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Swedish literary prizes 2023

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A (Brief) Guide to Swedish Literary Prizes 2023

Join us on a whistle-stop tour of some of Swedish literature's most prestigious literary prizes, as we present some of this year's shortlists and winners in fiction, non-fiction, poetry and children's fiction.

(Image credit: Photo by Jaanus Jagomägi on Unsplash)


(The August Prize)

Founded by the Swedish Publishers’ Association in 1989, Augustpriset (named after Swedish author August Strindberg) is one of Sweden's most prestigious literary prizes. It is awarded in three categories: Best Swedish Fiction Book of the Year, Best Swedish Non-Fiction Book of the Year, and Best Swedish Children’s Book of the Year. Nominees are selected by a jury for each category, after which reader groups consisting of booksellers, librarians and critics elect the winners.

Augustpriset 2023

Best Swedish Fiction Book


Jävla karlar ('Damn Blokes') by Andrev Walden


Studie i mänskligt beteende ('Study in Human Behaviour') by Lena Andersson
Moral ('Morality') by Lyra Ekström Lindbäck

Spindelbjörken ('The Spider Birch') by Pär Hansson
Systrarna ('The Sisters') by Jonas Hassen Khemiri
Satansviskningar ('Whispers of Satan') by Sami Said

Augustpriset 2023

Best Swedish Non-Fiction Book


Zorn: ett liv, en tid ('Zorn: A Life, A Time') by Per Svensson


Landet utanför: Sverige och kriget 1943-1945 ('The Country Outside. Sweden and The War 1943–1945') by Henrik Berggren
Vakna, mitt folk! Det judiska Europa mellan den franska revolutionen och den ryska ('Wake Up, My People! Jewish Europe Between the French and Russian Revolutions') by Eva Ekselius
Sundsvallsoligarken: En berättelse om hur Ryssland lurade väst ('The Sundsvall Oligarch: A Story of How Russia Deceived the West') by Knut Kainz Rognerud
Vikingatider: När världen öppnades ('Viking Times: When the World Opened') by Anna Lihammer and Ted Hesselbom
Älskade bror: En rapport från gängvåldets Sverige ('Beloved Brother: A Report From the Sweden of Gang Violence') by Lisa dos Santos

Book cover of Vitsippor och Pissråttor by Oskar Kroon and Hanna Klinthage
Augustpriset 2023

Best Swedish Children’s Book


Vitsippor och pissråttor ('Windflowers and Piss Rats') by Oskar Kroon and Hanna Klinthage

Presenten ('The Present') by Emma Virke and Emelie Östergren
Kompassens hjärta ('The Heart of the Compass') by Anna Thulin
Hundägarna & Kattjägarna ('The Dog Owners and The Cat Hunters') by Frida Nilsson
Alla äter alla ('Everybody Eats Everybody') by Aron Landahl
De tar allt ifrån mig ('They’re Taking Everything Away from Me') by Linda Jones (review)

Sveriges Författarförbund: Katapultpriset & Slangbellan

(The Swedish Writers’ Union: The Catapult Prize & The Slingshot Prize)

Every year, Sveriges Författarförbund awards four literary prizes: Katapultpriset, for the year’s best Swedish fiction debut; Slangbellan, for the year’s best debut in literature for children and young adults; Translation of the Year; and the Elsa Thulin Prize for outstanding achievement in translation. All of the winners and nominees are selected by a jury for each of the union's divisions. Katapultpriset and Slangbellan both aim to bring new works into the spotlight, and to support emerging voices in literature.

Katapultpriset 2023

Best Swedish Fiction Debut


En adept till mästaren av schack gör en inre färd i Sibirien ('A Disciple to the Master of Chess Makes an Inward Journey in Siberia') by Mickaela Persson

Långt från ögat långt från hjärtat ('Far From the Eye Far From the Heart') by Merima Dizdarević
Staten Systrarna Dikten ('State, Sisters, Poetry') by Sorin Masifi
jr2 by Joakim Rask
Häng city ('Hang City') by Mikael Yvesand (review)

Slangbellan 2023

Best Swedish Debut in Literature for Children and Young Adults


Yggdrasil: Silvermannen ('Yggdrasil 1: The Silver Man') by Sara Mauritzon


Regnbågsbebisen ('The Rainbow Baby') by Josefine Engström
Yani by Nora Khalil (excerpt)

Borås Tidnings Debutantpris

(Borås Newspaper's Debutant Prize)

Borås Tidnings Debutantpris is one of Sweden's most important prizes for literary debutants, created by newspaper Borås Tidning to promote and nurture exciting new voices in literature. The winner is selected by a jury.

Borås Tidnings debutantpris 2023

Best Swedish Literary Debut


Häng City ('Hang City') by Mikael Yvesand (review)

och vardagen då när vi stryker och kardar seriöst ('And the Everyday, Then, When We Iron and Card Seriously') by Kristoffer Appelvik Lax
Vaken ('Awake') by Mimmi Jensen Gellerhed
Staten systrarna dikten ('State, Sisters, Poetry') by Sorin Masifi
Bortom Amerika ('Beyond America') by Linnéa Sjödin

Svenska Deckarakademin

(The Swedish Crime Writers' Academy)

Svenska Deckarakademin is a Swedish organization set up in 1971 to promote the writing of detective fiction and crime fiction. As part of its activities, the 24 elected academy members award annual prizes for best Swedish crime novel and best crime novel in translation, among other special prizes.

svenska Deckarakademins Pris 2023

Best Swedish Crime Novel


Levande och döda ('The Living and the Dead') by Christoffer Carlsson (review)

Lånaren ('The Borrower') by Camilla Grebe & Carl-David Pärson
Det kom ett brev från München ('A Letter Came from Munich') by Håkan Nesser
Som vi lekte ('The Way We Played') by Ninni Schulman
SKINN ('SKIN') by Sara Strömberg

The Nordic Council's literature prizes

The Nordic Council awards a number of annual culture prizes in celebration of the Nordic cultural community. This includes two literary prizes, The Nordic Council Literature Prize, and The Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize. The prizes are nominated by national members of the adjudicating committee, and are awarded to works of fiction written in one of the Nordic languages.

We have highlighted the Swedish-language nominees here, but the Nordic Council's website offers plenty of information on current and past nominees and winners in every language.

Nordic Council prizes 2023

The Nordic Council Literature Prize


Ihågkom oss till liv ('Remember Us To Life') by Joanna Rubin Dranger (Sweden) (review)

Swedish-language nominees:

Den stora blondinens sista sommar ('The Big Blonde's Last Summer') by Peter Sandström (Finland)
En bok för Ingen ('A Book For Nobody') by Isabella Nilsson (Sweden) (review)
Konsten att inte hitta sig själv på Bali ('The Art of Not Finding Yourself in Bali') by Zandra Lundberg (Åland)

Find the full list of nominees here:

Nordic Council Prizes 2023

The Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize


Eldgos ('Volcanic Eruption') by Rán Flygenring (Iceland)

Swedish-language nominees:
Vi ska ju bara cykla förbi ('We'll Just Ride Past') by Ellen Strömberg (Finland) (excerpt)
Farbröder ('Uncles') by Teresa Glad (Sweden)
Glömdagen ('The Day of Forgetting') by Sara Lundberg (Sweden) (review)
Giraffens hjärta är ovanligt stort ('Giraffe Island') by Sofia Chanfreau and Amanda Chanfreau (Åland) (excerpt)

Find the full list of nominees here:

Sveriges Radio

(Swedish Radio)

Sveriges Radio awards annual literary prizes for best novel, poetry, best short story and best children's book. The novel and children's book prizes are somewhat unique in Sweden, as they are selected by juries consisting of readers and book groups, rather than critics or booksellers.

Sveriges radios romanpris 2023

Prize for Best Swedish novel


Ovanjorden ('The Aboveground') by Mikael Berglund (excerpt)

Björnjägarens döttrar ('The Bear Hunter's Daughters') by Anneli Jordahl (review)
Hemsökelse ('Visitation') by Khashayar Naderehvandi
Natten ('The Night') by Sara Gordan (review)

Sveriges radios lyrikpris 2023

Prize for Swedish Poetry


Ingenstans mitt segel ('Nowhere My Sail') by Ingela Strandberg

Åsnans år ('Donkey Days') by Athena Farrokhzad
Staten, systrarna, dikten ('State, Sisters, Poetry') by Sorin Masifi
Det röda äpplet ('The Red Apple') by Lennart Sjögren
Avstånd ('Distance') by Christoffer Bergström 

Barnradions Bokpris 2023

Best Swedish Book of the Year for 9-12-Year-Olds


Den yttersta vildmarkens historia: Kuben ('The Dystopian Future Department: The History of the Wilderness') by Nils Lundkvist

Inte riktigt döda ('Not Quite Dead') by Thomas Halling
Pärlbäraren ('The Pearl Bearer') by Maria Hellbom (review)
Kompassens hjärta ('The Heart of the Compass') by Anna Thulin
Totalt bortglömd ('Totally Forgotten') by Christina Lindström


Svenska Yles Litteraturpris

Swedish Yle Literature Prize

Svenska Yle is the Swedish-language branch of Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company. Its literary prize is awarded each year to the best Finland-Swedish book. As of 2023, nominees are selected by the culture section of Svenska Yle. These are then voted for by a reader jury of four people, with a fifth vote representing that of the general public.

Book cover of Apelsinfågeln by Julia Mäkkylä
Svenska Yles Litteraturpris 2023

Best Finland-Swedish Novel


To be announced 11 January 2024

Apelsinfågeln ('The Orange Bird') by Julia Mäkkylä
För att ta sig ur en rivström måste man röra sig i sidled ('To Get Out of a Rip Current You Must Move Sideways') by Mikaela Nyman
Skrivet på revbenen ('Written on the Ribs') by Sofia Parland
Alla mänskorna ha problemen ('All People Have The Problems') by Adrian Perera
Skymning 41 ('Dusk 41') by Kjell Westö (review)