We are Wintertuin. We make connections between readers and writers, literature and other art forms, innovation and the mainstream, and art and society.
We organise festivals, literary programmes and workshops in which we use fiction as a guide to help us navigate through the present. We do this in theatres, libraries, pop venues, asylum seekers centres, nursing homes, at schools and online.
We offer emerging writers space to experiment, and a platform to meet each other and exchange their work. We coach them in the development of an independent professional and artistic practice.
Within our international writing programmes authors, translators and literary professionals work together, crossing the borders between countries and languages.
And we publish. We have an online literary platform Notulen van het Onzichtbare, or ‘Records of the Invisible’. We also publish books. Our chapbooks are a first example of our writers capabilities and serve as an artistic business card for the literary field. Furthermore, we make books with the stories of newcomers, of elderly people in nursing homes and of inhabitants of Curaçao.
We are always curious: about new voices, which we give a stage; about new forms of publishing and writing, and about ways to renew the literary culture.
CELA - Connecting Emerging Literary Artists
Connecting Emerging Literary Artists (CELA) is an ambitious European talent development program for emerging writers, translators and literary professionals. With CELA, Wintertuin – together with ten partners from ten European countries – supports 30 talented writers, 79 translators and 6 literary professionals. We bring them together to show how literature can connect people, to provide a greater opportunity for smaller languages and to initiate change.
The selected talents for CELA go through an intensive four-year process aimed at developing skills, tools and an international network. They do this through master classes, residencies and marketing and publicity campaigns. To help them achieve that goal, we coordinate a European tour of 10 major festivals and various networking events with well-known writers, publishers and literary organizations. Together, CELA’s participants and partners are able to address some of the challenges of our time and put them into perspective – from growing contradictions and differences in Europe, to a changing publishing industry. They share work, and bridge the distances to each other, the literary industry and the European public.
Through literature and storytelling, Wintertuin Curaçao gives residents’ stories a central place in the island’s oral and written culture. Together with Wintertuin and local partners, Wintertuin Curaçao organises activities, festivals, workshops and courses throughout the year. The results of these activities appear in publications and online.
For example, we organise the Kurá di Kuenta (‘the Story House’) storytelling project, in which elderly people in care institutions and in Curaçao’s neighbourhoods are guided by writers to recall and record their stories. Also held annually is the Wintertuin Curacao Festival, an inclusive and multilingual festival centred around language, for people of all ages.
Since its founding in 2017, we have additionally been investing in talent development on the island. For example, we guide several local makers in developing their professional practice. With Creative Writing Curaçao, we organise intensive and inspiring international writing courses in collaboration with Spanish and Dutch writing schools. Ambitious writing talent can also enrol in the bachelor’s program Creative Writing at ArtEZ, the only full-time bachelor’s program in the Netherlands for writing and presenting prose, drama, poetry, documentary and literary non-fiction.
Other projects of Wintertuin Curaçao include: 100 Opheto, a project to retell Curaçao’s history using objects and the stories behind them; Wissel je Woorden, an international spoken word exchange program Wissel je Woorden; and Over de Oceaan, a spoken word course for high school students.
Writer in Residence
Every year we offer an international, emerging writer a residency in Nijmegen, with the goal to translate their literary work and connect them to our national network of writers, publishers and programmers, thereby stimulating the international exchange of literature.
Writer & Translator in Residence 2023: Paula Erizanu & Charlotte van Rooden
In 2023, we offered a duo residency to Moldovan writer Paula Erizanu and translator Charlotte van Rooden.
Paula Erizanu (b. 1992, Chișinău, Moldova) is a writer and journalist. As a journalist, she regularly works with prestigious media such as BBC World Service, The Guardian and Financial Times. Her first book Aceasta e prima mea revoluție. Furați-mi-o (2011, “This is my first revolution. Steal it.”) was a literary non-fiction account of the 2009 demonstrations for democracy in Moldova and has also been published in English and French. The debut was followed by a collection of poetry, a three-volume anthology and a novel. This feminist, historical and erotic novel Ard pădurile (2021, The Forests Burn) was shortlisted for the Romanian Sofia Nădejde Prize and earned her the Young Writers’ Prize of the Year at the Young Writers’ Ball in Bucharest. Currently, Paula is writing a sequel.
Charlotte van Rooden (b. 1993, Leiden, Netherlands) is a historian and translates from Romanian and German. Soon her fourth translation, a novel by Romanian writer Iulian Bocai, will be published by Uitgeverij de Geus. She has previously translated two novels by writers from the Republic of Moldova: Heart Woman by Iulian Ciocan (2020) and The Glass Garden by Tatiana Țîbuleac (2022).
Affiliated with De Nieuwe Oost
Wintertuin is affiliated with network organisation De Nieuwe Oost.
For the past years, De Nieuwe Oost has developed into a strong network in the arts and culture sector where talented makers can further develop into creators with an independent and sustainable professional practice. De Nieuwe Oost represents the two art practices Performing and Publishing and is the house for a new practice that includes different disciplines – theatre and dance (Theater a/d Rijn) in Arnhem, music (BRUT) in Deventer and literature in Nijmegen.
Wintertuin shares an office with the festivals InScience, Music Meeting and Go Short in the Festivalhuis, in the city centre of Nijmegen. The joint housing ensures a pooling of knowledge and experience and leads to crossovers between the festivals. The Festivalhuis consists of the disciplines music, literature, film and science.