Publishing Scotland Translation Fund Taking Applications Now

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Publishing Scotland’s translation funding program now has nearly 100 titles by Scottish writers in international languages.

On Victoria Street in Edinburgh. Image – iStockphoto: Jui-Chi Chan

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Deadline for This Round of Funding: August 12
The Publishing Scotland Translation Fund has opened its first round of applications for 2019 in this strong program devised to help international publishers pay for translation of Scottish authors.

Opened in 2015, the program already has at least 92 books in translation from Scottish writers. Languages in which Scottish content is being read, as a result, include Italian, German, French, Russian, Serbian, Romanian, Swedish, Mandarin, and Thai.

Among some of the more visible authors translated thanks to the work of this program so far: Ali Smith, James Robinson, Allan Massie, John Niven, Louise Welsh, Graeme Macrae Burnet, Jackie Kay, Malachy Tallack, Andrew O’ Hagan, Michel Faber, David Keenan, Val McDermid,  and Kathleen Jamie.

Priority is given to the translation of contemporary literature, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, writings for children, and graphic novels.

Ross MacKenzie’s ‘The Nowhere Emporium’ in its German edition

Assessment criteria will also include the merit of the work to be translated, financial need of the publisher, track record of publisher and translator, and the proposed marketing plan. An expert panel meets twice a year to assess applications.

The application process isn’t something to leave to the last minute. It requires a full marketing plan, budget, translator credentials and the publishing program, as well as “a real demonstrable passion for the author and title,” according to Publishing Scotland’s Lucy Feather.

Some of the books that have been supported in translation by the fund can be discovered here. Terms and conditions for application are here, in PDF.

The panel making selections this time includes:The panel comprises:

  • Alan Bett, Creative Scotland
  • Bill Campbell, former director of Mainstream Publishing
  • Robyn Marsack , former director of the Scottish Poetry Library
  • Tom Pow,  poet, author, and playwright
  • Publishing Scotland’s chief executive Marion Sinclair
  • Publishing Scotland’s member services manager Lucy Feather

Shaun Blythell’s ‘Diary of a Bookseller’ in its Dutch edition

The most recent funding round, the second of two operated in 2018 and early 2019, produced this set of 17 funding grants totaling £15,380 (US$19,510).

  • Condor (The Netherlands) will translate Monstrous Devices by Damien Love (Viking/Penguin, 2018)
  • Double Nickels (Italy) will translate This is Memorial Device by David Keenan (Faber, 2017)
  • Ediciones Siruela (Spain) will translate Shapeshifters by Gavin Francis (Profile, 2018)
  • Gamme Magie Editions (Thailand) will translate The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Blythell (Profile, 2017)
  • Heyne Hardcore (Germany) will translate February’s Son by Alan Parks (Canongate, 2018)
  • Krok Publisher (Ukraine) will translate Tomorrow we will Live here by Ryan Van Winkle (Salt, 2010)
  • Litera Publishing House (Romania) will translate Winter by Ali Smith (Penguin RH, 2017)
  • Magvető Publishing (Hungary) will translate How to be both by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton 2014)
  • Modernista Group AB (Sweden) will translate A Treachery of Spies by Manda Scott (Bantam, 2018)
  • Partizanska knjiga (Serbia) will translate Young Adam by Alexander Trocchi (Oneworld, 2008)
  • Safarà Editore (Italy) will publish Janine 1982 by Alasdair Gray (Canongate, 1984)
  • Singel Uitgeverijen (The Netherlands) will translate The Long Take by Robin Robertson (Picador, 2018)
  • Uitgeverij Cossee (The Netherlands) will translate Sal by Mick Kitson (Canongate, 2018)
  • Umco DD (Slovenia) will translate The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd (Canongate, 2011)
  • Varrak Publishers (Estonia) will translate Sweet Caress by William Boyd (Bloomsbury, 2015)
  • Viena Edicions (Spain) will translate (into Catalan) The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Blythell (Profile, 2017)
  • Verlag Freies Geistesleben (Germany) will translate Mind Blind by Lari Don (Floris Books, 2014)

More from Publishing Perspectives on Scotland is here; and from our Industry notes series is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for trade and indie authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.

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