Logo New Dutch Writing

New Dutch Writing is a new high-profile promotional campaign by the Dutch Foundation for Literature to promote Dutch writing in translation in the UK and Ireland and to nurture the next generation of translators.

It includes fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, children’s and poetry books, celebrating the work of translators and capitalising on the burgeoning interest in international literature among UK readers while engaging them in a stimulating, cross cultural debate. The campaign launched in July 2019 and continues through 2020 and includes over 70 author events at a range of festivals and literature venues nationwide, featuring Dutch writers in conversation with their British counterparts.

Literary translation is also part of the campaign. “Literary translation as a vital culture – not as a threshold for foreign authors, not as a nuisance for publishers, but as an intriguing intellectual skill and as a cultural richness,” Bas Pauw, project director of the campaign, explains “We also hope to highlight the people who make it possible for UK readers to read Dutch books. Eight emerging translators are being mentored through a Chapbooks publishing programme and will have their debut translations published as part of the campaign.”

New Dutch Writing will be working with established authors such as Herman Koch, bestselling author of The Dinner (Atlantic), and Bart van Es, winner of the 2019 Costa Book of the Year award for The Cut Out Girl (Penguin), alongside emerging new talent from The Netherlands such as Eva Meijer, author of the novel Bird Cottage (Pushkin Press) and the forthcoming Animal Languages (John Murray), and Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, author of The Discomfort of the Evening (Faber and Faber).

The campaign will involve

  • Over 70 events at festivals and venues and across UK and Ireland
  • Nurturing the next generation of Dutch translators
  • Bringing Dutch writers into schools and universities
  • Events and debates with novelists, poets, children’s and non-fiction authors
  • Launching a newly translated series of collected work by emerging writers
  • Engaging UK readers with stimulating, cross-cultural debate across press and social media
  • Working with bookshops to promote newly translated Dutch authors to UK readers

Upcoming events

New Dutch Writing has already included over 70 author events at a range of festivals and literature venues nationwide. Now that these autumn events have passed, the New Dutch Writing campaign is planning more events for the next few months. Keep an eye out for new events!

5 May
New Dutch Writing Translation Workshop Series

A series of four translation workshops by leading translators from Dutch to English. Open to anyone with a sound knowledge of Dutch and native-speaker level English. Free to participate. 

13 May
Meet the World: Tommy Wieringa & Sam Garrett

As part of Meet The World, we’re teaming up with the National Centre for Writing for a series of conversations between writers and their translators. Exploring the most exciting new books of 2020, it shines a light on the new Dutch and Flemish masters of fiction and poetry.

17 May
All Back to Ours: In the Playroom with Lampie & The Children of The Sea

We join Annet Schaap as she does a live illustration from Lampie and the Children of the Sea as her translator Laura Watkinson reads from this wonderful book.

19 May
Rutger Bregman in conversation with Owen Jones - the Guardian Live

Join Dutch historian Rutger Bregman for a live streamed Q&A as part of the Guardian Live's new series of online events. He will be talking to Guardian journalist Owen Jones, and you'll get the chance to put some of your questions to him too.

23 May
Humankind: A Hopeful History - Rutger Bregman at the Hay Festival

It’s a belief that unites the left and right, psychologists and philosophers, writers and historians. It drives the headlines that surround us and the laws that touch our lives. From Machiavelli to Hobbes, Freud to Pinker, the roots of this belief have sunk deep into Western thought. Human beings, we're taught, are by nature selfish and governed primarily by self-interest.

27 May
Meet the World: Charlotte Van den Broeck & David Colmer

As part of Meet The World, we’re teaming up with the National Centre for Writing for a series of conversations between writers and their translators. Exploring the most exciting new books of 2020, it shines a light on the new Dutch and Flemish masters of fiction and poetry.

Through poems that are both playful and subversive, Charlotte Van den Broeck is one of the dynamic new voices in European poetry. Writing on identity, bodies and language, her first collection in English, Chameleon / Nachtroer is beautifully translated by David Colmer, who joins her at this event alongside chair Sasha Dugdale.

10 June
Meet the World: Rodaan al Galidi & Jonathan Reeder

As part of Meet The World, we’re teaming up with the National Centre for Writing for a series of conversations between writers and their translators. Exploring the  most exciting new books of 2020, it shines a light on the new Dutch and Flemish masters of fiction and poetry.

Rodaan al Galidi’s novel Two Blankets, Three Sheets offers a bleakly humorous account of the Dutch Asylum process. A big, existential novel about freedom and belonging, by a former Iraqi asylum seeker now settled in the Netherlands. Joining Rodaan will be translator Jonathan Reeder and chair Rosie Goldsmith.

Past events

26 Mar
Marieke Lucas Rijneveld at London Review Bookshop

Due to the Coronavirus, this event has been cancelled
The Discomfort of Evening: reading and conversation between Marieke Lucas Rijneveld & Sophie Collins

8 Mar
J.S. Margot at the Jewish Book Week

Mazel Tov! J.S. Margot discusses her new book with chair Justine Solomons at the Jewish Book Week.

6 Mar
Jan Baeke at Stanza Poetry Festival

Join us at the Border Crossings reading with Jan Baeke and Hanan Issa. Hear from two poets whose writing explores and tests the rules of living with a perceived identity.

6 Mar
Eva Meijer at Words by the Water

Secret conversations with the living world. Philosopher and artist Eva Meijer explores the ways animals communicate.

5 Mar
Charlotte Van den Broeck at Stanza Poetry Festival

Five O'Clock Verses with a reading by Charlotte Van Den Broeck.

4 Mar
Charlotte Van den Broeck at Newcastle University

We'll be hearing from two leading European poets, Charlotte Van den Broeck (Belgium) and Jan Wagner (Germany).

18-19 Feb
Annet Schaap at Imagine Children's Festival

Sea the World of Illustration: Annet Schaap's reading from Lampie and drawing workshop at the Image Children's Literature Festival.

18-19 Feb
Edward van de Vendel at Imagine Children's Festival

Playground of Poems: a reading from Super Guppy by Edward van de Vendel.

18-19 Feb
Picture It! Print It! Illustration workshop with Gert Jan Pos

Scribble and sketch your own cover design for your favourite book in this workshop at Imagine Children's Festival

9 Nov
Julia Blackburn and Miek Zwamborn at Poetry in Aldeburgh

Julia Blackburn and Miek Zwamborn at Poetry in Aldeburgh.

9 Nov
Hagar Peeters at Poetry in Aldeburgh

Hagar Peeters reads poems from her new collection at Poetry in Aldeburgh

9 Nov
The sea, the sea, the seaaaaaa: writing workshop

Miek Zwamborn and Hagar Peeters: The sea, the sea, the seaaaaaa: writing workshop at Poetry in Aldeburgh.

5 Nov
Onno Blom in Hatchards

Hatchards hosts an illustrated talk and discussion with Onno Blom.

4 Nov
Onno Blom in Toppings Bookshop, Bath

Onno Blom in Toppings Bookshop, Bath

13 Oct
Bart van Es at Durham Book Festival

The Cut Out Girl was the winner of the 2018 Costa Book of the Year and is the powerful story of a young girl's struggle to survive Nazi persecution and a man's attempt to unveil his family's secrets. The last time Lien saw her parents was in the Hague, when she was collected at the door by a stranger and taken to a foster family far away to be hidden from the Nazis. What was her side of the story, Bart van Es – a grandson of the couple who looked after Lien – wondered?

13 Oct
Herman Koch at Durham Book Festival

This event brings together two acclaimed European writers: Holland's Herman Koch and Germany's Dagmar Leupold.

12 Oct
New Dutch Writing at British Library

Dutch society has long been held up as a model of political and social tolerance, but is this the real story? Bart van Es, author of Costa Prize-winning The Cut Out Girl joins bestselling novelist Herman Koch, rising stars Esther Gerritsen and Jeroen Olyslaegers, and historian Simon Schama at this special day of talks. Furthermore, Joris Luyendijk and Naema Tahir discuss Dutch society

11 Oct
Celebrate With... Herman Koch

Herman Koch’s deliciously dark tale of family life, The Dinner, sold over a million copies and was the talk of every book club.

11 Oct
Simon Schama at Cheltenham Literature Festival

Simon Schama cut his teeth writing about Dutch art and history on his way to becoming one of the UK’s great cultural critics. Essays on De Stijl and the Rijksmuseum are highlights of his latest wide-ranging book, Wordy, which he discusses at this event.

11 Oct
Trust No One: Herman Koch

Author of the internationally bestselling The Dinner, Herman Koch returns with The Ditch, a dark literary thriller about how quickly we can become entangled in our own fears and suspicions. Louise Candlish won the Crime and Thriller Book of the Year Award for Our House, her deliciously twisted tale of marital betrayal in the suburbs; a setting she revisits in Those People. With Sam Baker they discuss the appeal of writing toxic characters and how we never really know those we live amongst.

10-12 Oct
Vice Versa Workshop Literary Translation

The National Centre for Writing in Norwich will host a series of literary translation workshops.

9 Oct
A Celebration of New Dutch Writing

An evening in the company of Dutch writers Eva Meijer and Bregje Hofstede, in conversation with Daniel Hahn.

9 Oct
BBC Radio 3 Modern Dutch Writing

Laurence Scott looks at the way Dutch writers are addressing history and contemporary life with Rodaan Al Galidi, Eva Meijer and Onno Blom.

7-11 Oct
Eva Meijer residency Norwich

Eva Meijer takes up residence at National Centre for Writing Norwich.

7-31 Oct
Bregje Hofstede Residency Norwich

Bregje Hofstede takes up residence at National Centre for Writing Norwich.

3 Sep
An Evening with Cees Nooteboom

UCL Dutch celebrates this recognition for Dutch author Cees Nooteboom; the poet, novelist and travel writer whose work has been translated into over thirty languages.

10-26 Aug
Edinburgh International Book Festival

From 10 to 26 August Scotland will be buzzing with literature during the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the largest literature festival in the world. Dutch literature will be represented by picture book author Mylo Freeman, comic maker and graphic novelist Typex and novelist Tommy Wieringa.