Nordic Authors Crossing Borders


Project background

The project was initiated by the Nordic Council of Ministers offices in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and Federation of Associations Norden back in 2015. The project is currently in its third phase.

In 2020-2021, at least 30 Nordic authors will visit the Baltic countries. Additionally, a couple of authors from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will visit the Nordic countries, and a Nordic – Baltic creative writing camp for youth will be held in Latvia in spring, 2020.

The project has been supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers from the very beginning, other contributors have been: CBSS and Nordplus. The current project phase is financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers and Nordplus.

Project overall goals

The project seeks to increase the cultural connection and language comprehension in the Nordic-Baltic region through creating meeting places for people from different countries and cultures, facilitating intercultural exchange and contributing to accessibility of culture.  Communication through culture and literature helps to create a constructive dialogue about values that are important for the whole Nordic-Baltic region.

Children and adults in the Baltic countries get opportunities to meet Nordic authors, to learn about the Nordic countries and the newest Nordic literature. Such meetings inspire, give intercultural experience, open new perspectives and topics to discuss from a different cultural angle. By sharing their experience and creativity, authors can inspire children and youngsters to read more, to become more creative and even start writing. Authors not only give practical tips for reading and writing, but also often become inspiring role models for children and young people.

The purpose of the project is to:

  • Give children, youngsters and adults the possibility to meet and interact with contemporary Nordic authors, to learn about the Nordic countries through culture and dialogue;
  • Give Nordic authors the possibility to meet and understand their readers in the Baltic countries;
  • Highlight topics of gender equality, sustainable development, social inclusion that Nordic authors very often touch upon in their books;
  • Reach out to smaller towns and rural areas, and to contribute to accessibility of quality culture in the regions;
  • Present opportunities that methods of storytelling and creative writing can offer by conducting various workshops;
  • Contribute to promotion of contemporary Baltic literature in the Nordic countries.

Project activities

During the project, Nordic authors visit Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania where they meet children and young people in schools and public libraries. Various literary events and festivals, book fairs and debate events also serve as good sites for the writers. Book illustrators, creative writing experts, storytellers lead workshops for different audiences.

Since the project seeks to make use of the existing platform of the annual Nordic Literature Week in the Baltic countries, a number of authors have visited libraries and schools participating in this event. The project also cooperates with major literature festivals in the Baltic countries.

Some of the visits have been made into minority language communities in the Baltic countries, so that a Nordic cultural program can also reach students and adults in these regions. Two Nordic authors have also visited readers in Belarus.

Since the start of the project, more than 20 authors have already visited Lithuania. Among them one of Denmark’s most popular crime writer Michael Katz Krefeld and such award-winning writers as Sjón from Iceland, Maja Lunde from Norway; Nordic Council Children and Youth Literature Prize winner  illustrator Linda Bondestam, nominant of the same prize Rakel Helmsdal from the Faroe Islands; book illustrators Jenny Lucander, Anna Sailamaa from Finland, writer Bjørn Sortland from Norway, Mats Strandberg and Sara B. Elfgren from Sweden; storytellers Ivanir Sibylla Hasson (Norway) and Rikke Houd (Denmark); writer, TV show host and reading promoter Ævar Thor Benediktsson from Iceland, and many others.

Meetings have taken place in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai, Panevėžys, Ukmergė, Anykščiai, Plungė, Kaišiadorys, as well as smaller towns and even rural areas in different regions.

Project partners

Coordinating partner: Federation of Associations Norden (Foreningen Norden Forbund)

Implementing partners: Nordic Council of Ministers Offices in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Upcoming visits in Lithuania

Torill Kove (Canada/Norway) – Vilnius, 20-24 February, 2020

Siiri Enoranta (Finland) – Panevėžys, 21 February, and Vilnius 22-23 February, 2020

Marit Törnqvist (Sweden) – Vilnius and other places, November, 2020

Kristin Ragna Gunnarsdottir (Iceland) – Panevėžys and other places, November, 2020

More tbc.