Applications open for Reykjavik City of Literature Residency 2020.

by Ali Bowden
Director, Edinburgh
City of Literature Trust

06 Feb 2020

UNESCO City of Literature, Reykjavik, is inviting a writer of children's fiction from any of the UNESCO Cities of Literature to apply to their October residency.


In association with Mýrin - the Reykjavík International Children's Literature Festival, Reykjavik City of Literature are offering a one month residency for a visiting writer from any of the UNESCO Cities of Literature. As Edinburgh is a UNESCO City of Literature in the Creative City Network, residents who match the programme criteria can apply.


The 2020 offer is open to published children's fiction writers writing in any genre - poetry, prose, script for film or stage, comic writers etc. The applicant must have published at least one work of fiction for children or teenagers. Writers of all ages, gender, nationalities and languages can apply as long as the affiliation with a UNESCO City of Literature is strong.


This residency will be a one month stay for one writer from 1-31 October 2020.


• Travel cost

• Free lodging in Gröndalshús (Gröndal‘s House) residence flat: a fully furnished one bedroom flat with a full kitchen located in the Reykjavík city centre close to cultural venues and the main city attractions. The living/dining area can also be used as a work space. The flat has free wifi.

• Fee of 800 Euros.

The Reykjavík City of Literature staff will be of help in connecting the guest with the local literary community and other relevant organisations related to literary work.

Guests will be able to present their work at open events, as part of media presentations, or through other channels. The guest should be able and willing to take part in Mýrin - the International Children's Literature Festival in Reykjavík. The offer is meant for the writer only.


Applicants must use this month in Reykjavik for literary work and have an interest in getting to know Reykjavík and Iceland and its culture and literature. Although the hosts do not make any restrictions on the nature or content of the work being written during the stay, they do ask that the author writes a short text (1-2 A4 pages; prose, reflection, poem etc.) about Reykjavík and/or the stay or the author‘s home city‘s ties to Reykjavik or Icelandic literature.

The piece may be translated to Icelandic and used by the Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature, on the programme‘s website, social media channels and/or in a publication dedicated to the residency in the future without further compensation. Proficiency in English is required.


Reykjavík is the capital of Iceland and its cultural centre. It has been a UNESCO City of Literature since 2011 and has a vibrant literary community. The Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature office is run by the City of Reykjavík within its Department of Culture and Tourism.

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 was renovated by the City and opened as a culture house and residency 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.


Please send your application to before 1 March 2020.

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 the project 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 not required. If you need further information, please write to Reykjavik City of Literature at the same address: