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The Caroline-Schlegel-Preis is a literary award of Germany, reserved for the genres of essay and feuilleton. The city of Jena first advertised it by way of a public competition in 2000, when the "Romantikerhaus" (the former residence of the philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte) re-opened as a museum for literary culture. The award has been offered once in a period of three years each time, starting from 2002. There is a main award ("Hauptpreis"; €5.000) and a subsidiary award ("Förderpreis"; €2.500). The complete prize money of €7.500 has been granted by an anonymous private patron.


The award is intended as a memorial to the notable German free thinker Caroline Schlegel (Caroline Schelling) (1763–1809); work deemed worthy of the award ought to have achieved a transfer of the experimental spirit of early Romanticism to the very different world of the 21st century.


  • 2017 main award: Christoph Dieckmann for his essay Mein Abendland (My Occident); subsidiary award: Ronya Othmann
  • 2014 main award: Andreas Dorschel for his essay Ein verschollen geglaubter Brief der Korinther an Paulus (A supposedly lost epistle of the Corinthians to St Paul);[1] subsidiary award: Nancy Hünger
  • 2011 main award: Ina Hartwig for her essay Die absolute Freiheit der Sinne (The absolute freedom of the senses);[2] subsidiary awards: Christina Müller-Gutowski and Nadja Mayer
  • 2008 main award: Thomas Hürlimann for his essay Über die Treppe (Via the staircase) from his book Der Sprung in den Papierkorb (The jump into the dustbin);[3] subsidiary award: Dietmar Ebert
  • 2005 main award: Sonja Hilzinger
  • 2002 main award: Burkhard Spinnen for his essay Skandal (Scandal); subsidiary award: Kai Agthe
  • 2000 subsidiary award essay: Juli Zeh; subsidiary award feuilleton/journalism: Steffen Kopetzky


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