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Youth Literature Award: Winner Malene Sølvsten comes to Buxtehude – Volume 1 of the fantasy trilogy convinces the lay jury

Buxtehude. This year's Buxtehude Bull winning title has rarely been so clearly chosen. Ansuz  by Malene Sølvsten (published by Arctis-Publishers, translated by Justus Carl and Franziska Hüther; 800 pages) has won the 51st Youth Literature Award.

Bulle 2021 Hainke Lange Sauer mit Siegertitel Ansuz c Hansestadt Buxtehude

One of the most popular winning titles in the Bull’s history
The first volume of a fantasy trilogy received a clear majority vote - both from the eleven youths (52 points) and the eleven adult jurors (56 points). With a total of 108 points, it was the fifth highest number of points that a winning title could score in the history of the youth literature award.

The award, which is endowed with €5 000 and a steel sculpture in the shape of a bull, goes to the neighboring northern country: "I am delighted that the Bull is going to Denmark for the first time," said Melanie Hainke, responsible of the Buxtehude Bull, during the award choice among 70 guests at “Deck 2”, the once school for painters, on Monday evening.

"Thank you to the wonderful readers in Germany"
The phone call from Buxtehude, following the announcement of the counted results, took the Danish author, Malene Sølvsten, noticeably by surprise. On the phone, she said to Torsten Lange, Head of Buxtehude’s Tourism and Culture department: "I am proud and happy and thank the really wonderful readers in Germany."

She promised to come to Buxtehude to personally pick up the award. The exact date will be coordinated within the next days.

Book blogger Anne Sauer hosted the literature evening
The bookseller and blogger, Anne Sauer, made it clear from which exciting field "Ansuz" prevailed. A native of Hamburg, she hosted the evening and also delved into the worlds of each of the nominated books. The nominees were: Elisabeth Herrmann “RAVNA – Tod in der Arktis” cbj Publishing, Paola Mendoza, Abby Sher:” Sanctuary – Flucht in die Freiheit“ CARLSEN Publishing, Adriana Popescu “Wie ein Schatten im Sommer" cbj Publishing and Meredith Russo “Birthday - Eine Liebesgeschichte“ Loewe Publishing.

The 800-page novel even makes you forget about lunch
The winning title was also the favorite of young judge Jarne Fluhr (15). He devoured the story of the 17-year-old protagonist Anne in one reading, he was so captivated: "I even missed lunch."

Not only Malene Sølvsten received thunderous applause, but also three students from Gymnasium Süd (grammar school). Twelfth grader, Yasmin Weber, bashed out a poetry slam in praise of literature and the two seventh graders, Mathilda Beyer and Sophia Bitte, provided an emotional song.

Also: Interested parties can still apply to be a jury member this week. More on

About the book
Seventeen-year-old Anne can see events in the past, and one night she has a vision of an old gruesome murder. A red-haired girl is killed, and the perpetrator leaves a rune mark on her body. Shortly thereafter, red-haired girls are then found dead in the area, all with the same mark, the rune Ansuz. Suddenly, the small town in North Jutland is full of strangers with mystical powers. The Aesir believer, Luna, the divinely beautiful Mathias and the mysterious Varnar seek to get closer to Anne. But who is her friend and who is her enemy? To save the world from Ragnarok, Anne must find the killer - before he finds her.

ansuz das fluestern der raben cover

About the award
The Buxtehude Bull is one of the most renowned and traditional German literary awards. It was initiated in 1971 by the Buxtehude bookseller Winfried Ziemann. The award is endowed with €5 000. The aim of the Buxtehude Bull is to inspire young people to read and to promote the distribution of good books for youths. Due to the traditionally equal composition of the jury, of eleven youths and eleven adults, the award has successfully formed the interface between literary quality, youth reading preferences and topics that move both young people and literary experts for over 50 years. In terms of its objectives and its procedure, the award is unique in the German-speaking world.

Sølvsten Malene Simon Knudsen FREI