Award ceremony in June

At World Radio Day on 13 February, this year’s timetable for Axel Eggebrecht Prize and Günter Eich Prize is set.

Leipzig, 8 February, 2022. Günter Eich Prize and Axel Eggebrecht Prize of Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig are expected to be awarded in a public event on 16 June, 2022. This was announced by Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig on the occasion of World Radio Day, which has been celebrated annually on 13 February since 2012. The day commemorates the founding of United Nations Radio on 13 February, 1946. The Media Foundation's two Radio Awards have been awarded since 2007 (Günter Eich Prize for the German radio play) and since 2008 (Axel Eggebrecht Prize for the German radio feature). They are endowed each with 10,000 euros in prize money.

"Promoting media productions with a wide range of content and excellent quality - that is what our Media Foundation aims to do. In order to focus on top-class genres such as German radio plays and features, we have been awarding our two radio prizes for almost fifteen years now,” says Stephan Seeger, Managing Director of the Foundation. Both radio prizes are reserved for authors whose work has enriched the genres of radio plays and radio features in a multi-layered and acoustically creative way.

On 10 January, the nomination period for both awards in 2022 began. Entitled to nominate candidates are all radio play and/or feature departments of ARD, Deutschlandradio, Deutsche Welle (public German broadcasters), Austrian and Swiss public broadcasting, as well as German art academies, the PEN Club, the German Literature Institute at the University of Leipzig, and German authors’ and journalists’ associations and registered literary and journalistic societies. The application period ends on February 14, 2022. The proposals received will be examined by a jury of three members per award. The juries will select the laureates in April 2022.

The juries

Axel Eggebrecht Prize

  • Ulrike Toma, department radio art at NDR (North German broadcasting) (chairwoman of jury)
  • Elisabeth Stratka, head of the feature & feuilleton department at Austrian Radio Ö1
  • Wolfgang Schiffer, bis 2011 Leiter der Abteilung Hörspiel, Radio-Feature und Literatur beim WDR

Günter Eich Prize

  • Thomas Fritz, until 2020 radio play dramaturge at MDR (Central German broadcasting) (chairman of jury)
  • Diemut Roether, Fachredakteurin für Medienthemen bei epd medien
  • Wolfgang Schiffer, bis 2011 Leiter der Abteilung Hörspiel, Radio-Feature und Literatur beim WDR

About the Radio Awards

Günter Eich (1907 - 1972) invented, with and for the radio, a new and originally poetic form of radio play. The award-winner of the Günter Eich Prize, named after him and conferred since 2007, was to approach this "ideal" innovative authorship as closely as possible. The first award-winner was Alfred Behrens, who gave the German-language radio play fresh and unconventional impulses. He was followed as the award-winner in 2009 by the Austrian author and radio director Eberhard Petschinka, who in almost 30 radio plays questioned a wide variety of contemporary clichés. In 2011 the Media Foundation honoured Hubert Wiedfeld, one of Germany's most important radio-play scriptwriters, for his life's work. His productions are a reflection of German contemporary history, both on the large scale and in detail.

Jürgen Becker, who received the award in 2013, is one of Germany's most important contemporary literary figures - the jury was particularly enthralled by his radio-play contributions, especially the specific "Becker tone", which he knew how to hit. In 2015, the series of prize-winners was extended with Ror Wolf, one of the most fascinating explorers in the realm of notes, voices and sound effects. In 2017, Friederike Mayröcker, one of the most highly acclaimed, most productive and most innovative German-language authors, took her place in the series. With her, said the jury in tribute, "listening has learned to see." In sovereign exploration of specific poetry, she has developed her completely own pitch. Two years later, a prize-winning duo followed: in 2019, Andreas Ammer and FM Einheit (Franz-Martin Strauss) were honoured for their work. The duo have “finally freed the radio play from the corset of literary compulsion”. The last winner to date was the author Paul Plamper, who received the Günter Eich Prize in 2021: "Innovative in his approach, he put the focus back on people in a very old-fashioned way...Like all perception, hearing always starts all over again.", according to the jury's reasoning.

With the Axel Eggebrecht Prize - named after the Leipzig-born author and journalist Axel Eggebrecht (1899 - 1991) - which was conferred for the first time in 2008, the Media Foundation pays tribute to the life's work of journalists who, like the name-bearer of the prize, have created with their work in the genre of the radio feature a maximum of aesthetic design with outstanding content. The first award-winner was Helmut Kopetzky in 2008, who in 35 years made more than 100 features and documentations which, more than once, also "grasped the nettle."

In 2010, the Austrian radio pioneers Richard Goll and Alfred Treiber, who with their work decisively co-determined the radio history of their home country, were jointly honoured. In the subsequent presentation, the Foundation honoured the "world traveller of the German radio features" Friedrich Schütze-Quest, who in his 50 and more features acquainted the listeners with countless countries of the world. In addition, the "Feature Pope" Peter Leonhard Braun was distinguished with the award of the Axel Eggebrecht Prize of Honour for his services on behalf of the prize and the Foundation in 2012. Paul Kohl, who received the Axel Eggebrecht Prize in 2014, was a journalist who distinguished himself through his narrative talent and his thematic range. And in 2016 Margot Overath, who dedicated her work both to historical and to contemporary topics in her radio features, thereby advanced to become one of the most outstanding chroniclers of German history and the present day, received the award.

Two years later, the jury chose the Austrian feature author Alfred Koch as laureate. As editor and author, Koch brought the literary feature to international attention - his feature about Raymond Carver, with numerous international adaptations, became the most successful feature of the ORF. In 2021, Dr Walter Filz followed as the latest Axel Eggebrecht Prize laureate. The jury praised his work as follows: “Guided by his humour and the courage to make a statement and to explore a thesis based on it in a subtle and pompous, profound and funny way, Filz pushes the thought to its limit - until the thesis comes along with it explodes acoustically through the means of radio.”

Right from the start, the Radio Awards were accompanied and extended by various events. Although in the early years these were, in the context of Schreibwerkstatt Radio (Radio Writing Workshop), vocational seminars for young radio writers, the Foundation changed its course in 2012. In connection with PRIX EUROPA and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), and under the overall control of Peter Leonhard Braun, the Media Foundation organized the Think Tank Radio Feature, on which around 50 writers of features from all over the world met to discuss questions of "features in the digital world" and the crossing of the border of the features into the online media. A similar question was raised in the 2013 panel discussion HÖRSPIELPOOL - HÖRSPIELPARK - Hörspiele im Netz (Radio Plays Online). Representatives of various online projects discussed, under the competent direction of Wolfgang Schiffer, the then chairman of the jury of the Günter Eich Prize, how it might be possible to master copyright limitations and media-political barriers so as to make affordable radio plays easily available to a wide public in the Web.

In 2014 and in cooperation with the EBU and Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk (Central German broadcasting), the Media Foundation hosted the 40th International Feature Conference, the largest radio conference so far at Media Campus Leipzig. More than 150 feature writers and editors, including participants from Great Britain, USA, China, Canada, Poland, Ireland, France and Sweden, discussed - from 11th to 15th May - at Media Campus Villa Ida, the question as to the future of the radio feature, also bringing along their own experiences from Think Tank Radio Feature 2012. In addition to the traditional “playback sessions”, in the course of which extracts from selected radio features were played and discussed, the organizers extended the program by many lectures on cross-media feature projects, such as those from the British Guardian or Libération from France. These impulses were taken up again at the conferences of subsequent years.

Furthermore, the Media Foundation has been cooperating with Leipzig Hörspielsommer (Leipzig Radio Play Summer Festival), which it also supports financially since 2016. Since then, an evening at this traditional public event is dedicated for promotion of the radio play and for the presentation of the Günter Eich Prize and its award-winners. This year's Hörspielsommer will take place in July 2022, also celebrating its 20th anniversary.


Martin Fiedler

Head of PR & Project Manager Radio Awards

+49 (0)341-5629662

2021 - Günter Eich Prize
2021 - Axel Eggebrecht Prize
2019 - Günter Eich Prize
2019 - Günter Eich Prize
2018 - Axel Eggebrecht Prize
2017 - Günter Eich Prize
2016 - Axel Eggebrecht Prize
2015 - Günter Eich Prize
2014 - Axel Eggebrecht Prize
2013 - Günter Eich Prize
2012 - Axel Eggebrecht Prize
2011 - Günter Eich Prize
2010 - Axel Eggebrecht Prize
2010 - Axel Eggebrecht Prize
2009 - Günter Eich Prize
2008 - Axel Eggebrecht Prize
2007 - Günter Eich Prize