The Icelandic State also fosters writers with stipends form the Writers' Salary Fund, and this year the fund allotted 64 writers grants to engage in their art, from three-month to two-year salaries, making a total of 505 monthly artists' salaries. applications each year, and the salaries are granted on the basis of each writer's career and the proposed works presented with each application. Writers of all genres can apply for the Writers' Salary. Furthermore, parliament bestows the Althingi Honorary Salary to a few established writers, who have in a long career earned respect and esteem. This salary is a lifelong award. The National Broadcasting Service's Writers' Fund also honours writers with an annual grant, and the City of Reykjavík chooses a new Artist Laureate each year, who may be a writer. The National Theatre operates the Prologus Playwright Fund, intended to encourage and support domestic dramatists, and The Reykjavík City Theatre's Playwright Fund chooses a Playwright-in-Residence each year whose work is staged at the end of the year. The Icelandic Centre for Research runs a salary fund for academic writers, whose main role is to facilitate writing of books and works in digital format to enhance Icelandic culture. The salaries are presented annually and span between six months to a full three years. Hagthenkir – Association of Writers of Non-Fiction and Educational Material presents grants for writing, and making of educational and documentary films. Other funds are for instance, the Writers' Library Fund that annually allocates funds to writers, translators, filmmakers and other copy-right holders in accordance with the borrowing of their works in the country's libraries. BIRKIMELUR The western part of the city is not only the home of the University of Iceland, but mostly a residential neighbourhood with a mixture of condominiums and low-rise apartment buildings. Kristín Steinsdóttir's and Halla Sólveig Thorgeirsdóttir's illustrated children's book Engill í Vesturbænum (An Angel in the Neighbourhood) tells the story of a little boy who has just moved to the neighbourhood with his divorced mother, while his father lives in a different part of town with his new wife. The boy comes across many scary things in his new surroundings, but at the end he finds his own way of dealing with them. The book has won several prizes, both for text and illustrations. Literature trail
There are not many cash prizes in the literary field in Iceland, and the existing few do not allot large sums to writers. The Icelandic Literature Prize is a cash prize, and so is Reykjavík City's Tómas Gudmundsson Poetry Prize as well as The Icelandic Translator's Prize, but the largest cash prizes that Icelanders have a part in are The Nordic Council's Literature Prize and The Nordic Drama Prize administered by the Nordic Theatre Union. The Drama Prize in 2010 will be awarded for a play for children or teenagers, and Áslaug Jónsdóttir is nominated on behalf of Iceland for her play Gott Kvöld (Good Evening), which was staged by the National Theatre of Iceland in 2007. The City, the State and private parties combine efforts to support and nurture the city's literary scene financially and in various other ways. Reykjavík City for instance lends the Writer's Union the former house of writer Gunnar Gunnarsson for its operations, takes part in the “Writers in Class” project, where writers visit children and teenagers and invite them to entertaining literary programs, and collaborates with the Reykjavík International Literary Festival. The city also support the International Children's Literature Festival and other book-related events, in addition to regular festivals, such as Culture Night, the Winter Lights Festival, and the new Reykjavík Children's Culture Festival, all of which always feature literature. The largest project by far in the literary field that the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture is currently part of, aside from regular aspects of upper secondary and university educational levels, is the Guest of Honour Frankfurt Book Fair 2011 project, which was covered earlier in this application.
From Engill í Vesturbænum One evening when I was brushing my teeth I looked in the mirror. The brush fell into the washbasin, and toothpaste leaked from my mouth. Behind me, I saw the angel. He was tiny now. He sat on the bathroom cabinet, wearing the same white robe as usual. The big wings were outspread. And on his head was the halo… I hardly dared turn around, in case he disappeared, but then I did, super-quick, and he was still there. I carefully went over to the cabinet and put out my hand. The angel held his hands together on his chest, and smiled, with his eyes closed. I carefully lifted him down. He was no bigger than my hand, light, with long golden hair. I took him to Mum, and my hands were shaking when I handed her the angel. Translated by Anna Yates
UNESCO City of Literature
Published on Jul 23, 2012