Denmark: Literary competition for immigrants

A writing competition for immigrants hopes to add a new accent to Danish literary voices The borders of Danish literature have been opened to immigration with a writing contest sponsored by two of the nation's oldest and largest producers of the written word.

The idea for a literature competition for people with a different cultural background than Danish came about after daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende ran a series of articles that cast a light on the lack of foreign voices in Danish media, according to Jacob Høyer, cultural editor for Berlingske Tidende.

'In neighbouring countries, such as in Sweden and in Britain, there are lots of authors with different ethnic backgrounds. We don't have that in Denmark,' explained Høyer. 'We are missing out on some interesting stories concerning life, love, loss, globalisation, and the meeting between Islam and Western cultures.'

The literature competition, co-sponsored by Gyldendal publishers, is directed at people capable of writing in Danish. But according to Høyer the language doesn't necessarily have to be standard Danish, 'we're also open for Danish with a Pakistani accent.'

The submitted stories will be judged by a jury consisting of Jens Andersen, the literature editor at Berlingske Tidende, author Naja Marie Aidt, and author and lecturer Rushy Rashid Højbjerg.

Source: Jyllands-posten (English)

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