Fonds voor de letteren
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The Ministry of Education, Cultural Affairs and Science (Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschappen) is responsible for Dutch cultural policy. Every four years, the Government reflects on the values and effectiveness of the existing cultural policy on subsidies. An outline of the national cultural policy is presented in a cultural memorandum.

The basic idea of the Dutch cultural funding system is to pay for those arts that are considered valuable, but are not supported by the market. A substantial portion of the annual national cultural budget is shared out among independent foundations. The link with the Government is restricted to the appointment of board members, the decision concerning the annual budget, and the annual statement of accounts. The Government must approve the statutes and subsidy schemes of the various foundations. There are separate funds for contemporary music, visual arts, theatre, performing arts, architecture, literature and so on, each with its own policy. This must correspond with the national cultural policy, but the final distribution of budget funds is the responsibility of the foundations themselves. Advice is accepted from experts within the sector.

The Fonds voor de Letteren (Dutch Foundation for Literature) aims at stimulating the quality and availability of Dutch and Frisian literature, as well as literature translated into Dutch and Frisian. The Foundation offers literary authors and translators the financial scope to work on a professional basis, by providing work and travel grants to writers and translators of fiction, poetry, non-fiction, children's books and drama. Only writers and translators whose work meets the required standards of productivity and - most important - quality, are eligible for a grant. Each year, approximately 200 authors and 100 translators of literature into Dutch or Frisian receive such a grant.

The Foundation's Board of Directors has seven members, including one author and one translator. All decisions of the Board concerning grants to authors and translators are based on advice provided by the Advisory Board of the Foundation, which consists of nineteen experts from the literary field. The Advisory Board is assisted each year by more than 50 subcommittees, composed of writers, critics, translators and university lecturers.

The Dutch Foundation for Literature was established in 1965 as a result of protests, from a large group of authors, against the lack of a governmental policy on Dutch literature. The authors demanded the recognition of authorship as a true profession, as well as the financial means to enable them to live by the pen. Their demands were heard: the government set up the Dutch Foundation for Literature. At present the budget is approximately 6.000.000 Euro.



Follow this link for the Fonds voor de Letteren writer-in-residence programme.

and this one for more information on Dutch Funds


Introductory portfolios
The Dutch Foundation for Literature wishes to increase publication possibilities for foreign authors who live in the Netherlands but do not (yet) write in the Dutch language. One of the most successful means of promotion has proven to be the ‘Introductory Portfolio'

Authors from non-western countries who have not yet been published in the Netherlands are eligible for these Introductory portfolios. Also eligible are authors residing temporarily in the Netherlands as political refugees, of whom it is uncertain whether they intend, or are able, to write in Dutch. More information.



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