The Nordic Council Children’s and Young People’s Literature Prize has been awarded annually since 2013 for literary and illustrated works written for children and young people. It is one of five prizes allocated by the Nordic Council. The prize is worth DKK 300.000 (approx. 40.000 euros). The prize is given to a new work of fiction written for children and young people which is of outstanding quality as literature and for its illustrations.
The expert jury from Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Åland and the Sami language area nominates 12-14 works during the spring and selects the winner in the autumn. The winner is announced at a prize ceremony during the session of the Nordic Council.
Nordic children’s and young people’s literature
Children and young people are respected in the Nordic countries as active citizens in a democratic society. They are encouraged to think independently, to be creative and to be aware of their inalienable rights. This is reflected in the high quality of Nordic literature for children and young people, which is characterized by respect for the reader, whether narrating down-to-earth everyday scenes, existential issues or exciting adventures in unfamiliar surroundings.
The Prize Secretariat is housed at the Nordic House in Reykjavik.
Since 2013 winners and nominees for the Nordic Council Children’s and Young People’s Literature Prize have been selected for their literary quality and fine illustrations, featuring humor, seriousness, depth and imagination. Today’s Nordic children’s and youth literature deals with issues such as gender equality, child and adult relationships, diversity and inclusion. It comments on current events and mirrors contemporary topics, everyday life – and also delivers dystopian and utopian stories for all ages. Naturally, there are similarities and differences between children’s and youth literature in the various Nordic countries, but there is a common resonance which is of great value.
The Nordic House is the administrative office for Nordic Council literature prizes. For further information please contact the Head of Secretariat Sofie Hermansen Eriksdatter.
Sofie Hermansen Eriksdatter
Head of Secretariat, The Nordic Council Literature Prizes
In 2013, when it initiated the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize, the Nordic Council of Ministers also launched a project called LØFTET. The Secretariat for the Nordic Council Literature Prizes was set the task of managing and developing this project in the period 2019-2021, during which the main focus is an annual interdisciplinary seminar on current Nordic children’s and young people’s literature.
Each summer seminar is followed by the publication the next winter of an anthology in both digital format and hard copy dealing with the themes discussed at the seminar that year as well as other relevant topics.
The seminar forges and strengthens links between people and professions involved in Nordic children’s and young people’s literature by providing an opportunity for the various groups – researchers, authors, illustrators, communications professionals, publishers – on the Nordic literature scene to network, discuss issues and create synergies, including after the seminar and the publication of the anthologies.
The Length and Breadth of the Nordic Region is a series of three anthologies as part of LØFTET, the culture ministers’ initiative for children’s and young people’s literature. The main focus is an annual interdisciplinary seminar on current Nordic children’s and young people’s literature, which leads to a three-part anthology addressing the themes discussed at the seminar and other relevant topics. We hope you will enjoy reading them.
The Length and Breadth of the Nordic Region: Ecocritical currents in Nordic children’s and young people’s literature
This anthology provides insight into ecocritical trends in recent Nordic children’s and young people’s literature from a research, communication, illustrative and creative literary perspective. It includes essays on the challenges of the Anthropocene, studies of the relationships between nature, culture and waste and about environmental activists in books for children and young people. It also includes seven hard-hitting eco-dramas, all of which are the result of collaborations between Nordic illustrators and authors. The contributions to the anthology are in Danish, Norwegian and Swedish. It is number 2 in a series of 3 and was published in 2021.
The Length and Breadth of the Nordic Region: New trends in children’s and young people’s literature with repercussions in research and dissemination
This anthology provides an insight into new trends in children’s and young people’s literature and how these are reflected in research and communications. It also looks at how the research and dissemination of children’s and young people’s literature came about and how it thrives the length and breadth of the Region. The essays deal with the whole lifecycle of children’s literature, questions whether the Nordic picture book is for a particular age-group, freestyles with Nordic rhapsody and puts the concept of quality under the microscope. The contributions to the anthology are in Danish, Norwegian and Swedish. It is number 1 in a series of 3 and was published in 2019.