The Swedish Academy has announced it will not be awarding a Nobel Prize in Literature in 2018. Instead, an alternative Nobel Prize in Literature will be awarded by a recently founded Swedish non-profit organization called The New Academy (Den nya akademien).
The New Academy has asked Sweden’s librarians to nominate two authors each for the prize. The winner of this alt-Nobel will be announced in October at the same time as the other regular Nobel Prizes, and will be awarded on December 10, the day of the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm. On December 11, The New Academy intends to dissolve.
The idea for The New Academy came from Swedish writer Alexandra Pascalidou following the Swedish Academy’s announcement that it will not be awarding a prize in literature in 2018, instead awarding two prizes in 2019. The reason for the postponement was the shake up that had taken place within the Swedish Academy following the revelations of its entanglement with a man closely connected to the Academy, who is now facing trial for sexual assaults that allegedly took place in the Swedish Academy’s apartment in Paris.
Since its inception, The New Academy has gathered a membership of over 100 Swedish poets, writers, and artists. According to The New Academy spokesperson, comedian and actor Bianca Kronlöf, the alt-Nobel is “a positive counter force to everything sad and fucked up” that has happened within Swedish artistic circles since #metoo reached Sweden in the fall of 2017.
The call for nominees for the alternative Nobel Prize in Literature closes on July 8. After July 8, the names will be announced internationally, and people will be invited from all over the world to vote for the winner of the prize. The four authors with the most votes will have their work read by a jury consisting of some of Sweden’s most prominent journalists, literary critics, authors, and librarians. The winner will be announced in October.
The New Academy has no connection to the Swedish Academy.