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Translation Fund Guidelines and Criteria

Creative New Zealand supports the translation of New Zealand literature into foreign languages with the Translation Fund scheme. Administered by the Publishers Association of New Zealand, these grants can contribute up to 50% of the translation cost to a maximum of NZ$5000 per title.

The Translation Fund is one of the opportunities administered by the PANZ as part of a Contract for Services with Creative New Zealand to deliver Capability Building and International Market Development Initiatives for Literature 2020–2022. You can download an application form online or contact a representative for more information.

We welcome new applications twice a year.

The deadline for the next round is 28 February 2024

Applicants will be notified of the results of their application within four – six weeks of the closing date.

  • Any established foreign publisher purchasing foreign language rights who has an active backlist of no less than four titles, or a New Zealand publishers with a well-regarded publishing programme of New Zealand authors who has partnerships or connections in place to translate books into foreign languages and to distribute and sell books into international markets.
    No more than two grants per year will be given to any one publisher.
  • Sales and translation contracts must be completed and signed at time of application and include a firm commitment to publish regardless of the outcome of the application.
  • The translation must be prior to printing stage at time of application.
  • Priority will be given to applications that demonstrate alignment with Creative New Zealand’s other international market development activities

Titles must meet Creative New Zealand’s definition of literature. Literature is a broad, inclusive concept that includes the research, writing and publishing of high-quality work in fiction or non-fiction.

Eligible genres include:`

  • Fiction, including but not limited to, novels, novellas, short stories, poetry, children’s fiction (including picture books), young adult fiction, graphic novels, and speculative fiction such as fantasy fiction, science fiction, detective fiction, and historical fiction.
  • Non-fiction includes, but isn’t limited to, autobiography, biography, essays, social commentary, literary criticism, reviews, analytical prose, non-fiction written for children, young adult non-fiction, and writing about the physical and natural sciences.
  • Customary and contemporary practices of all the peoples of Aotearoa/New Zealand, including Māori and Pasifika peoples and the diverse cultures of people living in Aotearoa/New Zealand today.
  • NEW: Picture Books are now eligible for translation grants.

Titles that are NOT eligible include:

  • Work created as part of an education course, e.g. textbooks and other works created for primary, secondary or tertiary educational purposes; academic theses or coursework undertaken as part of any tertiary education programme, including coursework in creative writing
  • instruction manuals
  • guide books
  • phrase books
  • do-it-yourself and how-to books
  • travel guides
  • gardening books
  • recipe books
  • bibliographies
  • dictionaries
  • encyclopaedias
  • professional reference works
  • newsletters
  • hymn books and publisher catalogues.
Application process

The application process is simple and is completed by emailing required documents to The following documents must be attached:

  • fully completed application form (download)
  • a signed licence agreement
  • a signed translator’s contract
  • a copy of the translator’s CV
  • an 8-10 page translation sample of the work in the application (along with the corresponding passage in English)
  • a publisher profile
  • up to one page outlining marketing and publicity plans for the title.
Grant decisions

Applications are considered twice a year and we aim to have decisions advised within four-six weeks of the given deadline.  Decisions are advised by email and successful applicants are required to sign a letter of agreement.

Strategic priorities

Applications are open to everybody who meets the eligibility criteria. When evaluating applications, particular weighting may be given to applications which offer larger potential readerships due to:

  • potential audience in the territory
  • publisher size and or reputation
  • publisher marketing investment
  • Creative New Zealand strategic objectives.

For more details on the assessment process see below.

Who assesses your application?

An external peer assessor will assess your application. Recommendations are made to Creative New Zealand’s Senior Manager for Arts Development Services for a decision.

What your application will be assessed on


Does the application demonstrate the involved parties have the capability to deliver against objectives of the Translation Fund?

We look for the following indicators:

  • The translator’s CV shows the translator has the requisite skills and experience to complete an excellent translation of the original work
  • The original work has received a degree of critical or sales success in New Zealand
  • The publisher is well-known and/or has a solid reputation
  • The application demonstrates a track record of supporting New Zealand literature
  • The marketing plan demonstrates a commitment to promote the title widely using a range of different media
  • The potential audience in the territory is large.

Strategic Fit

Does the translation align with the Creative New Zealand international strategy that New Zealand arts gain international success?

Scoring your application

This assessment scale is used to score Capability

3 = Exceeds indicator

2 = Meets indicator

1 = Indicator not met

Strategic Fit

2= demonstrates two or more success measures

1 = demonstrates one success measure

Note: Double weight is applied to Strategic Fit

How often you can apply

You can make up to two applications per year. Each application must be for a different project.

Reapplying for the same project

You can only reapply for the same project if you have written permission from PANZ. Contact PANZ first to see if your application  is eligible for re-submission.

Grant payments

Grant payment is made on receipt of three print copies of the translated edition, complete with Creative New Zealand logo and acknowledgement text on the copyright page of the book, and submission of an invoice.


Successful applicants will be required to provide follow-up information on the number of copies sold, as well as any comments on their involvement with the scheme.

Contact information

For further information or to enquire about submitted applications please contact:

Katherine Shanks, Membership Services Manager,

Publishers Association of New Zealand PO Box 33319, Takapuna, Auckland 0740 New Zealand