General Policy of the Board of the Icelandic Literature Center for 2013-2016

Guaranteed continuity

According to law, the role of the Icelandic Literature Center is to support the publication of books in Icelandic, support the translation and marketing of Icelandic literature abroad, and to nurture a culture of literature in Iceland. The board of the ILC stresses the importance of guaranteeing a stable base of operations for the ILC so that it is able to carry out its legal obligations.

Priorities in management

The board of the Icelandic Literature Center is committed to keeping overhead costs to a minimum, so that the majority of its budget is reserved for its legally proscribed functions. To this end, the processing of grants and all tangential bureaucracy will be simplified.

New methodology

To insure neutrality, professionalism and transparency in the processing of grants, the ILC employs two unaffiliated literary consultants, who will work with employees in giving out grants and choosing books to include in the ILC's promotional catalog (see below). As before, however, the ILC board remains ultimately responsible for the grant allotments.

Supporting Icelandic publishing

Once per year, the Icelandic Literature Center gives out publishing grants to Icelandic publishers. It endeavors to support the publication of keystone titles of use to the majority of the public and with undisputed educational and cultural worth, nonfiction titles that are complex to produce but with realistic prospects for financial return, and works of importance to literary culture but with meager financial prospects. The ILC also gives out an annual “new voices” grant for authors who are making their first forays into the field. Beginning in 2014, the board also intends to give out grants for the illustrations for children's books, deeming it important to support Icelandic children's literature in competition with foreign titles.

Promotion abroad

The Icelandic Literature Center endeavors to promote Icelandic literature and literary culture abroad, and to help Icelandic authors and publishers promote and market their titles outside of Iceland. In collaboration with publishers, the ILC each year puts together a promotional catalog of titles believed to be of relevance to foreign markets. It will also organize events aimed at encouraging foreign publishers and translators to work with Icelandic literature. The literature center will focus on supporting foreign translations of Icelandic works, promotional sample translations of new works, and will give out grants to help authors attend promotional events abroad and follow up on their foreign publications. In addition, the ILC emphasizes support for the promotional efforts of smaller foreign publishers, for example by organizing courses and giving out travel grants.

Promotional push in the Nordic countries

In view of the success of Iceland's appearance as Guest of Honor at the 2011 Frankfurt Book Fair, which targeted a specific linguistic area, the ILC will place special emphasis on promoting Icelandic literature in the Nordic countries for the next three years. This effort will reach its apex at the Göteborg Book Fair in the autumn of 2016. Optimally, the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Promote Iceland will participate in the project. As part of the push, the ILC will focus on strengthening ties with Nordic translators, dedicating a portion of its grants to this end.

Active collaboration

The Icelandic Literature Center will actively seek out and nurture collaboration with as many entities and stakeholders in the field of literature as possible, including the ILC's sister organizations in the Nordic area, libraries, authors, publishers, translators, Reykjavík: UNESCO City of Literature, the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, the Icelandic embassies and Promote Iceland.

Legal framework

At present, the law stipulates that the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture is responsible for the ILC's finances. The board deems it important to bolster the ILC's legal status as an independent organization, thereby strengthening and clarifying its managemental and financial responsibilities.