Grants for foreign publishers / The Nordic Council of Ministers’ translation grant

Finnish fiction and non-fiction into Nordic languages

 

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Introduction

FILI’s Finnish fiction and non-fiction into Nordic languages grant programme covers the costs of translating books published in Finland from Finnish or Finland-Swedish into the Nordic languages. The grant programme is funded by The Nordic Council of Ministers.

Grants are available for these literary genres:

  • prose
  • poetry
  • children’s/young adult (YA) literature
  • published drama scripts (i.e. with an ISBN)
  • comics/graphic novels.

Grants are also available for anthologies.

Nordic publishers may also apply for translation grants for translations that will be published as e-books, if the project fulfils the criteria for awarding grants.

For works of non-fiction, grants are available for general non-fiction, essays and memoirs.

Translation grants are not available for academic literature (scientific and academic publications, PhD theses/dissertations), reference works (such as dictionaries or handbooks), guides (such as cookbooks, self help books, craft books, hobby books) or educational materials.

In addition to translation grants, publishers outside Finland can apply for printing grants to cover printing costs for children’s picture books and comics/graphic novels.

Publishers may apply for translation and printing grants for more than one work in the same application round if the translations are to be published at the same time. You can also apply for grants for different works by the same author.

Please note that we receive more applications in each round than we can award grants to. Because of the large number of applications, even some good projects might not receive a grant.

Applications are submitted via an online application form which can be accessed on the FILI website during the application round. The form is removed after the last day of each application round. No applications are accepted outside of the application rounds.


Applying for a translation grant

Who can apply?

  • Nordic publishers

Finnish publishers may apply for grants to translate Finland-Swedish literature into Finnish.

 

What does the grant cover?

The costs of translating works published in Finland directly from Finnish, Finland-Swedish into Nordic languages.

 

How large a grant can I apply for?

  • For a maximum of the translation fee agreed with the translator.
  • The translation grant applies to the translator’s base fee, not to royalties or a possible share of earnings from audiobooks or e-books.

Note that if awarded a grant, a confirmation of the translator having received the agreed translation fee in full, signed by the publisher and translator (i.e. the sum stated as the translator’s fee in the translation grant application), must be sent to FILI.

A publisher may apply for translation grants from other sources besides FILI, but the combined total of grants must not exceed the amount of the fee agreed with the translator. Grants received from other sources may affect FILI’s translation grant decision.

 

When can I apply for grants?

You can only apply for a grant if:

  • a contract has been signed between a Nordic publisher and the rights holder or seller of translation rights in the original work, and
  • a contract has been signed between the Nordic publisher and a translator.

There are three application rounds per year.

  • The first spring application round begins on 1 January and ends at 23:59 (Finnish time) on 1 February.
  • The second spring application round begins on 1 April and ends at 23:59 (Finnish time) on 1 May.
  • The autumn application round begins on 1 October and ends at 23:59 (Finnish time) on 1 November.

Grants will not be awarded retrospectively for translations that have already been published.

 

What materials must accompany a grant application?

Your application must include:

  • a signed contract between the publisher and translator
  • a summary in English of how the translator’s fee has been calculated
  • the translator’s up-to-date CV/résumé, which clearly states the translator’s literary translation experience, language skills (how the translator acquired his/her skills in Finnish or Swedish) and relevant education.

You do not need to include a copy of the publisher’s contract for the translation rights, but FILI may ask to see a copy of that contract.


Application assessment and decisions

Who decides which applications will receive grants?

  • Around six weeks after the end of each application round, FILI’s advisory board meets to examine all applications received.
  • The final decision on grants to be awarded is made by FILI’s advisory board and the Board of Directors of the Finnish Literature Society (SKS).

Translated works must not be printed or published before the decision is issued, because if a grant is awarded, the translated book must include an acknowledgement of the grant from The Nordic Council of Ministers and Culture whose logo must be included on the title page of the book or (in paperbacks) on the last page.

 

What are the principles for awarding a grant?

  1. Professional skills of the publisher
    • the applicant is an established and professional publisher
    • the publisher of the translation is using professional distribution and marketing channels
    • the translator has previous experience as a translator and of translating the genre (fiction/non-fiction) and source language of the work being applied for
  1. The significance/quality of the translation project
    • the literary quality of the work to be translated
    • the work is translated from the original language in which it was published
    • the translator is translating into his/her own mother tongue (native language)

Exceptions to these criteria, e.g. translating works via an intermediary language, may only be made when there are very special reasons for doing so. Even projects involving translation via an intermediary language must fulfill the other criteria for awarding grants. A translation grant for a translation that is to be done via an intermediary language may only be granted if there is no translator from Finnish or Swedish into the relevant target language.

In the case of a translation that is to be done via an intermediary language, the source text used must be a published high-quality translation, and details of that translation (publisher, translator, year of publication) must be included in the translation grant application. The publisher applying for a translation grant is also responsible for acquiring translation and publication rights for the translation that is to be used as the source text.

  1. Translation fee

FILI translation grants are meant to reimburse the publisher for part of the translation cost. The publisher must pay the translator the fee agreed in the contract signed with the translator, regardless of whether a grant is received from FILI or not.

  • A translation grant from FILI will cover up to 70 percent of the agreed fee. A maximum of 8 000 euros may be granted for a single project.
  • A translation grant from FILI is only ever part of the translator’s fee.
  • The translation grant is awarded in relation to the average rate paid for translation in the country in question. If the translation fee and the amount you are applying for are significantly different from the normal translation rate in your country, explain why in your application.
  • Each application is also evaluated in relation to the other applications received in the same round.
  • A publisher may apply for translation grants from other sources besides FILI, but the combined total of grants must not exceed the amount of the fee agreed with the translator.

 

When are the grant decisions announced?

FILI publishes a list of the successful grant applications on its website around two months after the end of each application round. All applicants and translators are also notified by email when the list goes online. Successful applicants will also be notified of the decision regarding their application by post.

 

Unsuccessful applications

No reasons are given for individual grant decisions, and there is no right of appeal.

Applicants are responsible for ensuring their applications contain all the required information.

Some of the most common reasons applications are rejected:

  • The book is to be translated via an intermediary language, but the application does not state any details of the translation that is to be used as the source.
  • The source text to be used for a translation via an intermediary language is not of sufficient quality (for example, if a translation is planned from an outdated ‘classic’ translation).
  • The translator does not have sufficient translation experience (no published translations from the relevant language or genre) and the application does not state how the translator acquired his/her skills in the language (Finnish or Swedish).
  • The translator is not translating into his/her mother tongue (native language) and the application did not explain why a non-native translator is being used.
  • The publication date for the translation is far in the future (two years or more). The applicant can submit a new translation grant application closer to the planned publication date.
  • The application does not state any reasons why the book was chosen or why a translation grant is necessary, or the only reason given was a plot summary of the book.
  • The application does not include a marketing or distribution plan.
  • The applicant is not an established or professional publisher.
  • The applicant has received grants for multiple translations which have not been published yet.
  • A grant has been misused, e.g. for paying costs other than the translation.

When awarded a grant

When are translation grants paid?

Translation grants are paid into the publisher’s bank account stated on the application form after the applicant has submitted the following to FILI:

    • a confirmation signed by the publisher and translator that the translator has been paid the agreed translation fee in full (i.e. the sum stated as the translator’s fee in the translation grant application)
    • two copies of the finished work in translation including an acknowledgement of the grant received from The Nordic Council of Ministers whose logo must be included on the title page of the book or (in paperbacks) on the last page.
    • The publisher must also send one copy of the finished work in translation to the Nordic Council of Ministers Secretariat, Ved Stranden 18, 1061 Copenhagen K, Denmark and one copy to Nordic House, Sturlugötu 5, 101, Reykjavik, Iceland.

If a children’s picture book or a comic/graphic novel is awarded grants for both translation and printing, it is sufficient to send FILI two copies (not four) of the finished work in translation.

Please note that grants are paid by Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura/SKS (Finnish Literature Society).

 

Using the grant

  • Translation grants cannot be used to pay for things like printing or other production costs.
  • The publisher must pay the entire translation grant to the translator.
  • Grant awards remain valid for 24 months from the awarding date.
  • If the translated work is not submitted to FILI by the deadline, the grant is cancelled.

 

Monitoring of the grant

FILI is entitled to obtain reports and information necessary for monitoring the use of government funding from the grant recipient. FILI also conducts regular spot checks to ensure that translators have been paid the full fee stated in the application form.

 

Translation project cancellation or delay

If a translation project is cancelled, delayed* or significantly changed after an application is submitted (e.g. if a different translator is used), the publisher must inform FILI of this immediately via email at .

(*The translation work must be completed within 24 months of the awarding of the grant, otherwise the grant is cancelled. You can not apply for an extension.) 

 

Reclaiming the grant

If a translation grant is not used according to the instructions, any grant money paid out will be reclaimed.

 

Publication of decisions

Previously awarded grants and their amounts are listed on the FILI website.