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Young Swiss writers win international prizes

Christian Uetz was one of four Swiss writers to win an award. Keystone / Ayse Yavas

Swiss authors have swept up most of the prizes for young writers awarded by a cross-border authority representing neighbouring regions in Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Liechtenstein.

Four of the six prizes awarded on Monday in the Austrian town of Bregenz went to writers from Switzerland. The annual prizes are each worth SFr10,000.

The Swiss winners are Tim Krohn and Simone Meier from Zurich, Ralf Schlatter from Schaffhausen, and Christian Uetz from Thurgau. The other prizes went to Stefan Sprenger from Liechtenstein and Joachim Zelter from the German state of Baden-Württemberg.

The prizes are awarded by the Internationale Bodensee Konferenz (IBK), which brings together regions around Lake Constance. The conference was founded in 1972 to try to save the lake from severe pollution.

Over the last decade, the conference has extended the fields of cooperation from the environment to seven other issues. There are now commissions on education, research, transport, the economy, culture, health and public relations.

Its arts prize is awarded in a different category each year. The winners in 1991 were from the field of music; in 1992 and 1997 the prizes were awarded to sculptors; and in 1993 and 1999 they went to artists working in theatre.

The 1996 prizes were awarded in the categories of photography and new music, while writers were rewarded in 1994 and again this year.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR