About The Award

The Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award is a prize consisting of a Bronze sculpture portraying The Ugly Duckling made by Sculpturist Stine Ring Hansen, Raadvad.
Additionaly comes a check of 500.000 kr. and a diploma, “The Beauty of the Swan” .
It is in Tradition, that a piece contemporary music is composed for the award winner. The particular piece will premiere during the ceremony.
The award winner will in return perform a guest lecture in either University of Southern Denmark, Odense Concert Hall or Odense City Hall.



  • Jens Olesen, Konsul , São Paulo, Brasilien ( Chairman )
  • Birgitte Bøgh -Sørensen , owner of the company Orifarm , Odense
  • Anne -Marie Mai , professor of literature , SDU , Odense
  • Benny Nybo , editor and photographer , Odense
  • Villy Petersen, fundraiser , former chairman in Odense Municipality
  • Stig Nordestgaard , composer , Odense

Award winners


2007 Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho (born August 24. 1947 in Rio de Janeiro) is a Brazilian author.
Coelho has published a number of books and is mostly known for his book O Alquimista (in English The Alchemist), published in 56 languages. In Brazil alone, more than 2 million copies were sold . His second most famous book is Onze Minutos (in english Eleven Minutes). Coelho has received a number of international prizes including Crystal Award from World Economic Forum, and the highest French order, The Legion of Honour.
Coelhos books have been sold in more than 56 million copies all over the world.
Paulo Coelho visited Odense in the days march 28. to April 3. 2007 to receive the award. It was A 5-days-visit where he was invited to the stay in the Egeskov Castle by the count and his wife, Michael and Caroline Ahlefeldt -Laurvig Bille.
Paulo Coelho returned the favor of hospitality in Egeskov Castle by inviting the count and his wife to Austria as well as giving rights to write a musical based on his book “Eleven minutes”. The show had its premiere in the Funen Opera House on March 16. 2010 with the mezzo soprano Anne Refshauge singing and playing the main part.


2010 J.K. Rowling

Joanne “Jo” Rowling (married Murray, born July 31. 1965) is a British author, commonly known as JK Rowling.
Rowling is an author of the Harry Potter fantasy-series, which has received international recognition and won several Prizes.
The Harry Potter books creator JK Rowling visited Odense on October 19. 2010 and it was a phenomenal sensation. Approximately 140 media institutions around the world wrote and covered the visit of the great writer and Odense moved its annual Harry Potter Festival to the time of Rowling’s visit.
It was H.R.H. Princess Marie who gave the prize to JK Rowling and Odense Symphonic Orchestra played “The Beauty of the Swan” alongside a girls choir of 100 young girls. The City Hall was transformed into the Great Hall of the “Hogwarts Castle”, where JK Rowling read aloud for 300 children dressed as Harry Potter and answered their questions.


2012 Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende Llona (Born August 2. 1942 in Lima, Peru) is a Chilean author. Allende, who writes magical realism, is one of the biggest authors in South America. Her father is a cousin to Chiles former President, Salvador Allende.
She became world famous with her debut The House of Spirits from 1982 which is adapted for the big screen by Danish Bille August.
The world famous Chilean author Isabel Allende received the H. C. Andersen Literature award on September 30. 2012.
Isabel Allende has through many years had great literary importance to readers all over the world. That is why it was such an honor to announce, through newspaper Fyens Stiftstidende to the world press, that the Chilean author had said yes to receive the 2012 H. C. Andersen Literature Award in Odense.


2014 Salman Rushdie

Sir Salman Rushdie (born on June 19. 1947 in Bombay, India) is an author of fiction, mainly taking place on the Indian continent. He grew up in Bombay, but ended his exams in Kings College, Cambridge, England.
Hans works border between many different genres, like Magical realism, post-modernism and post-colonialism. Rushdie’s way of using the language is living, challenging and playful, and he experiments, for example, by mixing the English language with expressions taken from other languages, especially urdu/hindi.
The reason Salman Rushdie receives the award is that he is an unparalleled storyteller, who paints a picture of world literary importance through a mixture of universal realism and fantastic fables. Salman Rushdie shares the joy of fairytales with H. C. Andersen.
Salman Rushdie lives in all ways up to the purpose of the award, that is to celebrate H. C. Andersen’s importance to world literature by choosing award winner whose authorship can be connected to H. C. Andersen’s name and life’s work as for example through genre similarities or narration qualities. Salman Rushdie receives the prize in Odense on August 17. 2014.