Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, Minister of Culture Presents the Icelandic Literature Center's Grassroots Grants

14. June, 2019 News

Grassroots Grants are awarded annually to emerging writers in order to support and encourage them on their path. 

On Thursday, 6 June the Icelandic Literature Center awarded two newcomers Grassroots Grants for their works, each grant amounting to 500,000 ISK. The Minister of Education, Science and Culture, Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, presented the grants at a ceremony in Gunnarshús, headquarters of the Icelandic Writer's Union.

Grassroots Grants are awarded annually to emerging writers, no matter what age, in order to support and encourage them on their path. The debuting works can be novels, stories, poems, plays and other texts.

The Grassroots Grants 2019 were awarded to the following works and writers:

Í gegnum þokuna

Children's book

Writer: Auður Stefánsdóttir (b. 1983) holds a BA-degree in Icelandic and an MA-degree in Icelandic Literature from the University of Iceland. She also has teacher certification for the upper secondary level and is currently pursuing a second Master's degree in Creative Writing at the University of Iceland.

Consultants' verdict:

Í gegnum þokuna is a fantasy book for children about the battle between good and evil, death and life. The author tackles a delicate topic in a sophisticated manner, weaving an exciting chain of events fluctuating between reality and imagination. The text is clear and accessible, descriptions of the other side are imaginative and there are several interesting references to what it is like to be a kid in Iceland today.”


Collection of short stories

Writer: Kristján Hrafn Guðmundsson (b. 1979) is a literary critic who has teacher certification and teaches Icelandic, philosophical debate and film literacy at the primary and secondary level. Kristján translated Haruki Murakami's What I talk About When I Talk About Running, and managed the cultural section for the newspaper DV in 2007-2010.

Consultants' verdict:

Afkvæni is a collection of short stories that take place in everyday contemporary Iceland. The narrative is gripping, character descriptions are sharp, and the writing is vivid. Mundane events are given a comical spin; the atmosphere is playful and light, while the author also manages to deliver an interaction of joy and seriousness with exceptional sensibility.”

The Twelfth Time Grassroots Grants Are Awarded – over fifty writers have received the grants

This is the twelfth time the Grassroots Grants are awarded, and over fifty writers have been awarded these grants to date. 

Applications for the grants were for works of various nature, such as novels, poetry, children's and young adult books, biographies, and short stories. The applicants were also of various ages. This year the grants go to a collection of short stories and a children's book.

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