Publishing houses from Serbia are among the most successful ones at the competition for literary translations for the fifth year in a row, and we would like to help continue this trend in the coming years! This is why we are bringing your attention to specific guidelines and novelties in the competition.
1. Translate from Serbian into big European languages
Creative Europe programme is giving priority in support to translations done from “small” into “big” European languages. With a well thought-out strategy of promotion on the international market (fairs, bookstores, special events and online sales..) projects of translating domestic authors into one of the bigger EU languages have better chances of success.
2. Include works written in rarely translated languages
If you are translating into Serbian, there are languages from which literary works have rarely been translated. The competition is encouraging quality and diversity of offer on the book market, so take into consideration translating from Norwegian, Latvian, Irish, Lithuanian, Danish, Finnish, Swedish, Maltese, Icelandic, and also translations from small languages recognised by constitutions in countries participating in the programme: Basque (Spain), Arabic (Malta), Roma (Slovenia), Turkish (Cyprus), Catalan (Spain), Aranese (Spain), Occitan (Spain), Galician (Spain), Sami (Finland), Frisian (Netherlands), Welsh and Scottish Gaelic (United Kingdom), Old Greek and Latin … In the case there is no translator available for these languages, using bridge translation is allowed i.e. using the existing (authorised) translations. We are emphasising it is important to check the status of selected languages because recognised translations include only the officially recognised languages in the countries of Creative Europe, where the source or language of translation must be an officially recognised EU/EFTA language.
3. Choose less frequent genres
Projects proposing translation of literary works of less common genres, such as literature for youth (children, adolescents and young adults) comic books/ graphic novels, short stories and poetry, are especially welcomed. Apart from the listed genres, it is possible to translate libretto operas, dramas and other literary works containing elements of fiction.
4. Choose an innovative topic
The topic that will frame the choice of publications you are translating is an important aspect of evaluating the relevance of the project proposal. Relevance of the topic is evaluated based on the following criteria: the existence of the so-called European dimension, i.e. importance and specific nature for various countries, cultures and people living on European soil (shared topics and questions for Europeans which help approximation and better understanding of people and different shared phenomena); how current it is (the topic is important from the position of current problems, debates, situations) or innovative (the topic is new, unexplored, unprocessed and can be linked on the European soil, in the field of European literature, art, critical thought).
5. Design a convincing promotion strategy
The project can be an opportunity to build a stronger relationship with your recurring reading audience in a new way – by introducing new ways of communication, expressing gratitude for their loyalty or including the audience in the process of preparing and promoting the publication (e.g. an invitation for a joint selection of the design of the publication cover). Also, the project can be an opportunity to address a new group of audience that you wish to win over – local community, people with special interests (athletes, fishing enthusiasts, gourmets …). In finding inspiration you can use the publication Audience Development in Serbia. A convincing strategy of promotion implies designing a set of activities that will increase the visibility of the project, using innovative practices and tools, and especially alongside utilising digital technologies. The plan of promotion must be realistic – it is necessary to state and plan the required human, temporal and other resources. You be creative here as well. For example, if your set of books is dealing with opera music in Europe, you can sell books together with opera tickets or in a set with a red lipstick and nail polish!
6. Secure automatic point with titles that won the EU Prize
The list of candidates has been published, and soon the name of the winners of the EU Prize for Literature will be known. Although numerous awarded works have already been translated into Serbian, bear in mind there are titles which have not yet been translated!
• Baştankara (Chickadee), Sine Ergün, Turkey
• Sekoj so svoeto ezero (Each with their own lake), Nenad Joldeski, North Macedonia
• Dak li l-Lejl Iħallik Tgħid (What the Night Lets You Say), Pierre J. Mejlak, Malta
• Man wortet sich die Orte selbst (Wording the Places Oneself), Iren Nigg, Lichtenstein
• Šiąnakt aš miegosiu prie sienos (Tonight I Shall Sleep by the Wall), Giedra Radvilaviciute, Lithuania
• Žuvys ir drakonai (Fishes and Dragons), Undinė Radzevičiūtė, Lithuania
• Amok. Eng Lëtzebuerger Liebeschronik (Amok. A Luxembourg love story), Tullio Forgiarini, Luxembourg
• Mierinājums Ādama kokam (A Solace for Adam’s Tree (a collection of stories)), Inga Zolude, Latvia
• Die dunkle Muse (The Dark Muse), Armin Öhri, Lichtenstein
Apart from this, the titles of domestic authors who won the EU Prize have so far been translated to:
• Quite Modest Gifts– Bulgarian, Macedonian, Hungarian, Italian, Moldavian, Polish, Slovenian and Ukrainian.
• The Fairground Magician, Jelena Lengold – Albanian, Czech, Macedonian, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Slovenian, Spanish, German and English.
• The Chasm, Darko Tuševljaković – Albanian, Bulgarian, Italian and Polish.
We are at your disposal for all questions and we are keeping fingers crossed for you this year!
Kind regards, Team of the Creative Europe Desk Serbia