FILI – Finnish Literature Exchange promotes the publication of Finnish literature in translation around the world e.g. with various grant programmes. In 2017, FILI’s Advisory Board awarded grants for the translation of Finnish literature into Estonian, French, German, Latvian, Czech, English, and Hungarian, among many others. All in all, translation applications into more than 30 languages were accepted.
In children’s and young adult literature, translations of works by Timo Parvela and Tuutikki Tolonen were awarded the most grants, whereas Tommi Kinnunen’s, Tove Jansson’s and Kati Hiekkapelto’s topped the fiction list.
In addition to the translation grant programme, FILI also offers financial support for Finnish authors’ promotional trips abroad as well as travel grants for translators. Taking all grant programmes into account, over €620,000 was awarded by FILI to 458 projects last year.
At its meeting on 14 December, FILI’s Advisory Board made its decisions on this year’s last round of grant applications. A copy of the “Agreement on the awarding and use of funding and on the monitoring and conditions of its use” will be posted to successful applicants, as required under the Finnish government funding act (Exception: The Nordic Council of Ministers’ translation grant, Finnish fiction and non-fiction into Nordic languages). This contract must be signed by the applicant and returned to FILI.
This year’s Finnish State Award for Foreign Translators has been awarded to the Polish translator Sebastian Musielak. The prize sum is EUR 15,000. Musielak has translated Finnish literature into Polish, including works by Mika Waltari, science fiction by Johanna Sinisalo and youth literature by Salla Simukka. Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sport Sampo Terho handed the award to Musielak at a ceremony held in Helsinki on 24 November.
Sebastian Musielak, the translator awarded this year, is motivated by a desire to transmit emotions aroused by literature to new readers. He has successfully worked towards this goal already for years by translating more than 60 books from Finnish into Polish. Works translated by Sebastian Musielak include detective novels by Mika Waltari, science fiction by Johanna Sinisalo and youth literature by Salla Simukka.
A further manifestation of Musielak’s devotion to Finnish literature is a publishing company founded by him, which is specialised in publishing future classics as Polish translations. Moreover, Musielak has distinguished himself as a supporter and mentor of young translators.
The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture has granted the State Award for Foreign Translators annually since 1975. The prize is awarded each year to a distinguished translator of Finnish literature on the recommendation of FILI – Finnish Literature Exchange.
According to Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sport Sampo Terho, who handed out the award, the prize is a special mark of honour for those who make Finnish literature a part of world literature.
FILI offers translators of Finnish literature a unique opportunity to focus on their work for three weeks at our residency, organised next from 19 February to 11 March 2018.The residency programme covers travel, accommodation and a stipend of 300 euros.
FILI’s grant application round begins on 1 October 2017. Grants for translations from other languages into Finnish are also available in this round. Deadline for the applications is on 1 November, and the results will be published by mid-December.
A group of seven editors and a literary scout from Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Germany, Spain, and Norway visited Finland this week by invitation from FILI. Organised since 2011, the purpose of International Editors’ Week is to bring foreign publishing professionals interested in purchasing book rights together with Finnish publishers and agents who have a strong international rights programme.
In addition to the facts and figures of the Finnish publishing scene and the latest hot releases, they were interested in hearing about how children’s literacy is supported in Finland by schools, libraries, and the parents, as well as the state of bookselling both in bricks-and-mortar shops and online. After meeting and mingling with Finnish publishing professionals, the guests were treated to a cultural visit to the fortress island of Suomenlinna and to the sauna and a dip in the sea on Lonna island.
International Editors’ Week will be arranged again in 2018, participation is by invitation. Read more about FILI’s work with international publishers here.
Every two years a course for beginning translators is held in Helsinki, and this year’s edition will take place from 21 to 31 August. FILI and the Finnish National Agency for Education (formerly CIMO) are co-organisers.
The course will be led by translator and author Stefan Moster. A total of 15 participants who translate into 10 different languages have been selected to take part.
This is the ninth time the beginning translators’ course has been held. The course has served as the launch pad for the careers of many translators working today. The aim of the course is to prepare participants to work as professional literary translators. Participants must have a sufficient level of Finnish and be interested in literature.
This year focus is also on comics, translator Kirsi Kinnunen is a guest lecturer.
Rubén Padilla, the director of the professional programme at Mexico’s Guadalajara International Book Fair, will visit Finland from 30 May until 2 June, invited by FILI and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
Padilla will meet with Finnish publishers and host an event for publishers and literary agents interested in the Latin American book market and the Guadalajara International Book Fair.
The deadline for FILI grant applications is on Monday, 1st of May. It is a holiday in Finland, so FILI staff is out of office and unable to provide last minute assistance with your application. Please do send in your possible questions by Friday 28 April.