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Literature and translation

Grants for translation of Swedish literature and drama to other Nordic languages

The objective of this grant is to increase publishing of quality literature in other Nordic languages. Since the grant is established in the national literature centres and their national and international networks, it can contribute to a wider discussion on translated literature.

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Grants for translation and promotion of Swedish literature and drama

Application dates

An open book with a colourful woven bookmark.Sami  literature  at  Tjállegoahte Författarcentrum in Sápmi. Photograph: Elin Anna Labba. 

  • Applications for the grant can be submitted by professional publishing houses in the Nordic countries with a developed plan for distribution of the translation in question. Publishing houses applying for grants must have documented quality publications and professional distribution channels. 
    Translators and authors cannot apply for grants for translation or production support.

  • The Nordic Council of Ministers’ culture and art programme have reserved funding for translations of literature and drama from one Nordic language to another. At its disposal, the Swedish Arts Council have funding for translations from Swedish and the national minority languages.

    Swedish literature and drama means literature and drama, written in Swedish or any of the national minority languages and published in Sweden.

    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.

    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 the national minority languages. This requires a written approval from the rightsholder that clearly states which edition shall be used for the translation.

    Swedish literature and drama entail literature and drama, written in Swedish or any of the national minority languages and published in Sweden.

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

    Read more about FILI

    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

    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 disbursement of the grant can take place.  

    A maximum sum of SEK 20,000 can be granted as production support, but only for fully illustrated four-colour picture books, 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.

    Regardless of genre, the work must have a high linguistic and literary quality. The grant is intended to promote Swedish contemporary literature, but can also be awarded to classics. Introduction of authors in new languages, as well as literature for children and young adults are prioritised, The lesser languages are prioritised as well, although there are no yearly percentages or quotas.

    As a part of the profiling of the Nordic Council Literature Prize it is possible to apply for grants to translate the awarded books to Nordic languages for up to three years after the announcement of the award.

    Information about the other Nordic countries funding bodies: 
    Faeroe Islands

  • 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.

  • 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/photocopied samples of the complete included material must be enclosed
    • The translator's list of his/her previous 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 applications are processed at the same time, and the decision is announced about 8 weeks after deadline. The applications are assessed 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.

    The decision is sent through mail to the applicant, the translator, and the rights holders.Guidelines

    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

  • Approved subsidies are disbursed when we have received:

    • A copy of the printed book where it is clearly stated that the translation is supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers. Information that the title is published with support from the Nordic Council of Ministers must be found in the book's colophon or cover with the following sentence in the language in question: “This translation was funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers”.  Furthermore, the logotype of the Nordic Council of Ministers is to be used:
      Nordic Council of Ministers logotype
    • Receipt of a written confirmation from the translator that (s)he has received the full fee that was agreed on in the signed contract. Please use the following form for this confirmation and submit it to kulturradet@kulturradet.se, mentioning your case number:
      Translator confirmation form
    • Confirmation that one copy of the book is sent to the secretariat of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Ved Stranden 18, 1061 Copenhagen K, Denmark, as well as one copy to Nordens Hus, Sturlugötu 5, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland.

    Your grant must be used as described in the plan you submitted in the application, and in line with the terms stated in the decision. You need to submit a report on the grant to the Swedish Arts Council by the date stated in the decision.

    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.

    If significant changes are made to the project as compared with the information you provided in the application, the Swedish Arts Council must be informed – changes may mean that the grant or parts of the grant must be repaid.

  • If your grant is approved, the approved sum is reserved for one year, and a complete account must be submitted during the year after the approval of the grant. If any problems arise, contact the Swedish Arts Council immediately.


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.

Maria Antas

Translation grants, Grants for translators


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