Denmark is reading

In 2013, a national reading campaign was initiated by the Danish Minister for Culture, Marianne Jelved. DKK 20 million has been allocated to the initiative over the next four years.

A central element of the campaign is a competition between the 98 municipalities to become Denmark’s best reading municipality. 46 municipalities entered the competition by submitting their applications describing the creative ideas to leverage fiction reading amongst nonreaders.

The national reading campaign is called Denmark is Reading. Recently 12 Danish municipalities were awarded the title ‘reading municipalities’ by an independent jury, based on their creative and innovative reading activities.

The 12 projects represent a variety of different methods and target groups. A group of scientists from University of Aarhus will investigate the effectiveness of the methods used.

One municipality will turn a popular local ice hockey team into a reading club making the professional players role models for the others players, their parents and the municipality in general. Another city will focus on healthcare professionals. By making 10 writers follow in the footsteps of 10 healthcare assistants they will each write a fictional novel based on their experiences.

The joy of reading

The idea is to make literature recognizable and approachable for a group of people who are generally not big fiction readers. No two projects are alike.

Across the country employees in factories, cemeteries, slaughterhouses, farmers, taxi drivers, veterans, groups of young mothers and whole cities will be invited into the different reading projects, and some of them will hopefully experience the joy reading a good book can bring.

In May 2015 the jury will choose the winner of the competition and the most effective methods and best practices will be shared and implemented on a larger scale.

For more information please visit the Danish campaign site: www.danmarklæser.dk and follow us on www.facebook.com/danmarklaeser

Campaign manager, Denmark is reading The Danish Agency for Culture