General Policy of the Board of the Icelandic Literature Center for 2019-2022

The Icelandic Literature Center submits proposals to the Minister of Education and Culture for a policy for a term of three years. Below are the policy targets which in the view of the board should be prioritised when funding is allocated in the coming years for the support of Icelandic literary culture, publishing and promotion of Icelandic literature at home and abroad.

The board of the Icelandic Literature Center deems it important that the financial basis of the Center be reinforced still further, in order that it will always be able to fulfil its mandated role, and will continue to grow in strength.

Support for publishing, authors and translators

Under the law the role of the Icelandic Literature Center is to support translation and promotion of Icelandic literature abroad, and to foster literary culture in Iceland. The objective is to ensure a wide range of high-quality publishing in Iceland, the international advance of Icelandic literature, and the translation of literature from foreign languages into Icelandic.

In order to achieve the above-mentioned objectives, the Center allocates grants each year to publishers and authors in Iceland and abroad: publication grants, grants for books for children and young readers, translation grants, innovation grants, travel grants for authors, residential grants for translators, sample translation grants and reader's report grants.

In addition the Center always strives to allocate grants to diverse activities in the literary field in Iceland and abroad.

Promotion and advance of Icelandic literature and authors abroad

The Center supports and promotes Icelandic literature internationally, and assists Icelandic authors and publishers in various ways with promotional activities abroad. Each year the Center publishes a brochure of books published in Iceland in the last year which are deemed promising for publication abroad. The Center is also represented at the principal international book fairs. Icelandic publishers shall be assisted in strengthening their bonds with colleagues abroad through publisher exchanges between Iceland and other countries.

Procedure of grant allocations

In order to ensure professionalism in the allocation of grants, the Center commissions external literary advisers, who are appointed for a year at a time, to make proposals for allocation of grants. The board allocates grants, monitors them, and is responsible for compliance with the law.

Translators of Icelandic literature

The policy shall be to increase still further support for translators of Icelandic works into foreign languages, and encourage publishers abroad to devote even more attention to Icelandic literature. Emphasis is to be placed upon supporting translations of Icelandic works into foreign languages, and sample translations of new works.

A Translators' Seminar is to be held in alternate years for translators of Icelandic literature into foreign languages, in collaboration with leading bodies in the literary field. Work is to continue on the development, promotion and use of the Translators page on the Center's website. Orðstír, an award to translators of Icelandic literature into foreign languages, is to be awarded in alternate years.

Encouraging more reading

The Center is to promote targeted measures to encourage reading, in collaboration with a broad-based group in the literary field, with the objective of increasing interest in reading and deepening the relationship between readers and writers. One aspect of this is visits by authors to upper-secondary schools, which commence in 2020 in collaboration with educational authorities and others.

Survey of Icelanders' reading habits

The Center is continue to take the initiative in reading surveys being carried out each year among Icelanders, in collaboration with professional organisations and bodies within the book sector.

Gender equality

In the future, as hitherto, gender equality is to be pursued in all the work of the Center: in allocation of grants, authors' participation in events, selection of literary advisers, etc.

Active collaboration

The Center shall always take the initiative for active collaboration with as many professional and stakeholder organisations as possible in the fields relating to its activities, including authors, publishers, translators, universities, libraries, the Reykjavík Literary Festival, Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature, the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, Icelandic embassies abroad and Promote Iceland.