Eight writers receive writing fellowships at Danish universities

VELUX FONDEN’s pilot project Writers-in-residence aims to promote the interplay between the humanities and artistic endeavour, and strengthen Danish literature. Now eight talented writers are receiving fellowships to write in university environments.

Meet the Danish universities’ first fiction writers-in-residence: Majse Aymo-Boot, Adam Drewes, Signe Gjessing, Ida Marie Hede, Luka Holmegaard, Siri Ranva Hjelm Jacobsen, Mikas Lang and Gerd Laugesen. They will soon move to the University of Copenhagen, Roskilde University, the University of Southern Denmark, Aarhus University and Aalborg University.

“This year’s grantees have confirmed to us the high artistic potential of Danish fiction and the great opportunity for new literary breakthroughs. Fiction is an important voice in our society and democracy. With the programme, we want to strengthen literature by creating time and opportunity for collaboration and shared inspiration between writers, researchers and students. Through this meeting, new creative realisations and expressions can emerge for literature, research, and not least, readers. We are looking forward to following the experiment,” says Henrik Tronier, head of programme, from VELUX FONDEN.

Application process

The foundation received 12 invited applications from the six humanities departments that we had established links with during the discovery phase. The applications were written as a collaboration between the writer and a researcher at the relevant department.

The applications were assessed by an international panel of writers and researchers and VELUX FONDEN’s working group for humanities research, who nominated the writers to the board. Read more about the programme in the 2021 post (NB the application deadline was 7 October 2021).

The Writers-in-residence programme has been created in collaboration with writers and research environments at the country’s humanities departments. What’s common between the writers is that they are not yet established full-time writers, but have a high level of literary talent with several published works of fiction behind them. And that they will be able to both contribute to the departments’ researchers and students, and benefit artistically from the dialogue themselves.

Two-year pilot scheme

The eight writers will each receive a two-year fellowship of DKK 200,000 annually. In addition, the universities’ expenses for the writers’ offices and admin is covered. VELUX FONDEN is thus providing DKK 4.8 million in grants through the initiative, which will run in a pilot scheme lasting two years. The next programme call is expected to be published in spring 2022, with the scholarships being available following invitation from a head of department at one of the humanities departments with an established working relationship.

The writers

Below you can see the writers and read about their thoughts on being writers-in-residence.

Majse Aymo-Boot
Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen:


“I hope and believe that I will have the space to work and finish a manuscript I’ve started, and I also hope to have interactions that provide fuel for things that I’m occupied with in my manuscript.”

Adam Drewes
Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics, University of Copenhagen:


“The scholarship from VELUX FONDEN and the collaboration with the Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics has great potential – not only in relation to the development of my own artistic endeavour, but also with the exchange of knowledge and practice that can take place during such collaboration. I look forward to immersing myself in the artistic work and meeting both researchers and students in the department.” 


Signe Gjessing
Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics, University of Copenhagen:


“I hope that the collaboration with the Department for Nordic Studies and Linguistics will sharpen my approach to poetry such that poems can emerge in the clear light of their premise. I will spend my time immersed. This will be through connecting the metaphysical with the utmost radicalism on all pages. My hope is that the time at the department is to cultivate poetics that, in their roots, let the written word bloom – so as not to fail it.” 

Ida Marie Hede
School of Communication and Culture, Aarhus University:


“As writer-in-residence, I am looking forward to having the time to write while I actively use my writing practice both in the teaching of creative writing, as well as in knowledge-exchange projects with researchers at the School of Communication and Culture at AU. I hope for mutual inspiration, increased discussions, and interdisciplinary – and international – literary meetings and collaborations.”   

Luka Holmegaard
Department for the Study of Culture, University of Southern Denmark:


“I’m so happy to be able to begin this collaboration with the Department for the Study of Culture while also having the time to write; it is just fantastic. Research is a big part of my work as a writer, so it is a huge win for me to have access to the university’s libraries and networks, and to have discussions with researchers. Right now, for example, I’m very interested in Romanticism, and I’m looking forward to talking with people who are experts in this period. I hope to find a lot of inspiration both for reading and for my own texts at the department.” 

Siri Ranva Hjelm Jacobsen
Department of Communication and Arts, Roskilde University:


“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be writer-in-residence at Roskilde University and to have more uninterrupted time to write, and the new perspective in the fertile ground between art and research. It’s a massive privilege to be able to develop ideas and knowledge with students and teaching staff at the Department of Communication and Arts, and I’m looking forward to working together.” 

Mikas Lang
Department of Communication and Arts, Roskilde University:


“I hope that collaborating with researchers and students will help me find a form of language that can express a certain black diasporic experience in Denmark. Furthermore, I’m optimistic that this meeting between poetry and science can contribute to the discussion of the relationship between past and present that has been taking place recently. I’m really looking forward to getting started.” 

Gerd Laugesen
Department of Culture and Learning, Aalborg University:


“I will use the next two years immersing myself in my own writing, and together with researchers and students, find new ways of writing. We must nurture basic literary research and writing across disciplines and genres. This will open up literature, including for my authorship – it will build bridges. I’m looking forward to returning to the university environment. It’s a very special opportunity. I’m extremely grateful and proud.” 

Press photos 

The collage and the individual portraits of the writers can be used in regards to publicity of the writers-in-residence program. Download the press photos of the writers-in-residence here

Anna Høxbro Bak
Communications Adviser, THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS
+45 22 64 03 55