Record number of applications and grants for translations of Icelandic literature into other languages

108 applications for translation grants were received by the Icelandic Literature Center at the beginning of 2021, and 87 grants have been allocated for translations into 28 languages.

15. March, 2021 News

Icelandic literature remains as popular as ever internationally, despite the pandemic. A Nordic translation initiative, and new approaches to promotion of books and authors abroad, have yielded good results.

It is gratifying to observe that Icelandic literature remains as popular as ever internationally, despite the pandemic, as witness the record number of applications for translation grants to the Icelandic Literature Center.

108 applications were received from publishers abroad for the first of two rounds of allocations this year for translations from Icelandic into other languages. This is by far the highest number of applications ever received for one round of allocations. Twenty applications were for translations into other Nordic languages.

For comparison, in 2020 a total of 70 applications were received for the first round of allocations, so the number has risen 54% in one year.

Grants allocated to 87 translations from Icelandic

The Center has now allocated grants for 87 translations from Icelandic into 28 languages, including 18 into Nordic languages. At the same time last year, 62 grants were allocated.

This time the grants go to translations into English,  Dutch, Swedish, Hungarian, Faroese, Italian and Japanese and more. 

See here a list of allocated grants and books.

Increased interest in Icelandic books, Nordic initiative and new methods of promotion

The increase in numbers of applications for translation grants is partly attributable to a Nordic initiative launched at the start of the pandemic, while interest in Icelandic literature has been clear and growing internationally in recent months. This is particularly interesting and gratifying in view of the present global situation, as conventional means of promoting books, such as literary festivals and book fairs, tours by authors, public readings, etc. have not been possible.

Diverse measures applied

In response to the situation the Icelandic Literature Center has applied a range of measures to promote Icelandic books and their authors internationally. These include, for instance, videos of Icelandic writers in English and French, made in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Icelandic embassies, Promote Iceland and other bodies, the new Authors'Page on the Center's website, and the above-mentioned Nordic translation initiative.

The photo shows some covers of translations which have been allocated grants. 

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