Malta based individuals, Maltese registered or international publishers, and legally recognised organisations are all eligible applicants for the Arts Council’s 2018 Cultural Export Translation grant, which aims to increase the visibility of local literature by financing translation projects from Maltese into any other language.  For the purposes of the grant the term ‘literature’ includes novels and general fiction, poetry, drama, graphic novels and even reference material focusing on culture and the arts. The surtitling, supertitling and subtitling of film/documentary scripts also fall under the scheme provided the filming material was produced by a local audiovisual company and has already been broadcast.

Each project may be allocated a maximum of 5000 euros, which can cover 100% of the expenses. It should be clear, however, that the expenses in question are translation expenses. In other words, the fund will not cover expenses of printing, rights, or the promotion of published material. The grant will only cover the translation, editing, and proofreading costs of the project.

It is also important to keep in mind that the fund is competitive and each application will be judged by an indepedent evaluation board according to a set of specific criteria. These criteria can be grouped into three main points:

  • The quality of the project
  • International engagement
  • Professional and financial management of the project

With regards to the quality of the project, the main focus is on the translation work itself. That is, the quality of the translation and the literary and cultural value of the text chosen for translation. The criterion of international engagement refers, mainly, to the distribution plan – how and where will the translated work be sold or made visible to foreign readers? The criterion also evaluates the project in terms of how much scope for international cooperation it creates. The management of the project refers to the budget and the timeframes proposed by the applicant. It is extremely important that the quotes that appear in the budget breakdown of the application are realistic and substantiated by real references from professionals.

The application can be found on the Arts Council website here. Please note that there are two deadlines – one on 19 April 2018 and the other on 18 October 2018. The National Book Council urges all eligible applicants to apply and make use of this opportunity to launch any translation projects they might have been planning.

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