Sample translation grant

Please notice: No further sample translation grant applications for 2018 are accepted this year. You may apply for sample translation grant for 2019 via the online form.

The purpose of the sample translation grant programme is to promote the translation and publication of Finnish literature abroad. The aim is to secure publishers abroad for works to be translated.

Who can apply for a grant?

Publishers in Finland and abroad, as well as literary agents and translators of Finnish literature, may apply for sample translation grants for sample translations of works published in Finland from Finnish, Finland-Swedish or Sámi directly into another language.

Translators may apply for a grant only if they have obtained permission from the rights seller or the copyright holder in the original work to do a sample translation.

FILI’s grant programmes are funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.

When can we apply for grants, and when are decisions made?

Applications for sample translation grants are accepted on a rolling basis. Applications are considered on four occasions in 2019: in February, May, August and November.

Publishers and agents please notice: apply for sample translation grant well ahead for your coming book. The grants are permitted as long as there’s annual funds left for sample translations.

All applicants are informed of the decision on their application via email. An agreement required under the Finnish Act on Discretionary Government Transfers is posted out to successful applicants for them to sign and return.

How much grant money can we apply for?

For applications from publishers and literary agents: The amount of the grant is based on the translator’s fee and the length of the finished sample translation (number of characters including spaces). If the finished sample translation is significantly shorter than the figure stated in the application, FILI reserves the right to re-assess the grant amount. A maximum of €500 can be awarded for a single sample translation grant.

Sample translation grants can be awarded only for the translator’s fee. Sample translation grants are not awarded for translations of an entire work, so bear this in mind with short works such as children’s picture books. The application must state clearly if the translator has translated the entire work.

Publishers and literary agents may apply for up to a maximum of 10 sample translations in a single year.

For applications from translators: Translators must state on their application the target language and length (number of characters including spaces) of the sample translation, along with the grant amount they are applying for, corresponding to the length of the translation and a realistic translation fee for the relevant country/target language. If the finished sample translation is significantly shorter than the figure stated in the application, FILI reserves the right to re-assess the grant amount. A maximum of €500 can be awarded for a single sample translation grant. Translators may apply for up to a maximum of 2 sample translations in a single year.

FILI awards around €20,000 in sample translation grants per year.

What are the conditions for awarding translation grants?

We pay particular attention to the significance of the translation project: the literary quality of the work to be translated and the translator’s professional skill.

Translation grants are awarded on condition that:

  • the translator is translating into his/her own native language (mother tongue);
  • the translator has previous experience translating works from the same genre (fiction or non-fiction) and from the same source language as the work in the grant application;
  • the translation is done from the language in which the work was originally published; and
  • the applicant has explained in the application why the sample translation is necessary and what it will be used for.

Translators without previous experience may include a recommendation from an experienced translator with their application.

What literary genres do sample translation grants cover?

You can apply for sample translation grants for prose, poetry, children’s/YA books, printed play scripts and comics/graphic novels.

Within non-fiction, you can apply for sample translation grants for general non-fiction, essays and memoirs. Sample translation grants are available for a sample translation and/or translating the synopsis and the table of contents.

Sample translation grants are not available for scientific writing (scientific or academic publications, theses/dissertations), reference works (such as dictionaries or handbooks), guidebooks (such as cookbooks, self-help books, craft or hobby books) or educational materials.

What should we include in our application?

Include the following with your application for a sample translation grant: the translator’s current CV/résumé including a list of his/her previous experience translating fiction and/or non-fiction, language skills (how he/she acquired skills in Finnish, Swedish or Sámi) and relevant education.

When are sample translation grants paid?

Sample translation grants are paid into the account stated in the application after the recipient emails the finished sample translation to FILI. The sample translation must include an acknowledgement of the grant from FILI.

Before the grant is paid, the recipient must submit the signed agreement, sent by FILI and required under the Finnish Act on Discretionary Government Transfers, to FILI.

How long will the grant remain valid?

Sample translation grants remain valid for 6 months, so the finished sample translation must be delivered to FILI no later than 6 months after the grant was awarded. The date when the grant was awarded is stated in the agreement required under the Finnish Act on Discretionary Government Transfers.

Translators who have been awarded grants are requested to send a report to FILI outlining how the sample translation was received in the country, publishers’ comments and what actions resulted from sending out the sample translation. This report should be sent as soon as possible after the sample translation is finished, or no later than 12 months after the date when the grant was awarded.

What is required under the grant agreement?

The recipient of a sample translation grant agrees to use the grant for the purpose for which it was awarded. If a sample translation grant is not used according to the rules, any money paid out must be returned.

If a translation project is cancelled, delayed or significantly changed after the application was submitted or the translation grant was awarded – for example, if a different translator is used – the grant recipient must inform FILI of this change without delay by emailing . If the sample translation is not delivered to FILI within 6 months of the date when the grant was awarded, the grant is automatically cancelled.