Grants for foreign publishers

Finnish comics into other languages


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The FILI printing grant programme promotes the translation and publication of literature from Finland abroad. FILI’s grant programme is funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.

Publishers outside Finland can apply for printing grants to cover printing costs for comics/graphic novels published in Finland to be translated directly from Finnish, Finland-Swedish or Sámi into other languages.


Applying for a printing grant

Who can apply?

  • Publishers outside Finland

Printing grants are not awarded to Finnish publishers that publish translations of Finnish literature in other languages.


What does the grant cover?

  • The printing costs (max 1000 euros) of works to be translated directly from Finnish, Finland-Swedish or Sámi into other languages.
  • The first print runs of comics/graphic novels, not reprints of previously published works in translation.


How large a grant can I apply for?

  • The maximum printing grant that can be awarded for a single title is 1000 euros.

A publisher may apply for printing grants from other sources besides FILI. Grants received from other sources may affect FILI’s printing grant decision.


When can I apply for grants?

You can only apply for a grant if:

  • a contract has been signed between a publisher outside Finland and the rights holder or seller of translation rights in the original work, and
  • a contract has been signed between the publisher outside Finland 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 recent printer’s estimate
  • A budget for the project with itemised printing costs. The budget must be in English.

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 FILI/the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and FILI’s logo.

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 grant for a translation that is to be done via an intermediary language may only be granted if there is no translator from Finnish, Swedish or Sámi 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/printing grant is also responsible for acquiring translation and publication rights for the translation that is to be used as the source text.


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. An agreement required under the Finnish Act on Discretionary Government Transfers is posted out to successful applicants for them to sign, along with additional information about payment of the grant.


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 publication date for the translation is far in the future (two years or more). The applicant can submit a new printing grant application closer to the planned publication date.
  • The translator does not have sufficient translation experience (no published translations from the relevant language or genre).
  • The translator is not translating into his/her mother tongue (native language).
  • The applicant is not an established or professional publisher.
  • The application does not state any reasons why the book was chosen or why a printing 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 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 translation of a classic).
  • The applicant has received grants for multiple translations which have not been published yet.
  • A FILI grant has been misused.


When awarded a grant

When are printing grants paid?

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

If 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 (the Finnish Literature Society).


Using the grant

  • Grant awards remain valid for 24 months from the date they are granted. The date is stated in the government funding agreement.
  • If the translated work is not submitted to FILI by the deadline, the grant is cancelled.

The publisher undertakes to comply with the terms of the agreement required under the Finnish Act on Discretionary Government Transfers and to use the grant money for the purpose for which it was awarded


Monitoring of the grant

FILI is entitled to obtain reports and information necessary for monitoring the use of government funding from the grant recipient.


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 awarding of the grant, otherwise the grant is cancelled. You can not apply for an extension.)


Reclaiming the grant

If a printing 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.