Literary infrastructure


Despite the Dutch population’s great enthusiasm for reading, only a few of those who write in Dutch are able to live off the proceeds of their book sales. The language area is simply too small for this. In order to be able to maintain a viable literary climate, the Dutch state does invest in literature. The Dutch Foundation for Literature (Nederlands Letterenfonds), that came into being in 2010 as a result of a merger between the Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature and the Fonds voor de Letteren, allocates incentive grants each year, as well as work and travel grants, to writers and translators. In 2009 grants amounting to more than five million Euros were handed out by the Fonds voor de Letteren.

Besides writers and translators, literary magazines and literary festivals are also eligible for funding. Leading magazines in the Dutch language area include De Gids, KortVerhaal, Passionate Magazine, Hollands Maandblad, De Brakke Hond, Deus ex Machina and De Revisor. Literary events that take place each year include the Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam, Winternachten in The Hague, the Amsterdam Literary Festival, and the Nationale Boekenweek.

The Dutch Foundation for Literature also aims to bring Dutch literature to the attention of readers in other countries. To this end, the foundation organises literary events abroad and allocates grants to foreign publishers for translating work by Dutch authors. The core countries for this are the major countries of Europe and China, the United States and the Arabic language area.