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Writers’ Competition, prizes and jury

Autor*innenwettbewerb / Writers’ Competition

The Writers’ Competition, the Autor*innenwettbewerb, is the heart of the Heidelberger Stückemarkt. Since 1996, the theatre festival has been organising the much-acclaimed competition with highly endowed prizes as a talent promotion for new authors.

In the Writers’ Competition, publishers, courses of study and formerly nominated writers are entitled to submit proposals. The festival team selects six plays from their submissions. In addition, there are new plays from the guest country.

During the festival, the nominated plays are presented in readings with the Heidelberg ensemble.

Im Autor*innenwettbewerb 2024 nominiert sind

Anaïs Clerc, Arad Dabiri, das Kollektiv Frankfurter Hauptschule, Julie GuigonisLars Werner und Leonie Ziem

sowie aus dem Gastland Georgien 
Alex ChigvinadzeDavit Khorbaladze und Marita Liparteliani.

Lesungen der nominierten Texte

Autor*innenwettbewerb Part I

Autor*innenwettbewerb Part II

Internationaler Autor*innenwettbewerb



The jury awards the Autor*innenpreis of the Heidelberger Stückemarkt. This is donated by the Manfred Lautenschläger Foundation and is endowed with 10,000 euros. In addition, the premiere of one of the nominated plays will open the festival the following year.

Internationaler Autor*innenpreis

The international playwright prize, donated by the state of Baden-Württemberg, is endowed with 5,000 euros and is awarded by the Stückemarkt jury to one of the three nominated writers from the guest country.

All the plays in the writers' competition and the international writers' competition are up for election for the audience award. The audience has the opportunity to vote for a winner in a written ballot after each play reading.

The winner will receive prize money of 2,500 euros, donated by the Freudeskreis (friends association) of the Theater und Orchester Heidelberg.

Jugendstückepreis / Youth drama award

In line with the KinderStückePreis of the Mülheimer Theatertage, the Heidelberger Stückemarkt awards the Jugendstückepreis (youth drama award) to one of the three invited youth theatre guest performances. The winner is chosen by the jury together with a group of experts from young people interested in theatre.

The prize is endowed with 6,000 euros, donated by the Heidelberg entrepreneur couple Bettina Schies and Klaus Korte, KORTE Bauteile GmbH. In addition, the winning production will be invited to the framework programme of the Mülheimer Theatertage NRW 2023.


With a view to the sustainable promotion of new drama, the Nachspielpreis was established in 2011. The Nachspielpreis is not endowed and comes with a guest performance invitation to the Autorentheatertage at the Deutsches Theater Berlin.

The Heidelberger Stückemarkt sees the Nachspielpreis as an encouragement to those theatres to put plays on the repertoire that have been unjustly neglected. New plays are often in danger of being forgotten in the hype of their premiere - sometimes because the author is a little-known young playwright or because the premiere did not do them justice.

The Nachspielpreis therefore wants to honour theatres that take the risk of staging such plays again.

SWR Hörspielpreis

In 2021, the Heidelberger Stückemarkt is cooperating with SWR for the first time and offering a new prize: the SWR Hörspielpreis. It will go to one of the plays in the writers' competition, is endowed with 5,000 euros and will be produced by SWR as a radio play. The first broadcast will take place at the next Stückemarkt.

For this prize, the Stückemarkt jury is supplemented by the SWR culture editor Christian Lerch.

Jury of Heidelberger Stückemarkt

Mitglieder der Jury des Heidelberger Stückemarkts 2024 sind der Autor und Regisseur Emre Akal, die Journalistin Cornelia Fiedler, die Dramaturgin Elvin İlhan, die Regisseurin Bernadette Sonnenbichler sowie der Leitende Heidelberger Schauspieldramaturg Jürgen Popig.

Die Jury verleiht den deutschsprachigen und den internationalen Autor*innenpreis, den Jugendstückepreis sowie den Nachspielpreis.

Kurator für das Gastlandprogramm Georgien ist David Gabunia.