Enne Koens

Enne Koens writes plays, songs, and books for all ages, but especially for children.

Her first collection of short stories for adults, Stamina, was published in January 2020 and received rave reviews.

Nevertheless, most people know Enne from one of her many children’s books – I am Vincent and I am not afraid (Ik ben Vincent en ik ben niet bang) for instance. A touching story about bullying and friendship, told in a lighthearted way. Or That summer with Jente (Die zomer met Jente), which recently received a prestigieus Dutch children’s literature award.

Enne has written many more, like Hotel Bonbien, about Siri and her bonkers family and Sammie and grandpa (Sammie en opa), which tells the story of the fierce friendship between Sammie and his adventurous, imaginative grandfather.

Besides books, Enne writes (musical) theatre for adults and children. She has written for companies like Ausdauer, Maas, Toneelmakerij, Gasthuis and Artemis. And during two summers Enne and her musical theatre group Het Paleis voor Volksvlijt filled tent Studio 7 at the Dutch theatre festival De Parade. In 2004, she won a Dutch playwright award (Hollandse Nieuwe Toneelschrijfprijs) for her play Skills.


Vincent goes international!

VINCENT has quite a few projects in progress, all over the world:
Film pre-production in Germany, by Flare Film who have taken an option on the rights.
Stage adaptation in the Netherlands, by Rob Vriens at STT productions, in collaboration with Enne Koens.
Stage adaptation in Germany, by Theater Pfütze (and others).
And lastly, the book was sold to China and South Korea!
More news


Een kleine groene puddingplaneet (A small green jelly planet)

While his parents are at the parents evening, Mo experiences a big adventure. A woman with a giant moustache is sending Mo on a mission. He will travel, all on his own to Planet X. If Mo succeeds in his mission the planet will be named after him. Planet Mo, right next to the moon. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

This book is part of the series Ezeloortjes: Beautifully illustrated books, without long or complex words, especially written for the young reader. Een kleine groene puddingplaneet is illustrated by Margot Westermann.

Form here you can see all of the world

Vanaf hier kun je de hele wereld zien (From here you can see all of the world) is a beautiful fictional novel about identity and family, which was awarded a Bronzen Griffel in the summer of 2o22.

Nine year old Deetje lives with her mother in a block of flats. One day, she finds a letter on the pavement outside. The name and address are crossed out. The letter is written by someone who misses somebody terribly. Deetje knows this feeling very well. She is nothing like her mum and Deetje thinks she is, in fact, adopted. She is determined to deliver the letter to the person who was meant to receive it and asks for help from her friend Vito, who is very clever. They discover clues everywhere around them and it seems that every answer brings up new questions – until it eventually hits her: who is she, herself, missing?

Form here you can see all of the world is illustrated by Maartje Kuiper (winner of the Dutch Vlag en Wimpel 2020)


In January 2020, Stamina was published, a collection of short stories for adults. About Alma who is dying, Klaas who secretly dances when his girlfriend isn’t home, and a disoriented elderly man who keeps looking for coffee, to no avail: these are only a few of the colourful characters that grace this collection with their presence. The subtly interwoven stories in Stamina are about people who want to connect with each other, but are unable to. About the intense hatred that can dominate a long-term relationship. About losing mothers, children and love. About fear. And about bravely living on against the odds: stamina.

STAMINA is part of a fabulous series of short stories by publishing house Podium (in which previously Keret, Nors, Harstad, Blees, Wuck and Capote were published).

‘Tragic-comical descriptions that remind one of the books by Griet Op de Beeck.’ HEBBAN

‘In Stamina, a thematically strong collection of stories, the characters stumble their way through life (…). NRC

That summer with Jente

Against her will, Marie moves to a new neighbourhood. She leaves Zoë behind, but befriends a new girl on her first day in the polder: Jente. A summer ensues where they swim daily, have sleepovers, spy on boys, grow up. With Jente, the days are full of adventure, but sometimes she suddenly gets angry, and at times even mean. As the summer goes on, doubt starts to niggle. Should you always be able to trust each other, like Marie trusted Zoë, or can a friendship be completely different as well?

‘Koens shows a different talent here: the reader feels how things are getting out of hand, the smut, the scratches, the nettle stings, the bruises and the danger of stomping through marshy grassland, sneaking out at night and walking around high buildings without railings.’ Volkskrant

That summer with Jente is a sweltering and atmospheric book with which Koens transfers her status of promising to an established author of psychological children’s books.’ Jaapleest.nl

Order? https://www.amazon.com

I am Vincent and I am not afraid

School is like a daily survival trip for Vincent: you never know which disaster to expect and you better be well prepared. So, he knows the SAS Survival Handbook by heart. And he always carries a tin with handy survival gear. But the worst is yet to come: the school camp. He still has seven days to prepare. But then a new girl joins his class. And that changes everything…

Nominated for the Deutsche Jugendliteraturpreis.

I am Vincent and I am not afraid is a book that offers comfort to every child that is being bullied.’ Leesfeest

Bullying is a common theme in children’s literature, but rarely has it been described as intensely and oppressingly as in Enne Koens’ I am Vincent and I am not afraid. Jaapleest.nl 

Order? https://www.amazon.com

Hotel Bonbien

Siri is ten years old and lives in Hotel Bonbien along the N19 in France. Bonbien is a hotel for travellers. People who want to move on, as Siri’s father puts it. Usually they only have a cup of coffee, or use the loo. Sometimes they stay for a night. Siri thinks it is the most beautiful place on earth and never wants to leave. But her parents are arguing more and more. She is afraid they might get a divorce and that they’ll have to sell the hotel. Only a miracle can save them. And that miracle arrives, but in a very different shape than Siri had imagined…

Enne Koens wrote a funny and touching story about Siri and her bonkers family, it was nominated for the Boekenleeuw in Belgium.

‘After the wonderful “Sammie and granddad”, Enne Koens delights again with “Hotel Bonbien”. An accessible, warm-blooded book (…) full of humor, an original adventure and depth.’ Trouw

‘Some books you close shut with a smile that lingers.’ Jaapleest.nl

Order? Check Amazon for the Turkish or Italian version. Or the Dutch version. Or the German version, which has a different title.

Sammie and grandpa

Sam’s granddad used to be a truck driver and before that a sailor and he always had the most amazing and dirtiest of adventures. When Sam asks if everything really happened, granddad says: `True or not true is for boring people, not us!’ But some things Sam just really wants to know. What happens to you when you die? How do we know which colours dinosaurs were? Where does the wind start? And will granddad get better when he ends up in hospital?

Awarded the Vlag en Wimpel 2013.

‘Enne Koens is cooler than Kuijer and Kuyper and has modernised the genre. (…) Enne Koens temporarily makes you forget about the grandmasters.’ De Volkskrant

Sammie and grandpa has a relaxed writing style, the natural dialogue flows, and there is a pleasant kind of crazy to the story.’ Trouw

Order? https://www.amazon.com


Berre is eight when her parents get divorced. Her mother has lost herself and needs time to refind herself. This news comes as a shock to Berre, who loves her father to bits. In the years after the divorce, her mother seems to become increasingly more unhinged. She takes her daughters to live in a women’s commune, brings exorcists to the house and falls in love with the wrong men. Berre’s anger grows with the years. She leaves home on the day of her last school exam and finds a room in the city where she will start uni after the summer. She wants to put her past behind her once and for all.

Awarded the Jonge Jury debut prize.

Koens writes dreamy, naive prose with the occasional, unexpectedly painful observation. She evokes a dark atmosphere of neglect that is hard to shake. Volkskrant

The best children’s books of 2011: ‘It’s rare that a Dutch young adult debut has such technical craftsmanship, with such a composed style.’ Vrij Nederland

Until everything has been said

When it transpires that Michel is no longer allowed to see his two-year old daughter, he panics. He wants to see Josja grow up. That same day, he collects her from her nursery and flees across Europe, away from her mother Liesbeth. On their journey, getting used to being together with Josja, he tries to interpret the cracks in his relationship with Liesbeth. In the meantime, Liesbeth tries everything she can to find Michel and Josja. Will she ever see her daughter again?

‘Koens handles the heavy subject matter with surprising humanity and gives equal space to both parents. The book in general comes across as balanced. Koes writes with an admirable steadiness and stays on topic.’ De Groene Amsterdammer

‘Despite it being a debut, the novel comes across as grown-up. Few things are scarier than the fear of a mother whose child has disappeared. And few have described that fear this poignantly.’ AD/UN

We shall laugh, Party!, You’re allowed to take me seriously and We are happy. Full stop.

A number of Enne’s plays have been published by Theaterboek. Like her novels, Enne’s plays are about family and relationships, a stream of loving but painful scenes, for laughing out loud and shedding a tear. Enne shows human relationships on the razor’s edge, in a style that is so wholly hers: bare and tender, poetical and precise. For children and adults and anyone in between.

Various texts are available on www.theaterboek.nl.


This coming season, Enne will collaborate on the FUTURE CITIZENS project by Bright Richards with New Dutch Connections. She recorded stories from people who came to the Netherlands from elsewhere and created a place of their own here. Stories that provide hope and solace to those who are currently on that path. They speak of the intense experiences of how to start from zero in a new country and the toll it takes to shake off the role of being a stranger.

More info on the  Future Citizens website (in Dutch)

Future Citizens
Stadsschouwburg - Utrecht - 17:00u
Future Citizens
Stadsschouwburg - Utrecht - 20:00u


Enne teaches at Buitenkunst, the Schrijversvakschool, the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht, and she teaches children who need a bit of help with the Dutch language via De Schoolschrijver. Her classes are fun, a curious investigation into language, story and inspiration.

The Writing Cafe (for adults)

During lockdown, Enne opened her writing cafe. It was an overwhelming success.

more info
You will find new inspiration in this virtual cafe. You will write without genre, and free of all expectations. Discovering what springs up on the page. It’s about technique and process, but mainly focuses on the love of writing. The workshops are engaging for beginners and professionals alike, and everyone in between. The writing cafe is 17.50 per session, and if you want to buy bulk (5 sessions), it’s 15 pounds per session. Please register via the contact form below. After registration you will receive the Zoom link, which is your entry ticket to the cafe.

The Writing Cafe (for younger writers, 10 to 15 years)

Once a month, you could join us in our De Utrechtse Kinderboekenwinkel living room for an inspiring writing class. About, for instance: seeking inspiration, story perspective, thinking of a good plot.

For more information or to register, please email: info@kinderboekwinkelutrecht.nl or call +31 (0)30 2322057. The costs are € 15,- per class.


Get in touch with Enne Koens via this form for a lecture, text or other questions.

For lectures you can also turn to:
De Schrijverscentrale
Tel: +31 (0)20 623 49 23

For play requests or copyright queries, please visit:
Tel: 072 511 21 35