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Literature and translation

Grants for translation of Swedish literature and drama (Non-Nordic languages)

This grant aims to promote translation of Swedish literature into other, non-Nordic, languages.

Webinar on grants for translation an promotion of Swedish literature and drama

A man and a woman talks about a book in a library.The support for translation of Swedish literature aims at making Swedish literature available in other languages. Photograph: Susanne Kronholm.

  • In order to apply for this grant you must be a professional publisher who wants to publish a Swedish book translated into a non-Nordic language. (A separate grant is available for Nordic publishers). You must have a plan for a professional distribution of the translation in question.

    Any publishing house applying for this grant must have both well-documented experience of publishing quality literature as well as professional distribution channels.

    Neither translators nor authors may apply for translation- or production subsidies through this support scheme. 

  • The grant covers either translation costs or both translation- and some production costs for translated editions of Swedish works. Swedish works includes literature written in Swedish or any of the national minority languages in Sweden, and originally published in Sweden. 

    Applications for works written in Swedish that are originally being published in Finland are handled by FILI. 

    Read more about FILI

    A condition for the grant is that the translation is done directly from Swedish or any of the national minority languages and not via any third language. Exceptions may be granted for languages where there are no professional translators directly from Swedish or the national minority languages. This requires a written approval from the rightsholder that clearly states which edition shall be used for the translation.

    The grant applies to translation of: 

    • prose fiction, poetry, picture books, comics and graphic novels for adults, children and young adults
    • non-fiction in the area of general culture
    • essays
    • drama for publication in book form 

    The support scheme does not apply to translation of:

    • specialised scholarly works, reference books, study materials, textbooks, Festschrifts, homage volumes,
    • publishing of sheet music,
    • yearbooks, books of local interest, exhibition catalogues,
    • hobby books, craft books, handbooks, cookbooks, and travel guides

    Irrespective of genre, the work for which a subsidy is being applied must be of high literary quality. The grant is meant to support translation of contemporary works, but support could also be given to classics. Priority will be given to introduction of the work of contemporary Swedish authors into languages where there are no or few previous translations of that author's work or other Swedish literature. 

    The sum you apply for should correspond to the fee you have agreed to in the signed translation contract with the translator.

    This full fee needs to be paid to the translator, regardless of the amount that the Swedish Arts Council has granted. The translator needs to confirm having received the full amount before a reimbursement of the grant can take place.

    A maximum sum of SEK 20 000 can be granted as production support, but only for fully illustrated fourcolour picturebooks, non-fiction or comics and graphic novels. Non- or partly illustrated books or books with black and white illustrations (except in some cases, such as comics) are not eligible for production support. The grant cannot cover copyright costs.

  • Applications are open all year round, but submitted applications are evaluated three times a year. Your application must be sent in before the book has been printed and published. The book cannot be printed before the results of the application have been sent out, so do remember to apply in time.

    Please note that your application must be received by the Swedish Arts Council no later than 24.00 on the last application date. If your application is submitted outside of the application period or after the deadline, it will be evaluated in the next application round.

    If an application is incomplete and the applicant does not complete it within the time communicated by the Swedish Arts Council, the Swedish Arts Council cannot process it in the current application round.

    Please note: If the translation's planned publication/performance date predates the decision date, the application cannot be processed.

  • Your application is submitted online, via our online service. Only one work per application is accepted. You may submit more than one application per round. The application must include the following material: 

    • A scanned copy of the signed contract between the publishing house filing the application and the rights holder 
    • A scanned copy of the signed contract between the publishing house filing the application and the translator
    • A pdf/word file or e-book of the original book. For applications regarding anthologies – scanned copies of the complete included material must be enclosed.  
    • The translator's list of his/her translations from Swedish

    Copy of the application form

    Please note that the form may be changed. The copy should not be posted.

    Copy of the application form

  • All the applications received during each application period are evaluated at the same time by an external expert committee.

    The committee assesses the literary quality of each work, i.e. the narrative structure of the work, its linguistic and artistic expression, as well as the text’s ability to, regardless of genre, engage the reader.

    The Head of the Department for Literature and Libraries at the Swedish Arts Council decides on the final distribution of the grant approximately eight weeks after each application deadline. The decision will be communicated to you, the translator and the rights holder via e-mail.

    A list of allocated grants will be published on the Swedish Literature website. Decisions cannot be appealed. 


    Guidelines for grants for translation of Swedish literature and drama

    General conditions

    Terms and conditions for those who are awarded a grant from the Swedish Arts Council.

    General conditions

  • Subsidies granted will be disbursed by the Swedish Arts Council upon:

    • receipt of four copies of the published translation, where it is clearly stated that subsidies granted are acknowledged with the following text, translated into the language in question: “The cost of this translation was supported by a subsidy from the Swedish Arts Council, gratefully acknowledged.” Adding the Swedish Arts Council logo is optional. 
    • receipt of a written confirmation from the translator that (s)he has received the full fee that was agreed on in the signed contract and stated in the submitted application. Please use the following form for this confirmation and submit it to kulturradet@kulturradet.se, mentioning your case number. 
    • We will not pay the grant money if the translator only gets the sum covered by the grant, or any lower sum than the one stated in the application and the mutual contract.

    Translator confirmation form

    If your application is approved, the granted sum is available for one year. All the above mentioned criteria must be fulfilled during the year following the approval of the grant. If problems should arise, please contact the Swedish Arts Council immediately.

Frequently asked questions


Our phone hours on weekdays, except on public holidays, are: Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 09.00–11.00 a.m. Tuseday and Thursday at 01.00–03.00 p.m.


General issues and technical support

Maria Antas

Translation grants, Grants for translators


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