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Foundation Charles Veillon

European Essay Prize

Categories: literature

Regions: All regions

Purpose: After the war, the patron Charles Veillon created three international literary prizes that were awarded to novels in the three main languages spoken in Switzerland. He believed in culture’s ability to further the reconciliation of Europe. In 1975, the Charles Veillon Foundation turned these prizes into the European Essay Prize to promote this literary genre which, although fundamental to the history of ideas in Europe, is rarely given a high profile. It is the first literary prize devoted exclusively to the essay genre.

The European Essay Prize is intended to draw attention to authors whose work bear witness to and offer a fertile critique of current societies, their practices and ideologies. These works must adopt an accessible narrative form and deal with contemporary issues, allowing the reader to position themselves and develop their own thinking and, perhaps, to take action.

The European Essay Prize is granted with an amount of CHF 20,000.


European Essay Prize
Avenue de l'Eglise Anglaise 18
CH-1006 Lausanne