The following are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Translation Projects.
- Will you accept joint applications?
No. Translation fellowships are individual grants. However, the NEA recognizes that many translators work collaboratively. You may use a translation project grant to work on a collaborative project, if your application so indicates. If you apply to work on a collaborative project, you must submit a statement that outlines the role(s) of the collaborator(s) and the recognition that he/she/they will receive for the project. The manuscript sample must be by the collaborative team.
The collaborator(s) are not required to meet the eligibility requirements, as they are not applicants for funding.
Only works by the applicant and/or the collaborative team may be used to establish eligibility. Works translated independently by the applicant’s collaborator(s) do not meet the eligibility requirements.
- Will the NEA fund translations into languages other than English?
No. Projects must be for translations of literary material from any language into English only.
- Can book galleys count toward meeting the eligibility requirements?
No. In order to apply, you must meet the eligibility requirements by the deadline date. Reader's advance copies, galleys, uncorrected proofs, and commitments for future publication or production do not fulfill the requirements. No exceptions are made to the eligibility requirements.
If the publisher verifies that the English-language rights are available, is that sufficient approval to meet copyright requirements?
No. Simply stating the availability of English-language rights to a work does not demonstrate that you have been granted permission to translate a work. Although the NEA does not require applicants to secure publishing rights, it will not fund work that is not authorized by the rights holder(s) and therefore would not have a chance of eventual publication. You must demonstrate, in writing, that the author/rights holder(s) will allow you to undertake a translation of the specified work.
If you propose to translate an anthology, appropriate permission must be secured from the rights holder(s) of each work that would appear in the proposed translation.
If a work is in the public domain, you do not have to secure permission to translate it.
- Do scholarly articles count toward establishing eligibility?
No. Eligibility must be established through translations of creative writing -- fiction, poetry, drama, or belles-lettres (creative nonfiction, criticism, and essays). Articles written in English that contain translated passages do not count toward eligibility.
- Do blogs count as eligible publications?
In general, no; they are considered self-publication. However, curated blogs are emerging that may be eligible publication sources. Contact the Literature staff for a specific determination of eligibility.
May I submit a letter of recommendation if I am not a graduate student?
No. Only graduate students are allowed to submit a letter of recommendation. Applicants that are not graduate students will have their letter removed from the application.
- Do I have to submit my application in English?
Yes, all application material must be submitted in English with only one exception for those portions of the original work which your sample translation renders.
- Can I submit translations of my own writing to establish eligibility?
Yes, you may include in your Summary of Applicant Publications/Productions a list of translations (into English) of your own writing (poetry, prose, drama).
If you have questions about your application, please contact the Literature staff at 202/682-5034 or e-mail LitFellowships@arts.gov.