We are so happy to have Michael present his project titled, New to Norway, at our next event on December 11th!  Read more about Michael’s project below:

Project Description

New to Norway will be a book. In essence it will be a book describing various immigrants experiences when moving to Norway. However, it will be a very special book, since it will enable a culturally diverse spectrum of immigrants to give voice to their experiences, both good and bad. This is, I believe, a unique undertaking.

As an experienced publisher (I am the founder of Nordland Publishing) I have the expertise and knowledge to create something of value and worth. I will give my time for free, because I believe that this project has value. In fact, it is my intention to create a ‘must read’ for anyone that is thinking of moving to Norway.’

By producing both a paperback and an e-book edition, we shall ensure that the biggest possible market is reached.

The book will describe, in their own words, immigrants’ personal experiences. We shall not whitewash, nor sugarcoat their stories. However, a balance will be maintained to ensure that the book provides not just a realistic portrait of life here, but also concrete tips and advice on how to succeed, regardless of the reader’s cultural, religious, or ethnic background.

While there are several books that are offered as helpful guides on moving to Norway, none are written from a multicultural perspective. New to Norway would therefore be a unique undertaking, since not only will it be authored by a variety of writers, it will offer multiple perspectives, ensuring that any reader, no matter where they are from, will find a tale or perspective that they can empathize with.

Why does this idea matter to you and to the city of Oslo?

I have been an active member of New to Oslo, a Facebook group dedicated to providing help and resources to those who have recently, or will soon, arrive in the city, for over 15 years. For most of that time, I have been an administrator and have actively sought to help many people transition to Norway.

I frequently see questions, coming up again and again, about various topics and issues. Often, these are triggered by misunderstandings that arise due to cultural differences. The project ‘New to Norway’ will shine a light on day-to-day life in Norway for men and women from many parts of the world. This will ensure that those who read the book will have a realistic expectation of what to expect when they come here. This will benefit not just them, but society as a whole, as removing the obstacles to understanding will help ensure a smoother integration of an immigrant into Norwegian society.

That this will benefit the immigrant, the people of Oslo, and Norway as a whole, cannot be stressed enough.

How will you use this microfunding?

New to Norway will be a book. At Nordland Publishing, we know how to make a book. We know how to typeset, and design the cover. We know how to edit, integrate disparate narratives, and produce fine works. However, we rarely have a budget for marketing, and it is in this area where will will seek external, professional help.

We will use the entirety of the micro-grant to help promote, advertise, and sell New to Norway. This will hopefully provide a much greater return on the investment of our time and expertise. Furthermore, it should enable the book to reach a great many more people and thus ensure that its impact is far greater.

We expect to use multiple promotion channels. For example, social media, including paid ads, could reach many. However, not all immigrants are as active in Online, so we will also provide copies of the book to libraries, cultural centers and other places that have the potential to reach immigrants.

Our intention is to use any grant we receive to help promote, sell and distribute New to Norway.

What elements of community or sustainability will be addressed with your idea?

New to Norway will draw on the experiences of immigrants from all over the country. However, we will focus on getting active participants from the Facebook group, New to Oslo. Those members that contribute will not only get a writing credit and see their name in print, but may also (should the book sell in sufficient quantities) receive royalties.

We hope that this will inspire some of them to continue writing and perhaps publish more in the future.

As the NtO admin, I am active in promoting community projects within the group and I see this as a potential project for the entire community. I would hope that many will volunteer to contribute content, or to editor. Also we shall need graphic artists and photographers to help work with the project. And finally, I would draw on the community to help proof and beta read the book as well.

All in all, New to Norway is a comprehensive community project, as it draws on a good many skill sets, which members of the NtO group possess in abundance.