The Fritt Ord Foundation's Grants for Critics 2020 - 2021

April 15 2020

The Fritt Ord Foundation announces a call for applications for 10 annual grants of NOK 200 000 each for critics who write for Norwegian daily or weekly newspapers, or who write reviews for TV/radio.

The grants can be awarded to critics who work in any field related to art or culture. The grants are intended to result in the production of concrete, ongoing reviews throughout the year; the goal is to help improve the quality and professionalisation of a number of Norwegian critics each year. The Fritt Ord Foundation would like to give more critics better opportunities to pursue their profession and to spend more time cultivating it.  The grants are intended to come in addition to other income from reviews , on the top of ordinary fees.

The closing date for applications is Friday 8. May, at 3 p.m. Use the Fritt Ord Foundation's ordinary application form in the application centre. Title the application "Kritikerstipend" (Grants for Critics) in the "subject" section in the application form.

A profession under pressure
The media's critical reviews of art and culture are being subjected to pressure for several reasons. Parallel to the exceptionally high and, in several areas, growing level of cultural creation and interest in culture in Norway, we see that criticism is stagnating or dwindling over time.
Critical reviews in the public sphere must be strengthened in order to equip the citizenry to reflect on the vast diversity of cultural expressions. The Fritt Ord Foundation would like to help stimulate and enhance critical reviews as an indispensable aspect of Norwegian journalism. Good criticism communicates and engages; it rests on expertise and is knowledge-oriented, thus strengthening the general public and society-at-large.
Development and revitalisation
At the same time, criticism as a genre needs to develop and be revitalised to reach more media users. Traditional individual reviews of one-off cultural expressions must be supplemented by critical comments, more detailed reviews – and other types of fresh, genre-promoting criticism.
Critics published in daily and weekly media will have the highest priority. The grants go to critics who target the Norwegian public and use Norwegian as their working language. They are earmarked for freelancers and independent writers who have publication agreements. We invite applications from critics who earn their living by writing for independent media that comply with the Code of Ethics for Norwegian Editors and other medias' ethical and professional guidelines.
The grants will be awarded for a period of one year. It is possible to apply several times, but there is no automatic renewal.

Other programmes to promote critical reviews
The grants will be awarded directly to 10 critics. However, the Fritt Ord Foundation also plans to promote critical reviews in other ways. We would like to point out the following possibility:

Daily and weekly media and the critics who write for them can apply for support for specific critical review projects under the call for applications for "Norwegian Journalism".This has six ordinary deadlines for applications for this scheme each year. See the call for proposals for more information.
Application requirements
Applications for grants for critics should include a 2-3-page description of your planned activities as a critic from August 2020 to August 2021. What do you plan to give priority to this year? What doors would a grant open for you? How would you spend it? What are your thoughts about presenting and possibly revitalising the genres of criticism in which you work?
Smaller parts of the grants can be used for travel and skills development initiatives, but they are primarily intended to support critics' opportunities to earn a living from these activities and to publish concrete high-quality critical journalism.
Attach a brief confirmation from the editorial board(s) with which you are affiliated in respect of your publication agreement, including the current level of remuneration and the trend in fees in recent years. Please note that the grants are intended to be in addition to other income from reviews, and that the fact that you receive a grant cannot be used to reduce your current level of remuneration. Please include a brief report on your overall general income in the application.
The decision will be presented in mid-June.
Questions? Contact the Fritt Ord Foundation's administration at, or the Fritt Ord Foundation's Executive Director Knut Olav Åmås at


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