In 2022, NORLA Approved 510 of 521 Translation Grant Applications

In News by Porter Anderson

Last year’s program of translation grants included the first time NORLA had granted funds for translation from Sámi.

A session at the Warsaw Book Fair in May 2022 in the Guest of Honor Norway tent. Onstage are author Cecilie Enger and her translator, Karolina Drozdowska. Image: Norla, Michal Mitoraj

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

Walsø: Publishing Needs ‘Good Meeting Places’
Ahead of our pre-London Book Fair rights edition scheduled for Friday, we have today (April 13) a look at some 2022 statistics from NORLA, the Center for Norwegian Literature Abroad.

Those who are preparing to travel to the United Kingdom for the London trade show—like British industry players who may live nearby—will recognize a telling statement with which NORLA’s director, Margit Walsø, opens her introduction to the report.

“The past year has made it clear,” Walsø writes, “that literature and the book industry need meeting places for book rights to be sold and for readers to meet authors and find the books they want to read.”

In 2022, she goes on to say, NORLA “prioritized creating a number of such good meeting places for the exchange of literature, such as at the book fair in Warsaw,” where Norway was guest of honor—as it was in 2019 at Frankfurter Buchmesse.

One thing the NORLA program did to spread the value of such gatherings was invite “hundreds of Norwegian students at Polish universities” to visit the Norwegian guest-country program during the Warsaw event.

Using the organization’s digital capabilities, NORLA also held digital meetings with 126 translators from 21 languages during the year, and the agency was involved in a new Lillehammer Rights program during the city’s literary festival, with 29 publishers and editors from 19 nations engaged in the project.

Margit Walsø

Last year, the organization says, it supported translation with grants into 46 languages .

  • A total 521 applications for translation grant funding were received
  • NORLA granted 510 of those applications
  • Of those granted, 410 were for fiction and 100 were for nonfiction titles
  • Of that 510 total applications granted, 138 were aimed at children’s and young people’s work
  • The 510 grants fulfilled “are distributed among 353 titles,” the company says, and those represent the work, of 240 authors or author collaborations
  • By comparison, in 2021 there were 521 grants, 375 different titles, and 254 authorships

In an interesting first, NORLA granted funding for translations directly from Sami, namely Edel Marit Gaino’s ghost stories for young people, Dološ balddonasat, for translation into English (Canada) and Nils-Aslak Valkeappää’s play Ritnoaivi ja nieguid oaidni for translation into French.

One grant was also awarded for translation directly from Norwegian into Urdu: Sigrid Undset’s novel Jenny . This is probably the first time a book written by a Norwegian female author has been published in Urdu, according to the NORLA staff.

More from Publishing Perspectives on Norway’s market is here, more on NORLA is here, and more on translation and rights 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 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.