General Policy of the Board of the Icelandic Literature Center for 2016-2019

Below is a presentation of the main policy points the Board will emphasize when allocating funds for the support of Icelandic literary culture, publishing and promotion of Icelandic literature, in Iceland and abroad. The board of the Icelandic Literature Center feels it is of the utmost importance to strengthen the financial foundation of the Center even further, in order to enable the Center to implement, at all times, its legislative role and grow as a support system.

Legal premises

According to law, the administrative role of the Icelandic Literature Center is to support the publishing of Icelandic literature abroad and strengthen the literary culture in Iceland.

Support for Icelandic publishers

The Center allocates publishing grants to Icelandic publishing agents annually, to ensure a diverse and ambitious publishing environment in Iceland. Special emphasis is put on support for works of a cultural and epistemological value and for debut works of new writers, as well as high quality translations of foreign works into Icelandic.

Grant allocation procedures 

To ensure best professional procedure, the Center employs literary counsellors, with a tenure of one year, to nominate grants recipients. The Board allocates the grants and is responsible for full legislative compliance.

Promotional work abroad

The Center supports and promotes Icelandic literature and literary culture abroad and assists Icelandic writers and publishers in promoting and marketing abroad. The Center presents an annual catalogue of the previous year´s published works it deems especially relevant for markets abroad and promotes those works at book fairs in various foreign countries. The Board will aim to increase its support of translators of Icelandic into foreign languages and encourage foreign publishers to publish Icelandic literary works. In particular, translations of Icelandic works of literature into foreign languages will get increase support, as well as sample translations of new work. Icelandic publishers will receive aid and support to participate in book fairs abroad, where they can promote authors on their publishing list and broaden their network.


"Orðstír", an honorary award for translations of Icelandic literature into a foreign language, will be awarded in Iceland biannually, in conjunction with the Reykjavik Literary Festival.

A Scandinavian initiative - follow-up

In 2013–2015, the Icelandic Literature Center placed a special emphasis on the promotion of Icelandic literature in Scandinavia, with an increased Icelandic presence at the Gothenburg Book Fair. This biannual event is the biggest book fair in Scandinavia and the promotional initiative reached its pinnacle in 2015, with a diverse and ambitious programme of Icelandic literary events. The Board will set out a three-year plan, cooperatively with Promote Iceland and the Icelandic Publishers´ Association, for participation in the Gothenburg fair, with special focus on literature for children and young adults.

A reading initiative and reading survey

The Center will continue and increase the collaboration it has already established with the associations of publishers and writers, Reykjavik – City of Literature and other relevant agents, to establish initiatives for reading, aimed at people of every age.

The Center shall initiate a reading survey among the general population, in cooperation with professionals in the publishing word. Systematic and efficient measures shall be taken to facilitate access to books in everyday life, for people of every age and around the country. 

Focus on books for children and YA

The Center will aim to support translations of high quality literature for children and young adults and facilitate children´s access to books, in cooperation with professional people in the publishing world, and to support the publishing of richly illustrated children´s books. The Center shall increase its cooperation with writers and organise visits of authors to schools all over the country.


The Center shall initiate active cooperation with as many professional- and business agents in the publishing world and in other areas which concern the Center´s area of activity and administration.