Translation Fund for Literature

Support for international publishers to translate Australian works by living authors of creative writing, and Australian publishers to translate non-English works into English by Australian translators.

About the opportunity

International publishers may apply for a contribution towards the translation of Australian works by living authors of creative writing such as fiction, poetry, writing for children and young people, graphic novels, and narrative non-fiction (defined as autobiography, biography, essays, histories, literary criticism, or analytical prose).  The majority of funding must be used to pay the rights holder and translator.

Australian publishers may also apply to support the translation of non-English language works to English, providing they are using an Australian translator.

Contributions of AUD $5,000 per successful applicant are available.

Who can apply:

  • International publishers may apply for a contribution towards the translation of Australian works of creative writing, and a contribution towards promotion of the translated work
  • Australian publishers may apply to support the translation of foreign language works provided they are using Australian translators, and a contribution towards promotion of the translated work.
  • A maximum of two applications per publisher / applicant will be accepted per closing date.

Who can’t apply:

  • Applicants who do not hold the rights of the work to be translated.

Applications will be considered by the Australia Council in consultation with Industry Advisors.

Applications must demonstrate the:

  • quality of the work
  • track record of the translator
  • publisher’s ability to market and promote the translated work.

The types of questions we ask in the application form include:

  • A title for your application
  • A description of your proposed activities that comprises:
    • a short description of the literary title
    • why you consider that this work or author is right for your list
    • a description of your publishing house, if relevant
    • the language of the proposed edition
    • how many copies of the book will be printed (minimum print run of 500 copies)
    • how and where the book will be distributed and promoted
    • for Australian publishers: indicate whether you have published any other translated works, listing any comparable titles.
  • An outline of how the funds will be spent that comprises:
    • the retail price of the book
    • the amount the author / rights holder will be paid.

You may submit support material with your application. The Australia Council and Industry Advisors may review this support material to gain a better sense of your project.

The following support material is required:

  • The translator’s CV listing their relevant experience.
  • A copy of the signed rights agreement. If your agreement is in a language other than English, please also provide a short summary in English.

You may also supply evidence of other titles in your catalogue, or previous books published.

Our preferred method of receiving support material is via URLs (weblinks).

You can provide up to three URLs (weblinks) that link to content that is relevant to your proposal.

If you cannot supply support material via URLs, you may upload support material to your application as written material (Word and PDF).

Translation Fund for Literature FAQs

Yes, provided you provide copies of rights agreements for all titles in the series. Support for more than one title may be included in the same application, or may be submitted as separate applications. A maximum of two applications per publisher / applicant is allowed.

No. We need evidence that you hold the rights to the work in the application.

Yes, however you will need to provide a copy of the rights agreement and details of how the work will be published and distributed if there is no publisher in place. Applications from translators who don’t have a publisher in place can be submitted to Arts Projects for Individuals and Groups.

Yes, however the majority of the funds should go towards the costs of translation.

Yes, however you will need to explain how the funds will be allocated.  These should exclude printing and editorial costs.

No, we can only pay grants in Australian dollars. Please make sure your bank can transact in Australian dollars or has an established relationship with an intermediary bank that can.

If you need help with your application, contact Artists Services.

Additional information

Once you submit your application, we will send you an email acknowledging receipt of your application.

After you submit your application, we first check it meets the eligibility criteria for the grant or opportunity to which you are applying.

Applications to the Australia Council Grant Programs are assessed by arts practice peer panels against the published assessment criteria for the relevant grant program.

We aim to notify you of the outcome of your application no later than 12 weeks after the published closing date for the applicable grant round.

Once all applications have been assessed, you will be contacted about the outcome of your application. If you have been successful, you will also be sent a funding agreement. This outlines the conditions of funding, how you will be paid and your grant reporting requirements. The following accordion items outline these stages in more detail.

If your application is successful, you will receive an email advising you a grant is offered. You must then agree to the conditions of your grant, which represents the Australia Council’s contract with you – this can be done online, by email or by letter. Payment of a grant will not be made until the grant conditions have been agreed and accepted by all the relevant parties.

You should not start a project that depends on a grant until all relevant parties have agreed and accepted the grant conditions and we have evidence of such acceptance on file.

Standard grant conditions require you to, among other things:

  • seek prior approval for making a change to a funded project (for example, changes in the activity budget; changes to key creative personnel; or changes to start or end dates)
  • respond to requests for information about the project or grant
  • satisfactorily account for how the grant is spent (if you do not you will be required to return all monies for which you cannot satisfactorily account)
  • comply with all applicable laws
  • acknowledge the Australia Council’s support in all promotional material associated with the project; this includes use of the Australia Council’s logo and a standard text of acknowledgement.
  • provide artistic and financial acquittal reports at the end of the project
  • return any unspent grant funds at the completion of your project or on notice from us to return such unspent funds.

Grant agreements must be signed by a legal entity – either a legally constituted organisation or an individual. For unincorporated groups, see the section on administered grants

All individual or organisation grant applicants based in Australia must have an ABN. Individual applicants without an ABN may have their grant administered by an individual or organisation with an ABN. Organisations operating outside of Australia do not need an ABN to apply. Individuals based outside of Australia may not need an ABN to apply, depending on their circumstances (please check with your accountant or tax advisor).

The name of the applicant must match the name of the ABN and the name of the bank account into which we pay the funds. There are no exceptions to this rule. If applicants cannot provide an ABN and bank account that are in the same name as the applicant’s name, they will need to nominate an administrator for their grant.

Groups/ensembles/collectives, unincorporated associations/ unincorporated entities and other bodies with no legal status do not need an administrator if they have an active Australian Business Number (ABN) and bank account in their name. If they are unable to provide an active ABN and bank account that matches the name of the applicant, they must nominate an administrator. The name of the administrator must match the name of the ABN and bank account into which funds are paid if the application is successful.

If we approve your application you will need accept the conditions of the grant in a funding agreement.

After you accept your funding agreement online, we will automatically generate a payment for the grant on your behalf. You do not need to send us an invoice.

We will pay grant funds directly into your nominated bank account within two weeks after acceptance of the funding agreement. Grant payments cannot be postponed.

If you do not wish to have the grant funds paid directly into your bank account you can choose to have your grant administered by another individual or legally constituted organisation (Doesn’t apply to Arts Projects – Organisations).

When you apply, you will be asked to provide an active Australian Business Number or ‘ABN’. The ABN that you provide must correspond to the name of the applicant (or the administering body, if one has been nominated). When you accept your funding agreement, you will be asked to enter the details of the bank account you wish the grant to be paid into. The name associated with that bank account must correspond to the name in which the ABN has been registered.

Download the Australia Council for the Arts logo guidelines here.

Download the Major Festivals Initiative logo guidelines here.

Grant reports are required on completion of your project. Acquitting a grant means accurately reporting on the funded activities and the expenditure of Australia Council funding.

Please read your funding agreement to check details of the grant acquittal material you should provide.

The grant acquittal report is where you tell us:

  • how you spent your grant
  • what the artistic outcomes of your funded activity were.

If you do not provide a satisfactory grant report at the times and in the manner detailed in your funding agreement, the Australia Council will not make any further payments that may be due to you, and you will not be eligible  to apply for further grants.

If you do not provide a satisfactory grant report, the Australia Council may ask you to pay back all or part of the funding provided to you.

Grant reports are used by the Australia Council to fulfil obligations of accountability to the Australian Government. They are also essential to the development work of the Australia Council. The reports help us evaluate the achievements of funded activities, monitor the effectiveness of grant categories and ensure our policy development is consistent with the experience of artists in the field.

Reporting for Multi-year Funded Organisations

Organisations in receipt of multi-year funding are required to submit financial, statistical, and artistic reporting on an annual basis.

All reporting is submitted online via the Australia Council’s arts organisations reporting system.

If you are not sure what reporting you need to submit as part of your annual reporting, or what information to provide, please get in touch with your Australia Council contact.

All recipients must acknowledge that the Australia Council provided funding for their activities. When you acquit your grant, we will ask you how you acknowledged the Australia Council.

For printed or online material use our logo and this phrase:

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body OR The (company name) is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Logos for download and guidelines for the use of our logos.

Where projects do not have a public outcome, or do not produce any printed or online material, you will need to think about how best to acknowledge the Australia Council funding.