June 23, 2022

Theo Thijssen-Prize 2021 for youth literature awarded to Dutch writer Daan Remmerts de Vries

Tonight the Theo Thijssen-Prize for youth literature was awarded to Daan Remmerts de Vries. The Museum of Literature in The Hague organized a festive program around the presentation of the prize.

Daan Remmerts de Vries (1962) spoke in his acceptance speech about his love for writing. ‘I just want to hear what lives in the silence. That's what I've always wanted to show. I believe all writers felt this way. Nescio also had to close the windows because he was bothered by ‘the terrible sounds of crowds of cars and the tram’. I just want to make it clear through this whole story that I have often felt that writing was my destiny – something I could not escape.’


In the jury report, the jury – consisting of Marjon Kok, Ted van Lieshout, Matijs Lips, Annemiek Neefjes (chair) and Veerle Vandenbosch – praises the current stories with universal power and describes them as a unique contribution to Dutch children's literature. ‘He lets the reader get under the skin of his characters, in language and tone: clear, playful, with short and casual sentences, sometimes unpolished because his artistry does not lie in perfection, but in authenticity. He always keeps his stories light-hearted, a conscious choice.’


The award ceremony included a performance by singer Shirma Rouse and a poem by Sjoerd Kuyper, written especially for the occasion. A six-piece band also played two songs by Remmerts de Vries.


Theo Thijssen-Prize

The Theo Thijssen-Prize is the most important literature prize for an oeuvre in the field of children's and youth literature and is accompanied by a cash prize of 60,000 euros. The prize is awarded every three years by the P.C. Hooft-Prize for Literature. Recent laureates are Bibi Dumon Tak (2018), Martha Heesen (2015), Sjoerd Kuyper (2012) and Ted van Lieshout (2009).