About the project

Why do I write, what do I write, how do I write, and for whom do I write? What lies at the core of my writing, what influences am I exposed to, and how consciously do I pursue my poetic concept? What is the relationship between writing and everyday realities – be they individual, social, or economic? What form do the book markets and support systems for literature and writers take in the different countries?
Fifteen prose writers aged between 25 and 40 from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Austria, and Germany will meet in early September in Berlin to take a step back from their daily writing and discuss basic issues in relation to their craft. From each of the participating Nordic countries an author was chosen who has already published several independent prose texts. They will each bring another younger, less established author from their country who has a shorter list of publications that have not yet been translated into foreign languages, but has already had some success in the literary circles of their home country. Beyond the diversity of the countries involved, the organizers of Schriftproben strove to include the widest possible range of voices and independent writing positions. In this way they hope to encourage a productive discussion that transcends national and linguistic barriers allowing participating authors to provide and receive stimuli based on their individual writing practice, to confront their own work with foreign literary bodies, and last but not least, to replace previous images of each other with new insights.
The working language will be English. A translation (into German or English) of both a literary and a poetological text by each participant will provide subject matter for a discussion. After the conference the translated texts will be published as an anthology.
Although the conference is not open to the public, it will be possible to transmit the impressions and impulses gained there to a wider public audience in several readings and discussions on the fringes of the conference in Berlin, Dresden, and Stuttgart. These readings and discussions will also be available as a live stream on the Internet, In this way direct insights can be gained into the Nordic literatures as they are currently developing without the lengthy delays necessitated by the mechanisms of the book market, support systems for literature and writers, and translation. At the same time, everybody involved will have the opportunity to expand the frame of reference of their respective literature, which is in most cases still a regional or national one, beyond the borders of nations, languages, and mentalities.