Translation grants when buying foreign rights

The objective of this support scheme is to make it possible for more Swedish quality literature to be published abroad. The support scheme applies both to fiction for children and adults and to non-fiction, and could be granted for either translation costs or both translation- and production costs for foreign editions of Swedish books, such as full colour illustrated children’s books, non-fiction or comics and graphic novels.

One condition is that the translation must be done directly from Swedish or any of the national minority languages rather than via any third language. Furthermore, the work has to be originally published in Sweden. Applications for works written in Finland-Swedish that are originally being published in Finland are handled by FILI. Read more about FILI.

Swedish literature means literature written in Swedish or any of the national minority languages in Sweden.

Who can apply?

Applications for subsidies for translations to non-Nordic languages and production costs may be filed by foreign publishers (For Nordic publishers there is a specific grant). In certain cases Swedish publishing houses with a detailed plan for professional distribution of a certain book abroad may also be eligible to apply. Any publishing house applying for a subsidy must have both well-documented experience of publishing quality literature as well as professional distribution channels. If the publishing house has not previously published Swedish literature in translation, a link to the current publications catalogue is to be submitted with the application.

Foreign publishers can also apply for support for translation of Swedish plays to be published in book form. Swedish plays means plays written in Swedish or any of the national minority languages in Sweden.

Who can not apply?

Neither translators nor authors may apply for translation- or production subsidies through the Swedish Arts Council support scheme.

What type of literature is covered?

Applications for translation subsidies may be filed for books in the following areas:

  • prose fiction, poetry, drama, literature for children and young people, comics and graphic novels:
  • non-fiction in the area of general culture;
  • essays;

Irrespective of genre, the work for which a subsidy is being applied must be of high quality in terms of both language and literary qualities.

What types of books are not covered?

Applications for support will not be considered for translation of:

  • scholarly dissertations or research reports;
  • text books, instruction manuals;
  • reference books, handbooks, yearbooks;
  • cookbooks, how-to-books, travel guides, etc.
  • crime novels and other kind of formula literature, is generally not supported, exceptions could be made in some cases if the work can be seen as an example of renewal of the genre.

Applications can be filed to cover translation costs, and production costs for fully illustrated children’s books, non-fiction, comics and graphic novels, but not for production costs for non or partly illustrated books or black and white illustrations (except in some cases, such as comics). The grant cannot cover copyright costs.

What books will be given priority?

The objective of the support scheme is to raise the status of contemporary Swedish literature in translation. Priority will therefore be given to introduction of the work of contemporary Swedish authors into languages where there are no or few previous translations of that author’s work. Particular consideration will be given to translations of literature for children and young people into languages where Swedish children’s literature is presently poorly represented.

How is an application to be filed?

Application should be filled out via the online-service. Please fill out one application per book that is to be translated. When the application is filed, the following material is to be enclosed/sent:

  • one copy of the contract between the publishing house filing the application and the rights holder
  • one copy of the contract between the publishing house filing the application and the translator
  • two copies of the original book that is going to be translated, or a pdf/word file/ or e-book to be sent to no later than 7 days after application deadline. Please state the case number. For applications regarding anthologies – scanned/photocopied samples of the included material must be enclosed. Mark the envelope/email with “Application for translation grant” and the case number. If the original Swedish publisher is doing this, they should also use the same tag.
  • the translator’s curriculum vitae if the translator has not previously translated Swedish literature published in the language in question

The applications cannot be evaluated unless the grant committee gets all the material in time.

When can an application be filed?

These subsidies must be applied for before the book has been printed and published, see the right column for dates. The book cannot be printed before the results of the application are being sent out to the applicants.

How and when can a decision be made?

All applications are evaluated at the same time each application round by an external expert group. Decision is made in approximately 8 weeks after deadline, and is sent out via email to the applicant, the translator and the rights holder.

Read more at the website of the Swedish Arts Council.