Suomen kirjailijanimikkoseurat ry (Nimikot) – De litterära sällskapen i Finland - The Federation of Finnish literature associations
Suomen kirjailijanimikkoseurat – De litterära sällskapen i Finland ry (Nimikot), founded in 2004, is the Federation of Finnish Writers’ Associations. Beginning in the early 1990s, representatives from various Finnish writers’ associations convened regularly to exchange news and to consider strategies to strengthen the associations’ activities and raise their profile. During these meetings, one recurring theme was the constraints posed by the associations’ minimal economic and personnel resources. In 2003, it was decided to pool these resources in order to foster greater cooperation through a new umbrella organization. Seventeen different writers’ associations were present at the Federation’s founding.
The basic mission of the Federation of Finnish Writers’ Associations (Nimikot) is to
- maintain and preserve Finnish literary heritage
- support the cultural activities of the member associations
- produce cultural events
- foster reading
- encourage literary research
The Federation maintains active contacts within the media and provides news and updates about the literary field. Nimikot co-operates with the national government, municipalities, and parishes. Networking with other organisations and companies within the cultural field comprises another of the Federation’s principal activities.
Common meetings are held several times a year. The member associations have the opportunity to meet at fairs organized by the Federation as well as in separate meetings held approximately three-to-four times a year. In addition, the Federation organizes member excursions to culturally and historically important destinations. The annual meeting is held in different parts of Finland. In a large country where many writers’ associations are geographically remote from one another, rotating the site of the annual meting affords all associations the opportunity to participate.
Finland's first writers’ association was founded in 1930 in celebration of the author and district GP Hj. Nortamo’s (1860-1931) 70th birthday. The idea of founding of a named writers’ association originated in Hungary, where an association named for poet Sándor Petőfi was active. In addition to maintaining the visibility of Hj. Nortamo's literary production, the association serves as an active protector of the local sailing ship culture, wooden architecture, and dialect of the town of Rauma. Known for its extra colour, the rauma dialect uses words and expressions picked up by local seamen.
When Finland became part of the European Union in 1995, there were concerns over the preservation of national identity. Almost the opposite happened. The interest towards Finnish literature and the national culture has only increased. The over 30 writers’ associations either founded or reactivated between 2003-2013 are a good example of this.
In 2014, after ten years of activity, the Federation is comprised of 53 member associations with approximately 6,500 members. The functioning of the Federation is financed by annual fees ranging from 30 to 150 euros, depending on the number of members within an association. During the last three years of activity, the Federation has also received a small annual subsidy from the Ministry of Culture.