Every Story Matters – making books more inclusive

Project area
Books and Reading / Literary Translation 
Slovenian Book Agency (partner) 
Project lead
Vlaams Fonds voor de Letteren (BE) 
Creative Europe (2014 -2020) - Culture / European cooperation projects 2019
EU funding
199.740 EUR

Coordinator: Vlaams Fonds voor de Letteren (BE)
Partners: Javna agencija za knjigo RS / Slovenian Book Agency (SI), Acesso Cultura, Associação Cultural (PT), Bluedar (DE), Mediart International (HR), Stichting ROSE (NL)

Project amount: 349.168 EUR (57,20 %)
EU support: 199.740 EUR
Project duration: 1 September 2019–31 December 2022

Every Story Matters (ESM) is a project that consists of a close collaboration between 6 European partners – from Flanders (Belgium), Croatia, Germany, Portugal, Slovenia and Germany – that all have a different role and perspective within the literary field.

The goal of ESM is to increase the creation, availability and promotion of inclusive books for children and young adults in the EU and by doing so engage a broader and more divers reading audience. The project aims to nurture the cultural sensitivity of all young European citizens, while also handing book professionals (e.g. publishers, librarians, …) the tools and strategies needed to become more inclusive. ESM wants to stimulate the creative potential of talents who are traditionally left out of scope through a talent development programme. This programme will guide authors and illustrators to generate inclusive content that will be pitched to publishers at international book fairs (Frankfurt, Bologna) in order to share their stories with the world.

The books resulting from ESM will also be inspired by the lived experiences and needs from young people participating in school and library workshops. ESM will stimulate publishers to become more inclusive by organising a fellowship and developing a charter and toolkit that offers them effective and endurable ways to reach writers and illustrators as well as readers from minority groups. Inclusive stories will be presented to readers by inviting authors and illustrators to festivals, bookfairs, schools, libraries,…where they will serve as solid role models for a young and diverse audience. By increasing the amount of inclusive books that is published and presented each year, ESM wants to invest in a culture of tolerance by gradually making diversity in children’s literature mainstream. With the support from Creative Europe it will be possible to create broad public awareness and to have a endurable impact on the book trade in the EU.

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