For agents and publishers
Translation subsidies between Nordic languages
The Nordic Council of Ministers’ programme for art and culture will continue its funding scheme for the translation of literature and drama from one Nordic language to another.
The aim of the agreement is to ensure the dissemination and strengthening of knowledge about Nordic literature. The purpose of the subsidy scheme is to contribute to bringing about more publications of quality literature from the Nordic region, in Nordic languages other than the original language.
As of April 15, 2020: New guarantee for translation subsidy.
Due to the coronavirus meeting places are empty and cultural events are cancelled. Yet literature and culture remain as important as ever.
With a temporary 50% guarantee of grants for translations the literature export organisations in the Nordic countries wish to encourage further exchange of literature and reinforce the support for translation of fiction, non-fiction and children’s literature for the benefit of authors, translators, publishers and literary agencies.
Provided they are approved by the respective country, applications for translation grants are therefore guaranteed a 50% grant towards the translation costs. Contemporary literature will be prioritized.The guarantee remains valid as long as the situation requires and applies for applications as of April 15, throughout 2020, or as long as the budgets allow it. After this the need to prolong the guarantee will be evaluated.
NORLA’s application deadlines, requirements and criteria for support remain unchanged.
Read more about the temporary guarantee here
Applications for translation subsidies for poetry, drama and children and young people’s literature will be given priority and works that have received the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize have first priority for up to three years after the prize has been awarded. In addition, the small language regions in the Nordic region will be given priority.
The subsidy can, beyond the above-mentioned genres, also be awarded for special thematic issues of journals with a Nordic focus, and translation subsidies for illustrated children’s literature can also be awarded.
For Norwegian works, subsidies can be granted for up to four applications per foreign publisher per year, and for a maximum of two titles per application round.
The Nordic literature offices and representatives for the autonomous regions administrate the Nordic translation subsidy.
As of 2013 the Danish Agency for Culture has been the coordinator of the network (called NordLit) and scheme.
It is possible to apply for subsidies for translations of:
• General non-fiction with a Nordic focus
• Fiction for children, young people and adults
• New drama
… and production subsidies for:
• Books from Greenlandic, Faroese and Sami
Translation subsidies in the category general non-fiction with a Nordic focus apply primarily to books of a certain literary quality. The subsidy can also encompass special thematic issues of journals with a Nordic focus.
For books from the small language regions (Greenland, Faroe Islands and the Sami language region) production subsidies can be awarded for publications with exceptionally demanding technical production requirements.
As a rule, subsidies are not granted for:
• Scientific dissertations and research reports
• Vocational or industry-oriented books
• Encyclopaedias, fact books, reference works
• Textbooks for secondary school, college or university
• Yearbooks, local history yearbooks or other books targeting a local readership
• Hobby books, joke books, handbooks, travel guides, cookbooks, wine books, etc.
Who can apply?
• All active publishers in the Nordic region may apply. In the case of journals, the editor-in-chief has the role of publisher.
• Professional theatres in the Nordic region can apply for subsidies for translations of drama.
• The application for a translation subsidy shall be made to country where the original work was published.
• The application shall be made using the application form produced in the country or language region the work is being translated from.
• The application shall contain a motivation/grounds
• The decision regarding allocation or denial is final and cannot be appealed.
The following circumstances shall be accounted for and documented in the application:
• That the translation will not be published before the application has been assessed by the correct body, except where special circumstances apply.
• That the work will be published with a satisfactory standard of technical quality with an eye to, for example, library lending.
• Documentation that the work has been published or approved for publication in the original language.
• Documentation that the work has been selected for publication in translation. A copy of the contract between the publisher/editor-in-chief/theatre and rightsholder shall be enclosed.
• Contract between the rightsholder and translator.
Special areas of priority:
• Translation of poetry and drama should receive a particular emphasis.
• The smaller languages of the Nordic regions shall be given priority even if there are no annual percentages or quotas.
• As part of the profiling of the Nordic Council’s Literature Prize, it is possible to apply for subsidies for the translation of prize-winning books into the Nordic languages for up to three years after the prize has been announced.
Credits and documentation:
• When a work has received a translation subsidy from the Nordic Council of Ministers, this shall appear on the book’s copyright page and on the dust jacket. If the edition is in pocket book format, this applies to the back cover of the book.
• In all of the above-mentioned contexts, the Nordic Council of Ministers’ logo shall be included.
Download the logo here (Adobe Illustrator).
• The publisher shall send three copies of the translated work to the literature office that has administrated the allocation. The publisher shall also send one copy of the translated work to the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Secretariat, Ved Stranden 18, DK-1061 Copenhagen K, Denmark and one copy to Nordens Hus, Sturlugötu 5, 101, Reykjavik, Iceland for building up a library and documentation purposes.
For applications for translation subsidies for Norwegian books, please use NORLA’s application form.
Application deadlines are the same as for other translation subsidies:
Application deadlines for fiction: 1 April, 1 August and 15 November.
Application deadlines for non-fiction: 1 February, 1 June and 1 October.
For books granted funding from the Nordic Council of Ministers (administrated by NORLA) the following information is to appear on the book’s copyright page (in the language in question):
“The publication of this translation has been made possible through funding from the Nordic Council of Ministers”.
The Nordic Council of Ministers’ logo shall also be featured.
In addition to translation subsidies for Norwegian books, Nordic publishers can also apply to NORLA for production subsidies for picture books for children and certain types of Norwegian illustrated non-fiction.
Read more about production subsidies for Norwegian titles here.
For further information about translation subsidies for Norwegian books, contact
NORLA, c/o Economy and Administration Consultant Torill Johansen
Telephone: + 47 23 08 41 08
Contact the Nordic countries, members of the network NordLit:
Sweden: Swedish Literature Exchange
Denmark: The Danish Arts Foundation
Finland: FILI – Finnish Literature Exchange
Iceland: Icelandic Literature Center
Faroe Islands: FarLit
Greenland: Grenland Writers Association
Sapmi: Samisk Kunstnerråd
• Denmark: Annette Bach, The Danish Arts Foundation, Agency for Culture and Palaces – Literature & DEFF, +45 3373 3373.
Application deadlines: 15.2. and 15.08.
For more info: www.kunst.dk. Direct link here