Literary Translation




28 May 2020, 4:00PM

The call was published on

9 Mar 2020

What does this funding support?

This funding opportunity supports publishers and publishing houses and enables the translation of literary work from one European language to another. The fund aims to support cultural and linguistic diversity in Europe, promote the transnational circulation of high quality literary works, as well as to improve access to these literary works so that they can reach new audiences. The available budget overall for this call is EUR 2,000,000

Eligible costs include the translation, production and promotion of European fiction, including novels, short stories, children's fiction, comics/graphic novels, poetry and plays. Under-represented genres are particularly favoured. 

The translation of books for which the authors have won the EU Prize for Literature is  encouraged. Full backlist viewable:  

You can apply with the following conditions:

  • A publisher/publishing group can apply for support for a project involving the translation, production and promotion of 3-10 fiction works
  • A publisher/publishing group can apply for a grant of up to €100,000 (maximum 50% of the eligible costs)
  • The project must be delivered over a maximum of 2 years

This overview is intended for guidance only. Full details and the guidelines for the 2020 call can be found on the European Commission's Funding & tender opportunies portal. The EACEA adminsters Creative Europe. 

Who is this funding for?

Publishers and publishing groups can apply. The company must be registered in an eligible country and applicant organisations must be able to legally prove their existence for at least two years by the date of the application deadline.

UK organisations are still eligible to apply for funding in the current Creative Europe programme, and projects would be funded for their full duration. Please see our guidance on the UK's participation in Creative Europe. Individuals cannot apply. 

The objectives of the call are:

- Supporting cultural and linguistic diversity in the EU and in countries participating in the Culture Sub-programme

- Strengthening the transnational circulation and diversity of European literary works in the long term

- Improving access to European literary works in Europe and beyond and reach new audiences.

How much can you apply for?

Publishers and publishing groups can apply for up to €100,000.

The grant covers up to 50% of the costs of translation, production and promotion. Match funding is required. 

How can you apply?

If you are thinking of applying, here are some ways that you can prepare for the application process:

Which languages are eligible?

The source language and target language must be officially recognised languages of one of the eligible countries:

1. The 28 Member States of the European Union

2. The EU candidate and potential candidate countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Serbia

3. The EFTA/EEA countries: Iceland and Norway

4. The Swiss Confederation is NOT eligible

5. Other partner countries: Armenia, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, Tunisia and Ukraine. 

6. Translations out of Latin and ancient Greek (source language) into officially recognised languages are also eligible.

In the UK, projects would involve translating from one of the eligible languages above (for example, a German novel, or Finnish poetry) into English.

  • The target language must be the translator's mother tongue (except in cases of less frequently spoken languages if the applicant provides sufficient explanation).
  • Welsh and Scottish Gaelic are also eligible if you include a covering letter explaining your choice of language. Creative Europe’s aim is to widen distribution, so translation into English, a more widely spoken language, does make for a stronger application.
  • Translations and publication must have a cross-border dimension. Hence the translation of national literature from one official language into another official language within the same country is not eligible. 

Which UK-based publishers have successfully applied?

In 2019 results, the Poetry Translation Centre was successful.

In 2018 results, five UK publishers were awarded Literary Translation support: Book Island, Orenda Books, Parthian Books, Quercus Editions and Random House.

In 2017 results, Oneworld Publications and Fitzcarraldo Editions were successful.

Harvill Secker, Istros Books, Peirene Press, Arc Publications, Pushkin Press, Profile Books, Peter Owen, Comma Press, Serpent’s Tail, Quercus/MacLehose and Vagabond Voices are also UK publishers who have received funding from Creative Europe or the EU Culture programme (2007-2013). 

You can read through examples of these projects in the Funded Projects section of our website. For example, in 2014, Peirene Press received €20,043 from Creative Europe to translate, publish and promote three books:

  • White Hunger by Aki Ollikainen, translated from the Finnish by Emily Jeremiah and Fleur Jeremiah;
  • Reader for Hire by Raymond Jean, translated from the French by Adriana Hunter;
  • The Looking-Glass Sisters by Gøhril Gabrielsen, translated from the Norwegian by John Irons.

Are e-books eligible?

Yes, e-books are eligible. 

How often are the deadlines?

The current deadline in the 2014-20 programme is 5 May 2020.

Previous deadlines were annual, including June 2019.

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