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29 April 2017

Translation support and funding

Selection of translated books with a Scottish connection

Above are some examples of foreign-language books which have been translated into English, Gaelic or Scots and published in Scotland, and Scottish books which have been translated into other languages from English, Gaelic or Scots.


The Publishing Scotland Translation Fund

Publishing Scotland Translation Fund - next round of funding opens on 8 May 2017

The fund is designed to encourage international publishers to translate works by Scottish writers.

The first round of funding for 2017/18 will open on 8 May 2017 and details will be posted here about how to apply.

The second round for 2016/17 closed on Monday 9 January 2017 and the awards have been made. See the PRESS RELEASE of 9 February 2017 which lists all the awards made in both rounds 1 and 2 of 2016/17.


About the Translation Fund

The Translation Fund was launched on 25 August 2015 at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. It is administered by Publishing Scotland, on behalf of Creative Scotland. Its purpose is to support publishers based outside the UK to buy rights from Scottish and  UK publishers and agents by offering assistance with the cost of translation of Scottish writers. The funding will be received in the form of a grant.

Priority will be given to the translation of contemporary literature, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, writing for children and graphic novels. 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 will meet twice a year to assess applications. For more details, see the Press Release of 25 August 2015. There is a list of previous projects funded below.

Any enquiries can be directed to Lucy Feather:


The Translation Fund Panel

The panel comprises: Aly Barr (Creative Scotland), Bill Campbell (former Director of Mainstream Publishing), Robyn Marsack (former Director of the Scottish Poetry Library), and Publishing Scotland's Marion Sinclair (Chief Executive) and Lucy Feather (Member Services Manager). For more on the panel, see the Translation Fund Panel Biographies PDF.


Publishing Scotland Translation Fund previous projects

ROUND TWO 2016/17

There were 21 applicants for round 2 funding and 8 publishers and books received awards:

  • Haramada Publications, Greece, will translate  Filmish: A Graphic Journey through Film - Edward Ross (Selfmadehero, 2015)
  • L'Altra Editorial, Spain, will translate This Must be the Place - Maggie O'Farrell (Tinder, 2016)
  • Ergon Publishing, Bulgaria, will translate School Ship Tobermory - A MCall Smith (Birlinn, 2015)
  • Varrak Publisher, Estonia, will translate His Bloody Project - G Macrae Burnet (Saraband, 2016)
  • Vega Forlag AS, Norway, will translate The Undiscovered Islands - Malachy Tallack (Polygon/ Birlinn 2016)
  • Editions Metailie, France, will translate Dirt Road - James Kelman (Canongate, 2016)
  • Edition Steinrich, Germany, will translate A Book of Silence - Sara Maitland (Granta, 2008)
  • Crocetti Editore, Fondazione Poesia Onlus, Italy, will translate Darling - New & Selected Poems - Jackie Kay (Bloodaxe, 2007)


ROUND ONE 2016/17

There were 26 applications for round 1 funding and 13 publishers and books received awards:

  • Ambo/Anthos uitgevers B.V, Netherlands, will translate The Outrun - Amy Liptrot (Canongate)
  • Atena Kustannus, Finlan,d will translate Wasp - Ian Garbutt (Birlinn/Polygon)
  • Editorial Sexto Piso, Spain, will translate This is Memorial Device: An Hallucinated Oral History of the Post-Punk Music Scene in Airdrie, Coatbridge and Environs 1978-1986 - David Keenan (Faber)
  • Edizioni Joker, Italy, will translate The Poems of Norman MacCaig (Birlinn/Polygon)    
  • Europa Verlag, Germany, will translate An Exquisite Sense of what is Beautiful - J. David Simons (Saraband)
  • Fazi Editore, Italy, will translate I put a spell on you - John Burnside (Jonathan Cape)
  • Gatopardo Ediciones, Spain, will translate Free Love and Other Stories - Ali Smith (Virago/Little Brown)
  • Hena, Croatia, will translate The Panopticon - Jenni Fagan (Random House)
  • Matthes & Seitz, Germany, will translate The Living Mountain - Nan Shepherd (Canongate)   
  • Plataforma Editorial SL, Spain, will translate Adventures in Human Being - Gavin Francis (Profile Books)
  • Verlag Freies Geistesleben, Germany, will translate The Nowhere Emporium - Ross MacKenzie (Floris Books)   
  • Zalozba Zala, Slovenia, will translate Red Dust Road - Jackie Kay (Picador)

 See also our press release of 15 September on our news page.


ROUND ONE 2015/16

We received 17 applications for round 1 of the 2015/16 fund and 9 applications for round 2. The following titles will be translated in 2016 with the support of our fund:

See the round one press release dated 25 January 2016

  • The Testament of Gideon Mack - James Robertson (Penguin): Bokbyen Forlag, Norway
  • The Secret Life and Curious Death of Miss Jean Milne - Andrew Nicoll (Black & White Publishing): Sonzogno Di Marsilio, Italy (see picture above)
  • A Lovely Way to Burn - Louise Welsh (John Murray): Verlag Kunstmann, Germany (see picture above)
  • Straight White Male - John Niven (Windmill Books): Malapso Ediciones, Spain
  • The Accidental - Ali Smith (Penguin): TRI Publishing, Macedonia
  • His Bloody Project - Graeme Macrae Burnet (Contraband): Europa Verlag, Germany
  • The Girl in the Bunker - Tracey S Rosenberg (Cargo Publishing): Atmosphere Libri, Italy
  • The First Person and Other Stories - Ali Smith (Penguin): Editura Univers, Romania
  • A Painted Field - Robin Robertson (Picador): Aleph Klub, Albania
  • Ath Aithne - Martainn Mac an t'Saoir (Gaelic)/Reacquaintance - Martin MacIntyre (English) (Clar): Vents D'Ailleurs, France
  • Tony Hogan Bought me an Icecream Float before he Stole my Ma - Kerry Hudson (Vintage): Minimum Fax, Italy

ROUND TWO 2015/16

  • How a Gunman Says Goodbye - Malcolm Mackay (published by Mantle) to be published by Polis Publishing,  Greece)
  • How to be Both - Ali Smith (published by Hamish Hamilton) to be published by Edizioni Sur, Italy
  • Trackman - Catriona Child (published by Luath Press) to be published by Edizioni Condaghes, Italy
  • The Hourglass Factory  - Lucy Ribchester (published by Simon & Schuster) to be published by Alef Publishing, Turkey
  • The Royal Stuarts - Allan Massie (published by Jonathan Cape) to be published by Della Porta Editori, Italy
  • Strip Jack - Ian Rankin (published by  Orion) to be published by Modernista, Sweden
  • And the Land Lay Still - James Robertson (published by Penguin) to be published by Edizioni Paginauno, Italy
  • When Will There Be Good News - Kate Atkinson (published by Little Brown) to be published by Bata Press, Macedonia

Cove Park Translation Residencies 2017

In 2017 Cove Park awarded five funded Translation Residencies for translators with a commission to translate a book of any genre by a Scottish author. For the purposes of this application a Scottish book is one whose author is resident in Scotland or was born in Scotland. Residencies will be four weeks in length and will take place at a date to be confirmed between mid-May and end June. Translators can be working into any language and can be based anywhere. In partnership with Publishing Scotland, the translators will be offered a networking opportunity as part of their residency, and there will also be a showcase event. The deadline for applications was Friday 20 January 2017. See the Cove Park website for more details.


Other Funding

Creative Scotland: Open Project Funding

If a Scottish publisher is seeking funding to translate a book from another language into English (or Scots or Gaelic) they can apply for Open Project Funding from Creative Scotland.


Creative Europe

The EU's Creative Europe programme offers funding opportunities for the translation, production, and promotion of European works of fiction. The maximum grant available is €100,000, for the translation of 3 to 10 books.

Usually there are annual deadlines, which are on the first Wednesday of every February until 2020.

Category 2: Framework partnership agreements. The deadlines for framework partnership agreements are less regular than category 1 and the next deadline is on the first Wednesday of February 2017.

Please note that these dates are subject to change: check the Creative Europe website and sign up there for its update emails: Creative Europe Desk UK website.

For an update on Creative Europe after the outcome of the European Referendum, see the Creative Europe website.

Kate Deans, Creative Europe Desk UK - Scotland, Culture Officer
Tel: +44 330 333 2000  Direct tel: +44 131 523 0072


Translation into English, Scots or Gaelic

List of language-based organisations that provide information, support and/or funding for publishers interested in translating and publishing books from that language into another language.


Canadian support for translation other than French or English: Canada Council for the Arts

Catalan: Ramon Llull Institute 

Czech: Ministry of Culture Czech Republic

Danish: Danish Arts Council

Estonian: TRADUCTA funded by The Cultural Endowment of Estonia

Finnish: Finnish Literature Exchange

Flemish: Flemish Literature Fund

French: The French Institute UK

German: New Books in German

Hebrew: The Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature

Hungarian: Hungarian Books and Translation Office

Icelandic: Icelandic Literature Fund

Irish: Irish Literature Exchange

Italian: Cultural Division of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Cultural Division of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers funding to publishers for the translation into English of an Italian literary or scientific work. The next deadline will be in spring 2017 and details will be posted here when available.

Japanese: Japan Foundation

Korean: Literature Translation Institute of Korea

Latvian: Latvian Literature Centre

Lithuanian: Books from Lithuania

The Lithuanian Culture Institute promotes Lithuanian literature and Lithuania's authors in the world. It runs the Translation promotion program and organises publishers' visits to Lithuania, especially during the Vilnius Book Fair, the biggest in the Baltics (held each February). The LCI has recently launched its new website - (more info in English coming soon). Lithuania will be the market focus (along with Estonia and Latvia) at the 2018 London Book Fair.

Norwegian: Norwegian Literature Abroad (NORLA)

Polish: The Poland Translation Programme (The Polish Book Institute)

Portugese: Directorate of Books and Libraries (DGLB, Portugal)

Slovak: Centre for Information on Slovak Literature

Slovenian: Trubar Foundation

Spanish: New Spanish Books

Swedish: Swedish Arts Council

Swiss books: Pro Helvetia

Turkish: TEDA Project

Welsh: Wales Literature Exchange


Other useful sources of information

British Centre for Literary Translation website: This website lists opportunities including funding and competitions.

PEN Translates Award: This award will fund up to 75% of translation costs for selected projects. When a publisher's annual turnover is less than £100,000 it will consider supporting up to 100% of translation costs.