TRANSLATION PROJECTS: How to Prepare and Submit an Application

Application Deadline: December 8, 2015

These application guidelines provide all of the information that you need to submit an application. We urge you to read these instructions in their entirety before you begin the application process. You should keep these instructions open in a window in your computer as they contain helpful links to information that you will need as you complete your application.

Electronic application through is MANDATORY.

  1. Register with Registration is a one-time process, which can take a day or more to complete.

  2. Verify that you have a version of Adobe Reader that is supported by installed on your computer before you download your new application package from

  3. Submit your application no later than 10 days prior to the deadline to give yourself ample time to resolve any problems that you might encounter. You take a significant risk by waiting until the day of the deadline to submit.

    • The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (Phone: 1-800-518-4726.)
    • Submit your application outside of's hours of heaviest usage, generally 12 noon to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time.
    • The Arts Endowment will not accept late applications.
    • Applicants are responsible for submitting a complete application. Incomplete applications will be rejected without panel review.

The system must receive your validated and accepted application no later than 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on December 8, 2015.

If you are unable to submit your application electronically, you may request a waiver. A waiver will be granted for the following reasons only:

  • Internet access is not available within a 30-mile radius of your address. Disability prevents you from submitting your application electronically.

Your waiver request must be in writing and must be received (not postmarked) at the Arts Endowment at least three weeks before the application deadline. Click here for more information on waivers.


Register with [Back to Top]

NOTE: Applicants are required to change their passwords every 60 days. See for more details on requirements for Usernames and Passwords.

It is your responsibility to create and maintain a registration with Registration is a one-time process, which can take a day or more to complete. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE DAY OF THE APPLICATION DEADLINE TO REGISTER to allow time to resolve any issues that may arise. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in your inability to submit your application.

To register, click: Individual Registration. You will be asked to provide the Funding Opportunity Number of the grant. Enter 2016NEA03LFTP for Literature Fellowships: Translation Projects. If you have problems with registration contact at 1-800-518-4726, e-mail, or consult the information posted on the website at Support. The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Maintain documentation (with dates) of your efforts to register before the deadline.

You do not need to complete the registration process to download the application package and begin to prepare your material (see below). However, you will need your Username and Password that you obtain during the registration process to submit your application. Remember to store your Username and Password in a location that is easy for you to access so that when you are ready to upload your application, you will have that information readily accessible.

Download the Application Package [Back to Top]

  1. Verify your software.

    You must have a version of Adobe Reader that is supported by installed on your computer before you download your application package from Non-compatible versions of Adobe Reader or other Adobe products will lead to errors and prevent you from submitting your application. If more than one computer will be involved in the preparation of the application package, ensure that the same version of Adobe Reader is used.

    Please go to "Download Software" to see the compatible versions of Adobe Reader  or to download and install Adobe Reader.

  2. Access the application package on by clicking on the link below.


    [Funding Opportunity Number 2016NEA03LFTP]

    This will bring you to the "Selected Grant Applications for Download" screen.

    Download the application package and follow the instructions below. It is not necessary to download the instructions from as you will merely be directed back to the instructions in this document. Therefore, we recommend keeping these instructions open in a separate window on your computer screen as your prepare and submit the application.

    If you have a compatible version of Adobe Reader and are still experiencing difficulty downloading the application package, try using a different Internet browser.

  3. When you download the application package, the "Grant Application Package" screen will open. Click on the "Save" button and save the application package to a location on your computer or network where you can find it readily. Save your application each time you work on it. You will get the message: "The File already exists. Replace existing file?" Click "Yes" to ensure that you always save the most recent version. Remember to save your work regularly. After you've downloaded the application package, you are responsible for saving your work. You are not working in "the cloud" and anything not saved by the applicant will be lost.

  4. On the first page of the application package, you will see a field for "Application Filing Name." Enter your legal name here.

  5. You can access each Mandatory form by clicking on it OR you can scroll down your screen and you will come to each form in succession.

    The forms are:

  6. Complete the application based on the Application Instructions outlined below.

Submit Your Electronic Application [Back to Top]

  1. Check the size of your electronic application. The total size should not exceed 10 MB.

  2. To begin the submission process, click the Save & Submit button. [This button will not become active (and turn from light to dark gray) until you have saved your application with all required fields completed. Clicking this button will prompt you to save your application package one last time. When asked if you want to replace the existing file, click "Yes." You will then be reconnected to and the Internet.] You will be prompted to provide your Username and Password that you obtained during registration. Remember to keep this information readily accessible so that you can quickly find it when prompted.

  3. Click the "Login" button. This will bring you to the "Application Submission Verification and Signature" screen, which provides a summary of the Funding Opportunity for which you are applying. Click the "Sign and Submit Application" button to complete the process. Be certain that you are satisfied with your application before you click this button. No revisions are possible through once it is submitted.

    If you have difficulty submitting, go to Adobe Reader Error Messages or Applicant Resources for several tools and documents to help you.

  4. Ensure that your application was validated and accepted by the system. Go to Track My Application to track the validation and progress of your application submission through After the Arts Endowment retrieves your application from, log in to the system by using your Username and Password to receive your Agency Tracking Number (this will be the Arts Endowment-assigned application number).

Additional Help

For additional help on how to use, please see the website at  Applicant Resources. You also can send e-mail to the Contact Center at or call them at 1-800-518-4726 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For specific help on how to complete your application, please review the instructions in these guidelines or contact the Literature staff at 202/682-5034 or We also encourage you to check the "Frequently Asked Questions" for information.

For a complete application, follow Steps 1-3 below

A complete application consists of:         

Applications that are determined to be incomplete will be rejected without panel review.

Step 1: Fill out the Application for Federal Assistance SF 424 - Individual [Back to Top]

NOTE: All asterisked (*) items and yellow fields on this form are required and must be completed before you will be able to submit the form. Do not type in all capital letters when completing the form. Enter information directly into the form. Do not copy from an old application package or another document and paste into the form.

1. Name of Federal Agency: Pre-populated.

2. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: Pre-populated.

3. Date Received: This will be filled automatically with the date that you submit your application; leave blank.

4. Funding Opportunity Number: Pre-populated.

5. Applicant Information:

a. Name and Contact Information:
Applicants using pen names must list their legal name here. All transactions with the Arts Endowment must be made using the legal name. Be sure to enter your e-mail address (you will be notified via e-mail). Contact information must be valid through November 2016. You must notify us of any changes.

b. Address:
Enter information for your permanent address. Information must be valid through November 2016. (If you live outside the U.S., please submit your international address.)

Use Street 1 for your street address or post office box number, whichever is used for your U.S. Postal Service mailing address. Street 2 is not a required field and should be used only when a Suite or Room Number or other similar information is part of your address. Do not use Street 2 to provide a second address.

In the Zip/Postal Code box, enter the full 9-digit zip code (00000-0000) that was assigned by the U.S. Postal Service. If you do not know your full zip code, you may look it up at .

c. Citizenship Status: If you are a permanent resident of the United States, provide your Alien Registration Number.

d. Congressional District of Applicant: Enter the Congressional District that corresponds to your permanent address. Use the following format: 2 character State Abbreviation-3 character District Number. For example, if you live in the 5th Congressional District of California, enter "CA-005." If your state has a single At-Large Representative or your territory has a single Delegate, enter your 2 character state/territory abbreviation and "-000." If you need help determining your district, please visit the House of Representatives website at and use the "Find Your Representative" tool.

6. Project Information: a. Project Title: Indicate the title, author, and language of the work that you propose to translate.

b. Project Description: In two or three sentences, briefly describe your specific project. Include the genre and the approximate number of total pages to be translated.

c. Proposed Project Start Date/End Date: Enter your preferred beginning and ending dates. The beginning date must fall between November 1, 2016, and November 1, 2017, and the period of performance may extend up to two years. Your period of performance must begin on the first day of the month and end on the last day of the month.

7. Signature Block: By clicking the "I Agree" box, you are certifying that your application is true and correct to the best of your knowledge and that you are in compliance with relevant federal requirements that can be found in the Assurance of Compliance section of these guidelines. The "Signature" and "Date Signed" boxes will be populated by upon submission of the application.

Step 2: Complete and Attach Required Items to the Attachments Form [Back to Top]

The "Attachments Form" is not a form in the conventional sense. Rather, it is a place to attach documents that you have completed and saved elsewhere on your computer.

  1. Attachment 1 (Literature Fellowships Application Supplemental Information) is a fillable form; you will find a link to it here. This form can be filled in, saved to your computer, and attached without the need for special software or conversion to PDF.

    Please be sure you are using Adobe Reader (version 9 or higher) when filling out our PDF forms.

    Note to Mac users: Your computer may be set to open PDF files using Preview (you can tell which program is being used to view a PDF file by looking at the left-most item in the menu bar). Please verify that you are using Adobe Reader and not Preview. If you don't have Adobe Reader installed, you can download it here:

  2. Attachments 2 - 13 are non-form documents (e.g., resumes, descriptions of work) that you will develop in accordance with the instructions provided. These items must be submitted as PDF (portable document format) files.

    These non-form documents can be created using any word processing software. When you have completed the document, save it to your computer and convert it to PDF before attaching. If you don't already have software to convert files to PDF, there are many low-cost and free software packages that can do this. To learn more, go to PDF Conversion Programs.

    Remember: the simplest way to create a PDF is to use the "Save As" option and choose "Save as a PDF" (or similar wording) in your word processing software.

    With the exception of Items 8, 11, and 12, do not create PDFs of your electronic documents by scanning. In the past, some applicants have printed their electronic documents and then scanned them, saving the scan in PDF format. PDFs created this way are much larger, and of lower quality, than PDFs created by the methods we recommend.

    If you submit Items 8, 11, and 12 as scanned documents, please observe the following guidelines:

    • Scan images at a resolution of 300 dpi. Resolutions over 300 dpi will result in unnecessarily large files.

    • Save the images as black-and-white JPEGs. Please be sure you are not saving them in color, as this significantly increases the file size.

    • Experiment with the JPEG quality settings. Saving the document as a "medium quality" or "low quality" JPEG will reduce the file size, and is not likely to reduce readability.

    • When you have scanned the images, combine them into a single PDF file. Submit a single file; do not submit a separate file for each scanned page.

    • When you have created the document you are going to submit, print out a few pages to make sure it is easily readable.

    Do not embed non-printable media files (video and/or sound) in your PDF documents. Static images (e.g., pictures) are acceptable. Please do not enable any document security settings or password-protect any PDF file you submit to us.

    No attachment should be more than 2 MB.

  3. For non-form documents, label pages clearly with the name of the item (e.g., Justification for New Translation) and your legal name. Leave a margin of at least one inch at the top, bottom, and sides of all pages. Do not reduce type below 12 point font size. Do not type in all capital letters. Number pages sequentially. Excess pages will be removed and not be reviewed.

  4. Name your files as indicated below and attach them in the proper order. Limit file names to 50 or fewer characters and use only the following characters when naming your attachments: A-Z, a-z, 0-9, underscore (_), hyphen (-), space, and period. If you do not follow this rule, your application may be rejected. Please note that you cannot change the name of a file on the Attachments Form. Therefore make certain that each file is named correctly before you attach it.

When you open the Attachments Form, you will find 15 attachment buttons. By clicking on a button, you will be able to choose the PDF file from your computer that you wish to attach. Please attach the proper file to the proper button as listed below.

The Attachments



To this button, attach the Literature Fellowships Application Supplemental Information form. We collect this information to inform the agency about the composition of the application pool. This information is not provided to panelists, nor is it taken into consideration for the awarding of grants. The file name should be your last name followed by "SuppInfo" (e.g., JonesSuppInfo).

Under Category Under Which Support is Requested, check "Translation Projects." Then choose prose, poetry, or drama. Note if this is a collaborative project or a retranslation. Specify the language of the work to be translated.

ATTACHMENT 2: APPLICANT RESUME/NARRATIVE (three-page, single-spaced maximum)

To this button attach your resume or a narrative account of your education and experience. Indicate any time that you spent in the country of origin and any previous cooperation (or commitment for future cooperation) with the author(s) of the original work, or other relevant information including your previous translation(s) in the language for the proposed project. The file name should be your last name followed by "Resume."

For collaborations,include a resume or narrative account of the credentials of your collaborator(s) (three-page maximum).


If your project is for a collaboration, to this button attach a statement of agreement that specifies the role of the collaborator(s) and the recognition that he/she/they will receive for the project. The file name should be your last name followed by "Collab."

Please read FAQ #1 for additional information on applying with a project in collaboration.


Graduate students may attach to this button a letter of recommendation from a current or former professor. The file name should be your last name followed by "Letter."

If you are not a graduate student, do not attach a letter of recommendation. If you do, it will be removed by staff and not sent to the panel.

ATTACHMENT 5: RESUME OF AUTHOR(S) TO BE TRANSLATED (two-page, single-spaced maximum)

To this button, attach a resume or biographical information for the author(s) of the work that you wish to translate. The file name should be your last name followed by "AuthorResume."

ATTACHMENT 6: DESCRIPTION OF WORK TO BE TRANSLATED (two-page, single-spaced maximum)

To this button, attach a brief description of the work that you wish to translate. The file name should be your last name followed by "DescriptionofWork."

Describe the work's scope, importance, and place in the author's works; and explain why you selected this author and this work. For example, if you are proposing an anthology of an author's selected poems or stories, or a multi-genre reader from an author's work, etc., you should provide the editorial rationale for why certain works are included and others are excluded. List any existing English translations of the author's work and indicate whether the author has been translated into any languages other than English. Whenever possible, cite reviews of the original work. Include information on your translation philosophy.

ATTACHMENT 7: JUSTIFICATION OF NEED, IF APPLICABLE (two-page, single-spaced maximum)

If the proposed project is a retranslation, to this button attach a statement justifying the need for a new translation including specific examples from the proposed project. The file name should be your last name followed by "JustificationforRetranslation."


To this button, attach information on the right to translate the work specified in your application. The file name should be your last name followed by "Rights."

This must be either:

  • Written permission (in the form of an official e-mail or letter) from the copyright holder, or a legal designee (such as an agent or publisher), that grants you the right to translate the work specified in your application. The written permission must explicitly identify the copyright holder, date of consent, and the specific work.


  • A statement that you have verified that the material to be translated is in the public domain.

You must have secured any rights necessary by the time of application. If written permission from the copyright holder is in a foreign language, you must provide an English translation. The Arts Endowment may contact you for further documentation of rights clearance at any time.

Please see FAQ #4 for additional information on copyright requirements.


If your Translation Sample is an excerpt from a novel, play, or other long work, to this button attach a précis that places the manuscript sample in context. The file name should be your last name followed by "Precis."

ATTACHMENT 10: TRANSLATION SAMPLE (10 to 15 pages maximum, single-spaced for drama or poetry, double-spaced for prose)

To this button, attach one copy of a typescript, 10- to 15-page sample of your translation. The file name should be your last name followed by "Manuscript."

When preparing your manuscript sample:

  • Include your name and the page number in the upper right corner of each page.
  • Do not crowd pages.
  • Do not submit more than the maximum number of pages that are allowed; excess pages will be removed.
  • Ensure prose manuscripts are double-spaced; poetry and drama manuscripts may be single-spaced with no more than one poem per page.
  • Draw from the same body of work that you propose to translate during the grant period.

For collaborative projects, your manuscript sample must be prepared by the collaborative team. All other application material must be the independent work of the applicant.

ATTACHMENT 11: SAMPLE OF ORIGINAL WORK (Pages correspond to 10-15 page Translation Sample)

To this button, attach one copy of those portions of the original work which your sample translation renders. The file name should be your last name followed by "OriginalWork." Put your name and the page number on the upper right corner of each page. Label the sample with the English translation of the foreign language title and author. Make sure your document is easily readable; unreadable documents will not be reviewed. Do not submit the entire original work -- only submit those pages that your Translation Sample renders.


If your project is for a retranslation, to this button attach one clearly reproduced and labeled copy of one existing published translation of the approximate sample submitted. The file name should be your last name followed by "ExistingTranslation." Put your name and the page number on the upper right corner of each page. Label the sample with the English translation of the foreign language title and author. Make sure your document is easily readable; unreadable documents will not be reviewed. Do not submit the entire existing translation -- only submit those pages that correspond with your Translation Sample.


To this button, attach a Summary of Applicant Publications/Productions to establish your eligibility. The file name should be your last name followed by "SummaryPubsProds."

List the specific published translations into English that establish your eligibility (see Eligibility for details). For each publication note:

  • Title, author.
  • Language, genre.
  • Publisher (including name of magazine or press with physical address, web address, and phone number).
  • Publication date (month and year, or volume/issue).
  • ISBN or ISSN number, if a print publication.
  • Number of pages that you translated.
  • Page numbers (if a journal or anthology). If online, list the exact URL of the translation.

If your eligibility is based on the presentation or production of your translation of at least one full-length play, note the title, author, producing company, location, and dates of each performance.

Your Summary of Applicant Publications/Productions should be formatted exactly like the example below:

Title/Author:  A Walk in the City/ John Doe
Language/Genre:  Spanish/poem
Publisher: University Press, 1234 Main St., Springfield, IL,, 123-456-7891
Publication Date/ Volume-Issue:  12/2011/ Vol. 5 Issue 2
ISBN or ISSN: 0000000000
# of pages: 7
Page # or URL: 131-137

Title/Author:  "Hidden Moon"/ Flores Paz
Language/Genre:  Spanish/short story
Publisher:  Violet Journal, 44 Spring St., Mesa, AZ,, 333-456-7891
Publication Date/ Volume-Issue: 10/2011/ Vol. 32 Issue 4 (Fall)
ISBN or ISSN: n/a
# of pages: 5
Page # or URL:

Upon request, you must provide proof of eligibility to the Arts Endowment in the form of one or more of the following ways:

  1. The title page or cover with your name and the title of the work.

  2. The copyright page with the publisher's information; publication date (month and year); ISBN or ISSN number, if a print publication; or URL, if publication is online only.

  3. If you are using the production of a play to establish your eligibility, proof that your translation of the play was presented or produced by a professional theater company [e.g., playbill with date(s), promotional material].

NOTE: When you check the Certification box on the SF 424-Individual form, you are certifying that all parts of your application, including your summary of the publications/productions that establish your eligibility, are true and correct to the best of your knowledge. 

You do not have to fill in the remaining attachment buttons.

Step 3: Submit Items in Steps 1-2 above electronically through [Back to Top]

Follow the detailed instructions under "Submit your electronic application" above.