Foremost among the tasks of the German Schiller Foundation has always been, since its founding in 1859, the support of German writers whose literary output is marked out by its extraordinary quality. This is achieved through the award of prize grants, which are presented to the jury-selected winners annually around the date of Schiller’s birthday.
The names of the prize grants refer to the benefactors, past and present, who have dedicated generous endowments to the German Schiller Foundation in order that it may fulfil its mission.
In addition to the prize grants, the Foundation awards a literature prize every three years. Since 1999, this has been in the form of the Schiller Ring of the German Schiller Foundation of 1859. It is presented to a German-speaking writer whose work is held in particularly high regard. Winners of the Schiller Ring may nominate outstanding works by debut writers to the Foundation for consideration for its talent prizes.
The political conflicts in Europe in the twentieth century and in Germany in particular also had an impact on the Foundation. In 1995 the German Schiller Foundation was re-established and ever since this date has awarded annual prize grants and, every three years, the Schiller Ring, as well as talent prizes. The Foundation thus – also in view of cuts to public funds in this area – makes a significant contribution to the promotion of literature in Germany.