Among the various literary prizes and scholarships in Estonia there are several literary or literature-related awards and scholarships distributed in Tartu and Tartu County and/or funded by the city.
The City Writer Scholarship
Launched in 2016 the City Writer scholarship program aims to highlight literary creativity in the city and support the local writers. The scholarship is funded by the city in cooperation with Tartu Cultural Endowment and it will be given to a local writer for one year. The first City Writer, selected in February 2017, was the renown poet Kristiina Ehin. In 2018 the City Writer is the children's author Mika Keränen.
Betti Alver Literary Award
The award is bestowed by the Tartu Department of the Estonian Writers Union to the author of the best debut fiction book of the year (from October to October) in accordance to the last will of an outstanding Estonian poet Betti Alver. The award is funded by the Estonian Cultural Endowment and announced every year at Tartu Literature House on the anniversary of Betti Alver’s birth, October 23rd.
Gustav Suits Poetry Prize
The prize is awarded by the city of Tartu and Tartu Cultural Endowment and announced on 14th of March – the Estonian Mother Tongue Day. Every year the prize is given to one poet who has published an artistically notable collection of poems during the previous year which also carries on the values represented in the works of the Gustav Suits, one of the central poets in the 20th Century Estonian literature.
Tartu Prize for Children’s Literature (Childhood Prize)
Since 2015 the city of Tartu awards a prize for children’s literature – the Childhood Prize given to an author who has published a notable book for children or youth during the previous year. The selection and the announcement of the winner is organised by Tartu Public Library and Tartu Toy Museum.
The Prima Vista debut award First Step
Every year Tartu International Literary Festival Prima Vista in cooperation with Tartu Cultural Endowment gives out a debut award First Step with the aim of recognizing emerging literary talents. The award is given for a literary debut text published in a magazine or newspaper and the winner is announced on the Book and Rose Day, April 23rd.
Juhan Liiv poetry prize
Founded in 1965, the prize is given for a notable poem in Estonian first published during the previous year which carries on the spirit of the works of Juhan Liiv, one of the most famous Estonian poets of the late 19th and early 20th century. The prize is awarded by Alatskivi Parish together with the Juhan Liiv Alatskivi High School and Liiv Museum.
The Estonian Writer of the Year prize
The prize was founded in 2010 and is given to an Estonian writer who has published an outstanding literary work during the previous year. The prize is bestowed by Juhan Liiv Club, Juhan Liiv Museum and Radio Ööülikool (Night University).
Scholarships of the Tartu Cultural Endowment
Twice a year Tartu Cultural Endowment gives out scholarships for projects and creators of different fields of art, including scholarships for creative work for writers.
The Title of Honour of Tartu
To acknowledge and support the diversity of the cultural life of Tartu, every year the laureates of Kultuurikandja, the Title of Honour of Tartu are announced in ten categories, including the cultural event of the year, the creator of the year, the cultural manager of the year etc. Among the representatives of other fields of art, various literary events, writers and organisations have received the title.