The Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage has been given annually since 2003 for the best texts in the genre of literary reportage, which must have been first published during the previous two years. The award was initiated by Lettre International, Berlin, and is organized by the Foundation Lettre International Award, a joint partnership between Lettre International and the Aventis Foundation. The Goethe-Institut cooperates with the project.
A polyglot jury of experienced writers representing eleven of the major linguistic regions of the world seeks the best international texts in the genre and decides on a shortlist of seven, eventually choosing three winners from among them. The members of the jury are appointed by the organizer. In addition an advisory committee of distinguished writers lends its moral and intellectual backing to the Lettre Ulysses Award.
The prizewinners are announced at a public award ceremony in Berlin on the Saturday before the opening of the international Frankfurt Book Fair. The winners of the first, second and third prizes are given cash awards amounting to US$50,000, US$30,000 and US$20,000 respectively. Residencies in Berlin are awarded to the other four finalists. The Lettre Ulysses Award aims
To bring the world's attention to texts of literary reportage that are extraordinary in terms of their quality, relevance and artistic value; to provide symbolic, moral, and financial support to writers of literary reportage; to encourage world-ranking journalists and writers to continue their efforts. By facilitating the translation and publication of texts from places and languages less integrated in the international publishing market, the project aims to shed light on otherwise lesser known topics and issues.
Furthermore, by providing a platform for these texts, the award contributes to an awareness of the world and of the simultaneity of diverse and contradictory cultures, mentalities, values, living conditions and dynamics.
Finally, to establish: a laboratory for the genre; a reference point for excellent literary reportage for publishers, authors, translators; a detector of relevant themes; a platform for reporters and journalists, allowing for exchange, cooperation and discussion