What does Wintertuin do?
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 in Residence 2022: Lina Simutytė
In 2022 we, in collaboration with the Lithuanian Cultural Institute, invited writer Lina Simutytė. In November, Lina stayed in the Besiendershuis at the Waal, where she worked on her second book and exchanged experiences with emerging Dutch writers from Wintertuin’s talent development programme.
Lina participated in Conversations during the Nieuwe Types festival and was interviewed by Uschi Cop during Nieuwe Tijd. Here, she recited from her own work, together with translator Anita van der Molen. At the end of the residency, Lina wrote the short story Semper Idem, inspired by her experiences in Nijmegen.
Lina Simutytė (1990) graduated from the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy in film dramaturgy. Since 2013, she has been publishing prose in cultural magazines and working as a freelance screenwriter, playwright and copywriter. Her debut book of short stories, Miesto šventė (City festival), was published in 2020 and won the Jurga Ivanauskaitė prize for free, open and bold creative expression. She also won the Young Artist Award of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. Her texts emphasize the links with cosmopolitan civilization, its diversity and abundance. Simutytė, who lives in Vilnius, works in the field of social communication and creative writing, and is developing her own literary project Blunkanti sofa (“Fading sofa”), investigating anxiety in the works of young artists and their personal experiences during interviews and performances.
Writer in Residence 2021: Katarina Mitrović
Serbian writer Katarina Mitrović was our first guest in Wintertuin’s new international Writer in Residence programme. During November 2021, Katarina stayed in the Besiendershuis by the river Waal, where she worked on her own texts, got to know the city and met writers of Wintertuin.
Katarina was introduced to the audience with an interview by Lars Meijer published on Notulen van het Onzichtbare. Although the majority of the live activities of her residency (i.e. a workshop with creators from our talent development programs and a performance on the Wintertuinfestival) couldn’t take place due to the Covid-19 measures, Katarina did have the chance to work together with translator Roel Schuyt on a Dutch translation of her novel.
In the wake of her residency, Katarina wrote Herrie in het Besiendershuis, a short story inspired by her stay in the Besiendershuis, commissioned by Wintertuin and translated by Roel Schuyt. The residency was concluded with an interview with Nikki Dekker about Katarina’s authorship, her writing for theatre, film and television, her work in international (and Dutch) context and her experiences as Writer in Residence. This interview has been published as a podcast.
Katarina Mitrović (Belgrado, 1991) graduated in Serbian language and literature and Dramaturgy from the University of Belgrado. She published two poetry books, and her poetic novel Nemaju sve kuće dvorište (Not All Houses Have a Yard, 2020) was on the shortlist for the Biljana Jovanović Award in 2021. Katarina was, as a screenwriter, connected to the short fiction film Onaj koji donosi kišu (One Who Brings Rain) and two Serbian television series. Together with Bojan Vuletić, she wrote the script for a series based on a novel by Miodrag Majić.
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.