Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Creative New Zealand to fund more foreign translations

Late this afternoon it was announced that Creative New Zealand, a funding body for New Zealand arts, will have now have a new fund to help New Zealand authors have their work translated into foreign languages for international markets. This is great news, as there are some big readerships out there that are often a little overlooked when those of us in English-speaking countries talk about overseas success. I understand the German-speaking market can be up to 100 million potential readers alone.

With the recent upsurge in New Zealand crime fiction being published by the New Zealand offices of large international publishers like Random House, Penguin, and HarperCollins, some local authors have already seen some of their novels translated into foreign languages. The three German-language book covers above are an example (Paul Cleave's BLOOD MEN, Vanda Symon's THE RINGMASTER, and Paddy Richardson's A YEAR TO LEARN A WOMAN). Cleave has already had particular success in continental Europe, where I understand his debut novel THE CLEANER was the #1 bestselling crime/thriller title on Amazon Germany in 2007.

While down here we often focus on our authors 'breaking into' the UK or US markets, in terms of becoming 'internationally successful' and being able to sustain their writing from a financial standpoint, it could be just as valuable for New Zealand authors to get translated into German, Russian, Italian, Spanish, or some of the Nordic languages, in terms of building a readership. Particularly as crime fiction is so popular in continental Europe. So hopefully this new Creative New Zealand funding, if it is utilised in the right way, will really help progress things even further on that front. I've included the official press release below.

Creative New Zealand Media release
29 September 2010

Creative New Zealand will support the translation of New Zealand literature into foreign languages with a new Translation Grant Scheme announced today.

The new scheme was developed in response to 2009 research by the New Zealand Book Council which found that the leading international models for promoting a country’s literature focused on a translation grant scheme.

Administered by the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) the scheme will contribute up to 50 percent of the translation cost per title, to a maximum of $5000. It was developed after further consultation with the Book Council, PANZ, publishers, overseas funders and members of the literary community.

Creative New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen Wainwright said the Translation Grant Scheme would be important to bringing New Zealand’s unique literary voice to overseas markets.
"We are increasing our efforts to promote New Zealand literature internationally and this is one of a number of funding initiatives which will support our best writers to achieve maximum exposure. Connections made with international publishers will help grow the international market for, and profile of, New Zealand literature."

The Translation Grant Scheme will be announced at the prestigious Frankfurt Book Fair in October. An online application process and the quarterly 2011 deadlines can be found at the PANZ website:

The scheme builds on, and links to, the Creative New Zealand’s support for New Zealand writers to take part in international literary fairs. PANZ, funded by Creative New Zealand, coordinates a New Zealand delegation to attend the Frankfurt Book Fair each year. In 2010 this funding will assist four publishers to exhibit at the New Zealand stand. To find out more about the fair and who is going go to

There are a number of international literature initiatives funded by Creative New Zealand listed below:
  • writers grants to attend international festivals (administered by the New Zealand Book Council)
  • Te Mana Ka Tau, the annual incoming visitors programme for international publishers
  • support for New Zealand publishers to participate in the Australia Council’s annual Visiting International Publishers programme.
  • Translation grants via literature contestable funding applications
Criteria and grant levels for the Translation Grant Scheme
  • Applications will be assessed by a five-person panel that will include representatives of New Zealand Book Council, NZ Centre for Literary Translation, PANZ and Creative New Zealand.
  • Grants awarded will contribute up to 50 percent of the translation cost to a maximum of NZ$5,000 per title.
  • International Publishers can apply online at
2011 applications deadlines:
  • 1 November 2010
  • 1 February 2011
  • 1 May 2011
  • 1 August 2011
  • 1 November 2011
For more information go to our website:
For more information please contact: Hannah Evans, Creative New Zealand, (04) 498 0725 or (027) 677 8070

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