Yesterday at the Free Word Centre in central London, a few publishers dedicated to translating quality fiction met for a workshop on the ins and outs of EU Culture Strand 1.2.2 for Literary Translation. The form is long, the instructions many, and the session lasted more than two hours…but don’t despair – there is method in the madness! All you need is a bit of patience, a tick list and some helpful people on hand to offer advice.
Of course, the most important thing about your application is that you are presenting a number of excellent, quality titles for translation, that you have qualified AND experienced translators and that you believe these books will bring added value to the citizens of the EU. Nothing can make up for quality, but there is also the fiddly business of paperwork. So here’s a few helpful hints to make the passage easier:
1. Start the process in good time (that means now!) so that you don’t end up rushing at the last minute. The e-application form has to be submitted online by midday on Feb 6th – which means 11am to us in Britain.
2. When you apply for a number of titles, that is taken as the whole ‘project’. Therefore your project must not start before the set date of Sept. 1st and not run on longer than 24 months. Make sure none of your books run on longer than this, or you may risk being disqualified.
3. Remember to work out the dates of each book very carefully – translation time, plus manuscript preparation time and publication = beginning and end dates for that title.
4. Use the check-list provided on the website and check through your documents at least 7 times before sending them!
5. Remember to include any prizes that the books may have won in their home countries. Past winners of the European Prize for Literature are particularly welcome and receive optimum points on the scoring system
6. Don’t forget that the page count is now based on 1500 characters without spaces. You work out the total number of pages by taking the Word manuscript of the original work and dividing it by this figure.
7. You work out the translators fee by multiplying the pages (see above) by the set fee for the target language. i.e. if the work is being translated in English you must use the 25.95 Euros per 1500 characters as stated in the guidelines.
8. You need to have hard copies of all the titles you are applying for as you have to include these with your posted application forms.
9. Don’t forget to sign all the forms you are submitting
10. Don’t panic! The UK Cultural Contact Point is here to help you and can be contacted anytime leading up to the submission date