Publishing Scotland Funds Translation for 14 Foreign Rights Titles

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In its first of two rounds of 2019-2020 translation funding, Publishing Scotland is supporting the translation of 14 Scottish titles into 10 foreign languages.


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

Fourteen New Grants Total £14,800

One of the world industry’s most aggressive translation fund programs, the Publishing Scotland Translation Fund, now in its fifth year, has this month awarded 14 international publishers with funding to translate what Edinburgh is calling “an eclectic bunch of Scottish authors” into:

  • Czech
  • Spanish
  • German
  • Serbian
  • Dutch
  • Swedish
  • Italian
  • Ukrainian
  • Catalan
  • Georgian

In all, the international publishers who have acquired the rights to translate these books have received funding totaling £14,800 from the fund (US$18,439).

If you’re a publisher interested in learning more and possibly applying for a grant from the fund to produce a translation, the information on timing and applications is here. Priority is given to the translation of contemporary literature, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, writing for children and graphic novels. Assessment criteria  include the merit of the work to be translated, financial need of the publisher, track record of the publisher and translator, and the proposed marketing plan.

An expert panel meets twice a year to assess applications. 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), and Publishing Scotland’s Marion Sinclair (Chief Executive) and Lucy Feather (Member Services Manager).

Meanwhile, that “eclectic bunch” of authors being announced this year for grants awarded in the 2019-2020 cycle of funding includes Ewan Morrison, Ryan Van Winkle, Samuel Tongue, Graeme Macrae Burnett, Edwin Morgan, Nan Shepherd, Helen McClory, and Imtiaz Darker.

And the publishers listed below are translating poetry, crime, fiction, and nonfiction, all with the financial help of Publishing Scotland’s program.

As you’ll see, there’s something of a Scottish-Spanish axis opening up here, with no fewer than four of the funded titles going into Spain (either in Spanish or Catalan), and one into Mexico City. Italian is the new language for two of the books on the list. And the others are represented by one title each in to a range of territories and languages from Ukraine and the Netherlands to Georgia–last year’s Frankfurt guest of honor–and Serbia.

2019-2020 Round One Publishing Scotland Translation Funding

Our listing gives you (a) the international house that holds the rights to publish a translation, (b) the language into which a given title is going, (c) the title of the work, (d) the author of that work, and (e) the original publisher and year.

  • Impedimenta (Spain) for a Spanish edition of His Bloody Project by Graeme M Burnett (Saraband, 2015)
  • Kolibris (Italy) for an Italian edition of New Selected Poems by Edwin Morgan (Carcanet, 2000)
  • Krok Publishers (Ukraine) for a Ukrainian edition of Selected Poems by Samuel Tongue (various, 2016)
  • La Caja Books (Spain) for a Spanish edition of Street Without a Name by Kapka Kassabova (Granta 2009)
  • Modernista (Sweden) for a Swedish edition of From the Shadows by G R Halliday (Harvill Secker, 2019)
  • Nodar Dumbadze (Georgia) for a Georgian edition of Tomorrow We Will Live Here by Ryan Van Winkle (Salt, 2010)
  • Paper Jam (Czech Republic) for a Czech edition of Morning Glory, Seasons of the Heart by Alan Spence (Canongate Books, 2000)
  • Partizanska knjiga (Serbia) for a Serbian edition of The Secret Knowledge by Andrew Crumey (Dedalus, 2013)
  • Rayo Verde Editorial (Spain) for a Catalan edition of Winter by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton, 2018)
  • Redazione Bompiani (Italy) for an Italian edition of The Valley at the Centre of the World by Malachy Tallack (Canongate Books, 2018)
  • Sexto Piso (Spain) for a Spanish edition of For the Good Times by David Keenan (Faber & Faber, 2019)
  • Textofilia Ediciones (Mexico) for a Spanish edition of On the Edges of Vision by Helen McClory (404 Ink, 2018)
  • Uitgeverij De Arbeiderspers (Netherlands) for a Dutch edition of The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd (Canongate Books)
  • Verlagshaus Römerweg GmbH (Germany) for a German edition of Nina X by Ewan Morrison (Little, Brown)

One of the authors listed above, Kapka Kassabova, is particularly familiar to Publishing Perspectives readers for her win of the 2018 Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize from the British Library.

At the Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 16 to 20), you’ll find the Publishing Scotland and Scottish Books International stand in Hall 6.0, stand E91, and the program will have  a handsome array of publishers represented, including 404 Ink, BHP Comics, Black & White Publishing, Floris Books, Jenny Brown Associates, Luath Press, Muddy Pearl, Moonlight Publishing, National Galleries of Scotland, Sandstone Press, Saraband.

In addition, you’ll find Jamie Byng’s Canongate at the fair as well as Dunedin Academic Press, Edinburgh University Press, and Geddes & Grosset/Waverley Books.

You can find a complete listing of Publishing Scotland’s translation funding activity from 2015 forward in a PDF available for download here.


More from Publishing Perspectives on Scotland is here, more from us on rights is here, more on translation is here, and more on the Frankfurter Buchmesse 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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