cover costs associated with the first edition of the book.

The third element of the programme is the UNESCO City of Literature Creative Writing Course. In 2015 it was led by fantastic writers, including author of the cult crime thrillers Marek Krajewski and the winner of the 2014 Polityka’s Passport Award, Wit Szostak, as well as specialists from the publishing sector: editors of the largest publishing houses, literary agents, PR experts, and a creative arts psychologist. Thanks to the course aspiring writers have the unique opportunity to develop their skills not only under the guidance of accomplished and established authors, but also experienced trainers and workshop leaders. At the end of the course the three best participants are recommended to key Krakow-based publishers by the organisers. The project is realised thanks to the financial support of the National Centre for Culture Poland.