Some months ago, we published a blog entry about PEN Promotes, a translation programme that aims to promote literary translation, and as we found it to be a very interesting initiative, we wanted to discover more about these kinds of grants.
As explained, these grants, which vary between £1,500 and £300,000, aim to promote literary translation by funding the translation of books, including novels and poetry, but also non-fiction, essays, scientific articles, etc. There is an extensive range of organizations in the world offering these grants throughout the year, most of them are governmental institutions, but there are also private organisations which offer these sorts of grants. Singling out English-speaking countries, there are more than 20 competitions open at the moment and everyone can apply for them, but to enter most of the competitions the book you are submitting must be already finished, translated, and published, so if you have already published a book and need some help to bring it out again or to pay the expenses of the last edition, this is a very good opportunity to do so! Here’s a list of the main ones, but we have selected some of them for you:
UK. The most important ones are the PEN Promotes, about which we already published a post some months ago, and The Arts Council of England, which offers grants every month for the Arts, including translation, to support individuals’ artistic projects.
USA. Their web page is currently under construction, but the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) also awards a variety of translation grants and prizes.
France. The Centre National du Livre (CNL) offers grants three times a year to translators who wish to stay in France to translate a French book. To apply for it you have to have translated and published at least one book. There is also the Residency for literary translators: the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Villa Gillet offer translators a six-week residency in Villa Gillet, Lyon, to work on a translation from French. You can find all the information about how to apply here. Here are also some grants for American publishers and translators who want to translate French books that haven’t yet been published in the US. For further information, visit French book news.
Spain. The Spanish Ministry of Culture and Education offers grants to publishers who wish to translate Spanish books (written in Spanish or any of the co-official languages) into foreign languages. These grants cover the 100% of the translation costs and they are awarded once a year.
Germany. The Goethe Institut offers a general translation grant once a year for all non-German publishers, and then they offer different grants in each country, like the New Books in German Translation Grant, available for all the English-speaking publishers. This grant funds up to 50% of the translation costs and you can apply for it year-round.
Portugal. In Portugal the Instituto Camões and the Instituto Português do Livro e das Bibliotecas also offer these kinds of grants to publishers who want to translate Portuguese books and also books from the Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa.
EU. The European Comission offers grants every year to publishers who want to translate their books into a given list of languages. This year’s competition is already closed, but next year’s competition’s terms should be announced in December.
Have you ever been awarded one of these grants? Do you plan to apply for one soon? Let us know by commenting in the section below. We would be happy to help you with your submission in the hope that it will lead to some translation work for our talented translators!