Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Grant Central

Each year the Finnish Literature Exchange (FILI), a long-established Finnish culture ministry-funded organization (earlier known as FLIC, the Finnish Literature Information Centre) which aims to connect publishers, translators and authors, awards €510,000 in translation and publication grants to more than 300 projects worldwide.

In former days, grant recipients learned the fate of their applications by snail mail, but now are expected to check the lists of awards that are published on the FILI website.

A glance through the lists - there are two, one for complete translations of Finnish and Finland-Swedish works, and another for sample translations of the same - can be useful in forming a picture of what Finnish titles may be likely to appear in translation from English-language publishers in the following year or years.

Sometimes, however, the crop is sometimes quite small, as in the current spring awards, with much of the funding going to translators working in languages other then English.

Book-length translations receiving funding in the first part of the current grant year include Juhani Aho's Rautatie (translator Owen Witesman, publisher Norvik Press), Henry Parland's Sönder (translator Dinah Cannell, publisher Norvik Press), Riikka Pelo's Taivaankantaja (translator David Hackston, publisher Twisted Spoon Press) and Boel Westin's study of the life and work of Tove Jansson, Tove Jansson: Ord, bild, liv (translator Silvester Mazzarella, publisher Sort Of Books).

1 comment:

Eric Dickens said...

The "sample translation" subsidy idea is a very good one for literary translators who believe in a particular author or work, but would like to get paid for the twenty pages they would have to produce to send (or have sent) round publishers along with the synopsis. Publishers need at least that amount to get some idea of the book.

The whole mechanism of getting a translation from a bright idea from a keen translator to a printed book on the shelves of Waterstone's can be a long and daunting process. So an excerpt is a key weapon in the translator's arsenal when trying to draw publishers' attention to a particular work.

Whether called FLIC or FILI, the acronym raises a smile. A groping French policeman? But their funding and promotional activities are most welcome!