Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature residency open for applications

Sian Bevan
Communications & Community Support
Edinburgh City of Literature Trust

1 February 2022

Our friends in the north, Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature, are offering a one-month residency for one lucky writer from another UNESCO City of Literature in September 2022.

You can apply for the residency if you have a strong connection to one of the 41 UNESCO Cities of Literature, and you have at least one published work of fiction, which can be in any genre. There are no restrictions on age, gender, language or nationality.

The residency includes travel costs and free accommodation in the Gröndal’s House residency space in downtown Reykjavík. It’s a one-bedroom flat with a full kitchen, and a living/dining area which can be used as a workspace. The successful resident will be in charge of their own meals and other day to day needs, and should have their own medical insurance. No additional guests can stay in Gröndal’s House.

The wonderful Reykjavík City of Literature staff will help the writer to make connections with the local literary community. There will be opportunities to present work, whether at an event, a media presentation or through other channels, and it’s expected that the writer would be keen to take an active part in the literary life of the city.

The month in Reykjavík must be used for literary work, and getting to know the city and the culture and literature of Iceland. There are no restrictions on the form or content of the work produced during the residency, but it’s requested that the writer produces a short text about Reykjavík and/or the stay, or the author’s home city’s ties to Reykjavík or Icelandic culture (1-2 A4 pages; prose, poetry, reflection, etc). This piece may be translated into Icelandic and used by the Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature team on their website, social media channels, and/or in a publication dedicated to the residency without further compensation. Proficiency in English is required.

About Reykjavík and Gröndal‘s House

Reykjavík is the capital of Iceland and its cultural centre. The population of this area is around 230,000. Icelandic is the language of the island, but most people are also fluent in English. Reykjavík has been a UNESCO City of Literature since 2011 and has a vibrant literary community. Gröndal‘s House is the former home of writer, illustrator and scholar Benedikt Gröndal (1826-1907). This small, charming house in the heart of the old town opened as a culture house and residency space in 2017. It houses the flat on the ground floor, an exhibition and event space on the main floor and an office space for local artists on the top floor. The house is run by the Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature office.

How to Apply

Please send your application to before March 1st 2022. It should contain:

  • Name
  • Address and contact email
  • Nationality
  • Date of birth
  • Connection to a UNESCO City of Literature
  • CV of published works and relevant career
  • Brief description of project that you plan to work on in Reykjavík

You may send a sample of written work if available in Icelandic, English, Danish, Swedish or Norwegian, although this isn't essential. If you need further information, please contact the team in Reykjavík at: