Estonia to spend 10 times more on literature than Latvia

Next year Latvia will invest 10 times less in promoting and supporting literature than neighboring Estonia, according to information published by the 'Latvian Literature' (LL) platform August 7.

Latvian Literature won widespread acclaim and awards for its efforts promoting books, authors, printing houses and allied industries last year, particularly via its #IAmIntrovert campaign, but according to new government spending plans, in future it will have to operate with funding levels dwarfed by other countries in the region.

"The platform Latvian Literature is secured with the budget of only 72 000 Eur for the next year from 455 000 Eur that would be necessary to ensure successful operation of the platform," it said on its Facebook page, along with a graphic showing that the investment of neighboring Estonia would be 10 times as large and that all other countries in the region would be investing amounts that are orders of magnitude larger.

In comparison, Lithuania is expected to invest 440,000 euros on literary exports, Estonia 732,000 euros, Sweden 954,000 euros, Finland 1.2 million euros and Poland 1.6 million euros, it was claimed.


As previously reported by LSM, earlier this year Latvian Literature outlined its future plans and made an appeal for funding based on its recent track record. However, that appeal appears to have fallen on deaf ears and it now faces a massive cutback of the scope of its operations. 

Over the last two years LL has been involved in selling the overseas rights to 45 works by Latvian authors, and has had a hand in staging some 99 different events as well as generating plenty of column inches in the international press.

A suitably downbeat image of the famous introverts bidding a tearful farewell was also posted by LL.

The platform was established in order to promote recognition of Latvian literature and its distribution abroad, to ensure international cooperation among publishers, literary agents, writers, translators, and organizations working in the fields of literature and publishing. It was created through a partnership of the three largest literary institutions in Latvia: the International Writers and Translators house, the Latvian Writers Union, and the Latvian Publishers Association.

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