Storytellers of Sweden

For readers around the world

Swedish literature month was launched on 1 November, involving projects around the world to promote Sweden's literature exports. The grand finale took place on Thursday 22 November at the Press Centre at Rosenbad, with a number of Swedish authors in attendance.

The entire event was broadcast live on this website, which made it an opportunity for the authors and readers in nations around the globe to discuss Swedish literature in the world's largest book club. Readers were able to put questions to the participants in Stockholm via Twitter by using the hashtag #storytellers or via text message.

Swedish literature

In Sweden we are fortunate to have many writers and illustrators who have reached out to the world. The most famous and successful, Astrid Lindgren, has been translated into at least 90 languages. Her books, which have sold more than 145 million copies, continue to attract new generations of young readers.

Following writer and journalist Stieg Larsson's record-breaking Millennium Trilogy (which has sold about 60 million copies in 41 countries), the Swedish crime fiction phenomenon has gained worldwide recognition. Before him, Henning Mankell made the bestseller lists, and this year it is Camilla Läckberg's turn.

But the story of Swedish writers reaching out to readers around the world is not a new one. This year marks the 100th anniversary of August Strindberg's death, and his drama and novels are still very much alive. The poetry of last year's Nobel Prize Laureate, Tomas Tranströmer, has been translated into more than 60 languages.

Of course, literature is not only about bestsellers or world famous authors - far from it. But it is very much about great stories and strong characters created by a number of renowned or new and talented writers from different generations and genres. And we will have the opportunity to meet some of these writers in a full-day programme that will be webcast from Stockholm to the world on 22 November - Storytellers of Sweden.

The programme is being run in cooperation with Swedish embassies and consulates around the world. In addition, there will be local activities and readings of Swedish books as part of the Swedish Reading Race.

Promotion calendar

In 2012, Minister for Trade Ewa Björling took the initiative for a promotion calendar for the creative industries. The aim was to increase the focus on five selected industries - music, food, film, fashion and literature - which are thought to have particularly great potential for increasing exports and promoting the image of Sweden. The promotion calendar was launched in February with a focus on music, and will conclude in November with a focus on literature.