Announcing the autumn translation grant opportunities

In June 2020, the Petőfi Literary Fund announced its new portfolio of grants. The portfolio has been rethought and expanded, drawing in part on successful examples and best practices abroad. A total of seven different grants are being offered to provide support for publication of Hungarian literature in translation in the international arena, but also for works which are intended for performance, including on stage, and works rich with illustrations.  

The international division of the Petőfi Literary Fund announced the new grant opportunities in June on its English-language homepage. The Fund again is offering seven grants in support of the publication and performance abroad of works of Hungarian literature in translation.

Three funding opportunities are being offered for sample translations: alongside the grants for agencies and publishing houses (both within Hungary and abroad), the Fund is also inviting applications from experienced translators and translators who are still in the initial stages of their careers.

As one of the innovative aspects of the new portfolio, publishing houses can apply for funding not only to defray the costs of translation, but also to help cover other sundry costs of publication. This opportunity is intended to help further the publication abroad of works which may contain very little text, but which are all the more sumptuous in their illustrations, though the grant can also be used to help cover the publication costs of novels, short stories, or collections of essays.

One of the groundbreaking features of the new system of grants is that it offers opportunities for contemporary and canonical Hungarian drama and literature for the stage. The application process for this support, which is available to theatres and theatre companies abroad, is continuously open, and applications are evaluated and decisions reached on a monthly basis.

In order to ensure that we make the best use of our Hungarian literary “exports,” we offer opportunities not only for the promotion of texts, but also for individual authors. This new grant, which we have dubbed the “micro-grant,” is intended for authors and literary translators who have been given an invitation to take part in an event abroad, for instance a literary or art festival, a conference, a reading, or a book opening. With this grant, the Petőfi Literary Fund hopes to create opportunities for more and more Hungarian authors to establish themselves on the international stage. The application process is continuously open, and applications are evaluated and decisions reached on a monthly basis.

In the first application cycle, which ended in August, most of the applications which were submitted were for the classical translation grant and the grants for experienced translators and translators in the early stages of their careers. Numerous applications were submitted for these grants, a total of 52 for the translation grant (for translations into 21 different languages), 31 of which were given support. Of the 60 applications submitted for grants for experienced translators (for translations into 19 different languages), 17 were given support in the amount of 300,000 HUF, and of the 35 applications for grants for translators at the beginning of their careers (for translations into 9 different languages), 13 were given support in the among of 150,000 HUF.

The Fund is working hard to spread the word about the new grants offered as part of its portfolio (the grant to cover sundry costs of publication, the micro-grant, and the grants for theatres). On the basis of the enthusiasm shown in the first cycle, it has been very successful in these efforts. Applications for translations into Czech, Macedonian, and Romania were among those which were given positive support.

The following is a list of the grant opportunities announced in the first week of September. (Deadline: 15 October 2020.)

1.     Grant for publication support for publishing houses abroad

2.     Grant for sample translations for experienced translators of Hungarian literature

3.     Grant for sample translations for translators of Hungarian literature at the beginning of their careers

Grants for which the application process is continuously open (with decisions reached monthly):

1.     Sample translation grant (for which Hungarian publishing houses are also eligible!)

2.     Drama translations for theatres

3.     Micro-grants

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