Information on Sprachsalz ("meaning Salt of the Language")

2023 is the twenty first time that Sprachsalz takes place in Austria. In 2016 we even had two festivals - one in Hall in Tirol, Austria, and a “sister festival” in Pforzheim, Germany, in May 2016. This year Sprachsalz will take place on 8th till 10th September.


Over the years Sprachsalz has made a name for itself among authors and lovers of literature throughout Europe. Around 4,000 visitors gather here every year to listen to the voices of twenty well-known or newly discovered authors.

Sprachsalz is an international festival geared mostly towards german-speaking readers and audiences. Therefore our website is in german, but we would like to try and translate for you the most important points so as to give a better picture of our festival.


What is there to know about SPRACHSALZ?

• Round about twenty authors are invited for an entire weekend to give several readings from their published books.

• All readings are free of charge: Our idea was to make literature accessible to all. As experience has shown, many of the people who attend our festival listen to readings for the first time in their lives.

• Most readings take place in the Park Hotel, where the authors are also staying the atmosphere of our festival is almost family-like. Hall in Tirol is a small town of 13,000 inhabitants steeped in medieval traditions and surrounded by mountains. A few special readings take place outside the hotel.

• Most of the readings are in german (in the case of foreign language authors, with actors reading the german translations). But some of the readings will also be in the original language or mixed.

• The events of the festival are covered by numerous journalists for a variety of media.

• Saturday night is our special literature night in the big hall of the Park Hotel, with a festive dinner during which a number of authors will be reading short pieces.

• Festival Office: You will find our Festival Office just next to the Park Hotel’s reception desk. We will endeavour to assist with all your queries: travel, about the festival, any problems you might have.


The organizers are an experienced team of seven people, some of them authors themselves: Magdalena Kauz, Heinz D. Heisl, Boris Schoen, Elias Schneitter, Ulrike Woerner, Max Hafele and Valerie Besl (press).


A list of our supporters/sponsors can be found here:

A list of all authors from previous years can be found here:

english Articel in Tiscover Austria July 15 - feel free to download
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 1.4 MB

Spicing up language and literature

Article in the "Discover Gemany & Austria Magazine" published in July 2015 (see also PDF-download beyond)

The Austrian literary festival Sprachsalz presents international contemporary

literature in a distinguished and intimate atmosphere. Text: Dorina Reichhold


The name itself is a play on words. Meaning literally 'language salt', the literary festival Sprachsalz is annually held at Hall in Tyrol, the Austrian 'city of salt'. It was founded in 2003 as a festival organised by writers for other writers and takes place every September in the picturesque medieval town in Tyrol. Its goal is to bring selected and distinguished literature to a wide audience and to spice u p literature festivals. Sprachsalz is an exquisite event, presenting international contemporary literature in an elegant setting. The prominent Austrian cultural magazine Falter wrote about Sprachsalz: "Possibly the best literary festival in the country is not in Vienna, it is in Hall in Tyrol: Sprachsalz."

All of the writers are staying in Hall's Parkhotel, which also provides the setting for the festival's events. Entrance to the festival is free of charge and lovers of literature get the chance to experience great writers not only during their readings but also to meet them at the hotel' s bar. Heinz D. Heisl, one of the festival's organisers, proudly explains that the authors enjoy the festival's intimate and special atmosphere very much. O ne of his personal favourite moments was meeting American author Frank McCourt in an Irish whisky bar in NewYork to plan his reading. McCourt claimed afterwards: "Did this writer love this festival? Ja!!! Danke, danke AND danke!"

Next to famous authors such as the Japanese Nobel Prize winner Kenzaburõ Õe, Sprachsalz also features writers who are yet to be discovered. "The newcomers are always given an enthusiastic welcome by the audience and most of the time they leave with a new fan base," states Heisl.

This year's festival will take place from 11 to 13 September. Guests will include John Giorno, the NewYorker who invented performance poetry, along with celebrated Israeli writer Lizzie Doron, who will read from her new novel about an ambivalent Israel-Palestinian friendship. French film director and writer Delphine Coulin wil1 also be there and Swiss-German writer Peter Bichsel will celebrate his 80th birthday with the Sprachsalz visitors. On Friday, the festival will attend to the melodic texts of Syrian poet Nouri al-Jarrah in a cooperation with the Tyrol festival for contemporary music Klangspuren. Internationality, variety and creativitiy, important spices that will make for a successful Sprachsalz festival 2015!