In order to bring literature in minority and minor languages in Europe more to the attention of national and international markets and to build a sustainable international network, Leeuwarden UNESCO City of Literature and Boeken fan Fryslân want to develop strategies together with six other European partners. They do this in the international LIT-UP project. The first meeting was held in Valencia in the end of October 2022.
LIT-UP focuses on publishers, writers, and book promotion organizations. It encourages collaboration, knowledge exchange, and professionalization. The other partners in the project are organizations from Catalonia, the Basque Country, Galicia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Corsica.
Tryntsje van der Steege of Leeuwarden City of Literature is involved in LIT-UP: “The Basques and the Catalans in particular have experienced significant growth in a relatively short period of time in the number of literary works written in their language and in their position on the international scene. We can learn a lot from that. And since Leeuwarden is a UNESCO City of Literature, we have a unique position in this network, from which the other partners can also benefit. Together with Boeken fan Fryslân we bring a lot of experience in the field of book and literature promotion, such as the Poet Laureate of Fryslân, the Children’s Book Ambassador, the Taalkaravaan and the story project, Happiness Delayed.”
At the festival in Valencia, workshops and training courses were organized for the participating partner organizations in the field of book promotion and setting up a European network. The parties visit each other regularly to exchange what literature in small languages has to offer everyone. The project partners always bring a writer and his/her publisher to participate in the meetings. During the first meeting, writer and future children’s book ambassador Tialda Hoogeveen traveled from Fryslân. The project partners will come to Fryslân in the autumn of 2023.
LIT-UP, which runs until early 2025, falls under the Creative Europe Program and is therefore supported by the European Union.