The Aurelio Espinosa Pólit National Literature Award

The Aurelio Espinosa Pólit National Literature Award (Premio Nacional de Literatura Aurelio Espinosa Pólit), established by the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador (PUCE) in 1975, is a prestigious honor that celebrates the literary achievements of Ecuadorian writers. Named after the renowned writer Aurelio Espinosa Pólit (1894-1961), this award holds great significance within the country’s literary landscape. It recognizes outstanding Ecuadorian writers in the categories of poetry, nonfiction, short story, novel, and theater, making it one of the most significant literary prizes in the country, along with the Eugenio Espejo Prize.


In Ecuador, the Aurelio Espinosa Pólit National Literature Award stands as a symbol of recognition for outstanding literary works. Established in 1975 by the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, this prestigious award has celebrated the achievements of Ecuadorian writers across various genres.

Rich Legacy of Literary Recognition

Since its inception, the Aurelio Espinosa Pólit National Literature Award has emerged as one of Ecuador’s most esteemed literary honors. Named after the revered Ecuadorian writer, Aurelio Espinosa Pólit, the award serves as a testament to his lasting impact on the country’s literary heritage. Through this award, the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador seeks to honor and promote the remarkable literary contributions of Ecuadorian authors.

Embracing Diverse Literary Genres

The Aurelio Espinosa Pólit National Literature Award encompasses a wide range of literary genres, ensuring that exceptional works from various creative disciplines receive the recognition they deserve. Each year, the award focuses on a specific genre, including poetry, essay, short story, novel, and theater. By rotating the genre annually, the award not only encourages authors to explore different forms of expression but also showcases the diverse literary talents of Ecuador.

Rigorous Selection Process

To maintain the integrity of the award, the selection process for the Aurelio Espinosa Pólit National Literature Award adheres to strict guidelines. A panel of three esteemed representatives from the literary and academic domains serves as the jury, responsible for evaluating the submissions and selecting the winner. Their collective expertise ensures that the winning work epitomizes literary excellence and contributes significantly to the literary canon of Ecuador.

Recognition and Rewards

The Aurelio Espinosa Pólit National Literature Award provides more than just a symbolic accolade; it also offers a substantial financial reward. The current prize money of USD 7,500 serves as a testament to the value placed on the contributions of Ecuadorian writers. This generous recognition not only acknowledges their dedication and talent but also provides them with the means to further their literary endeavors. Furthermore, as an integral part of the award, the winning work is published by PUCE (Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador). In addition, the author receives 10% of the total copies of the book

Impact and Influence on Ecuadorian Literature

Over the years, the Aurelio Espinosa Pólit National Literature Award has had a profound impact on Ecuadorian literature. Esteemed writers who have received this accolade have gone on to become influential figures within the literary sphere. Their notable contributions have enriched Ecuadorian literature, inspiring new generations of authors to push boundaries and explore new literary horizons.

Ensuring Anonymity and Impartiality

The Aurelio Espinosa Pólit National Literature Award has always been conducted as a blind contest, and the rules have evolved over time. To provide an example, let’s consider the rules followed in the 2022 edition. The primary goal was to ensure that the judges remained unaware of the authors’ identities during the evaluation process. Only Ecuadorian writers were eligible to participate, while works by deceased authors and previous winners in the same genre were excluded. Stringent guidelines were implemented, including the use of pseudonyms and the submission of personal information in a sealed envelope separate from the work. These sealed envelopes, containing the authors’ identifying details, were entrusted to a notary public, thereby preventing the organizers or the jury from accessing this information. The winner’s envelope would be opened in the presence of the notary, while the remaining envelopes would be securely destroyed. By adhering to these rules, the award aimed to ensure fairness, impartiality, and the preservation of author anonymity throughout the selection process until the final decision was reached.

2022NovelJuan Pablo CastroJuan Pablo Castro
2021PoetryJuan José RodinásFantasías animadas de ayer y alrededores
2019NonfictionJosué Augusto Durán HermidaMinutas de bulla (published as El abandono de la experiencia)
2018Short StoryAlexis ZaldumbideHabitaciones con música de fondo
2017NovelRoberto Ramírez ParedesNo somos tu clase de gente
2016PoetryAndrea CrespoRegistro de La Habitada
2015NonfictionSantiago Peña BossanoEstética de la indolencia
2014NovelLuis Borja CorralPequeños palacios en el pecho
2013Short StoryAna Estrella SantosLa curiosidad mató al alemán
2012PoetryMarcelo BáezEl mismo mar de todas Las Habanas
2011PlayNo winner
2010NonfictionMaría Helena BarreraMerton y Ecuador-La búsqueda del país secreto
2009NovelHans BehrAcaso si lloviesen.
2008Short StoryElking AraujoAl pie de la letra
2007PoetryCarlos VallejoLa orilla transparente
2006PlayNo winner
2005NovelLucrecia MaldonadoSalvo el calvario
2004Short StoryGabriela Fernández ArgüelloLa noche de Eva
2003PlayRoberto Sánchez CazarQue no haya pena
2002PoetryPaúl PumaFelipe Guamán Poma de Ayala
2001NonfictionCristina BurneoEl sueño de Pierre Menard
2000NovelMarcelo Lalama BasanteLos Nazarenos
1999Short StoryRaúl VallejoHuellas de amor eterno
1998The School of Language and Literature did not award the prize in 1998 as it convened to set new award rules.
1997No winner
1996PoetryNo winner
1995PlayNo winner
1994NovelNo winner
1993Short StoryHuilo Ruales HualcaFetiche y Fantoche
1992PlayNo winner
1991PoetryJorge MartilloFragmentarium
1990Short StoryJuan Manuel Rodríguez LópezFricciones
1989NovelNatasha SalgueroAzulinaciones
1988PoetryNo winner
1987PlayEliécer CárdenasMorir en Vilcabamba
1986NovelNo winner
1985Short StoryRafael Díaz YcazaPrometeo el joven y otras marisquetas
1984PlayNo winner
1983PoetryIván CarvajalParajes
1982NonfictionNo winner
1981NovelNo winner
1980Short StoryJorge Dávila VázquezEste mundo es el camino
1979PoetryJulio Pazos BarreraLa ciudad de las visiones
1978PlayCarlos Benavides VegaLa herida de Dios
1977No winner
1976NovelJorge Dávila VázquezMaría Joaquina en la vida y en la muerte
1975NovelIván ÉgüezLa Linares

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