Welcome to the Literature Office West Lower Saxony

An overview of our diverse activities & events

As a literature house for Osnabrück and western Lower Saxony, our goal is to make it possible to experience exciting contemporary literature in the city and the region. Because literature means not only reading, but also exchange, conversation, encounter - be it with the authors, the artists or with each other as an audience. Our understanding of literature is an open one, just as it can be found in the wide range of contemporary texts. Literature enchants, fascinates, educates; it can stimulate social debates, bring other worlds and experiences to life, touch emotionally.

The Literature Office also wants to enable very different approaches through the different aesthetics of its events. Through cooperation with artistic partners from all fields, interactive formats as well as connections between literature and music, movement, visual arts or science are created in addition to readings. Through its networking, the Literature Office not only performs at its headquarters, the historic Ledenhof, but also uses and discovers atmospheric locations throughout the city and the region, in each case precisely tailored to the respective artistic format. Through exchanges with schools, the university, other educational institutions, as well as the city's youth institutions as a whole, we aim to open up literature to a young audience in particular.

The events of the Literaturbüro Westniedersachsen focus, among other things, on the presentation of young authors, whom the public can discover in this way on an exclusive basis. We also want to encourage people to discover the world through literature. As a city of peace, Osnabrück is part of a worldwide network, which is made clear by, among others, the winners of the Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize such as Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Aslı Erdoğan, Henning Mankell, Jurij Andruchowytsch or Svetlana Alexijewitsch. The Literature Office would like to make this polyphony and multilingualism tangible. In addition to novels, special attention will also be paid to poetry and digital forms of literature.

Furthermore, the Literature Office is a contact and networking organization for authors from the region. It organizes workshops and author meetings and advises literary organizers.

Curious? Get an impression of all our activities, paths and goals in our video.

Event Series

LiteraTour North

The reading tour for the "Prize of the LiteraTour North" is a unique project of northern German cultural institutions, bookstores, universities and the VGH Foundation. Together, they invite five German-language authors to present their current books. When subsequently deciding on the award, the jury also takes into account the votes cast by the audience during the reading tour. The readings are moderated by literary scholars who offer accompanying regular events at their universities. The VGH Foundation has sponsored the LiteraTour Nord since 2006, not only donating the €15,000 prize, but also ensuring the continued existence of the literary project, which was founded in 1992, through its partnership. In Osnabrück, the LiteraTour Nord is organized by the Literaturbüro Westniedersachsen and the Zur Heide bookstore with the Institute for German Studies at the University of Osnabrück.

Learn where we come from

Hanjo Kesting, the long-time head of the "Cultural Word" department at NDR, invites visitors to (re)encounter the "basic writings. Along with the stories of the Bible, the writings of Greek and Roman antiquity form the central basis of our literary culture, indeed of cultural tradition in general. Yet it cannot be overlooked that the heritage of antiquity has lost its significance. The often invoked educational canon, the writings of the ancient world, and the great texts of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and modern times are foreign to most of today's readers. Hanjo Kesting reinterrogates these ancient texts, and succeeds in making them come alive and exciting, in making us curious. Kesting guides us through the events with commentary. The texts are also meant to speak for themselves, brought to life by renowned actors and actresses. The series "Learn where we come from. Basic Writings of European Culture" was originally an initiative of the Zeit-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius. In Osnabrück, it is organized by the City of Osnabrück and the Literaturbüro Westniedersachsen with the kind support of the Friedel & Gisela Bohnenkamp Foundation.

Book and reading weeks

The annual "Osnabrück Book and Reading Weeks for Children" in cooperation with the municipal library and the district centers - with a changing theme: from "echt klasse! (classics) to "really hip!" (zeitgeist) to "really sporty!" (World Cup year) - have become a permanent fixture in the range of literary events for children in Osnabrück.

As with the annual "School Meets Literature" project day in the Osnabrück district, all types of schools are involved.

Note on possible changes at short notice

Please inquire on the homepages or directly in the respective houses about the current opening and event times, prices, cancellations, etc.. This information can change at short notice!