The 2012 Nobel Literature Prize will be announced at 1100 GMT on Thursday, organisers said, with Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami the bookmakers' favorite to win the 8 million crown award.
Other hotly-tipped names include Bob Dylan, Chinese writer Mo Yan and reclusive U.S. novelist Thomas Pynchon.
Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer won last year, pleasing many in the prize's homeland which had not celebrated a winner since Eyvind Johnson and Harry Martinson took home the prize in 1974.
Past winners include U.S. writer William Faulkner, France's Albert Camus and Colombia's Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The last Japanese writer to win the prize was Kenzaburo Oe in 1994.
The award-giving body The Swedish Academy, which announced the date of the literature prize on Monday, is due to announce the winners of its coveted science prizes this week.