The Arts> Literature


The Federal Foreign Office supports through different cultural exchange institutions information centres abroad for German literature and the translation of German literature into various foreign languages as well as the translation of literature from other countries in the German language.

Support of Translations

Support of Translation for Publishers

The Goethe Institute encourages with the grant programme Translations of German Books into Other Languages non-German publishers with the publication of translated German titles and contributes part of the translation costs.

The Society for the Promotion of African, Asian and Latin American Literature fosters with its Translation Support Programme for Fiction from African, Asian and Latin American the translation of works from the mentioned regions that are not or only inadequate available in German translation as well as works from countries those literature is represented only insufficiently at the German-speaking book market. The programme is financed from the Federal Foreign Office and the Swiss Cultural Foundation Pro Helvetia.

The Swiss Cultural Foundation Pro Helvetia assists in line with the publisher’s and translation’s support Moving Words Swiss literature publishers combing support of publishers and translators. So the editorial competence should be raised in the field of literature translation and the literary exchange in Switzerland as well as the presence of Swiss literature at the international book markets should be strengthened.

The European Union supports in line with the Programme Culture 2007-2013 publishers and publishing houses which translate high-quality European literature in different languages. Further information in the Programme Guide.

Fritz Thyssen Foundation, VG Wort, the German Publishers and Booksellers Association and the Federal Foreign Office support translations of outstanding books of the social sciences and humane discipline to the Englisch language. With their award Geisteswissenschaften International they support books which are important for the location of science of Germany.

Support of Exchange Programmes for Translators

The support programme Building Literary Bridges of the Robert Bosch Foundation targets professional literary translators from Central and Southeast European countries, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), China as well as Germany, Switzerland, and Austria who translate from and into German. A particular attention of the programmes turns on exchange and networking between translators, helping translators gain a foothold in the current literary scene, and improving the public perception of the art of translation as well as the translators' commitment to their work.

The European Translation Council in Straelen organises various seminars conducing the experience exchange between translators. Furthermore it offers bilingual translating workshops that are concentrated at a fixed language pair and at those native speakers and translators have the possibility to discuss its own texts together.

The Literary Colloquium Berlin fosters the exchange between translators through the activity of seminars and lectures as well as the annually occurring translation’s day with readings, short presentations and literary performance.

Support Programmes for Translators

The support programme Building Literary Bridges of the Robert Bosch Foundation targets professional literary translators from Central and Southeast European countries, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), China as well as Germany, Switzerland, and Austria who translate from and into German. The provided work scholarships will take from one week to one month according to requirements and are organised in cooperation with the Literary Colloquium Berlin and the European Network of Literary Centres – Halma.

The European Translation Council in Straelen offers literary translators who have published at least two longer translations and are working on a translating project commissioned by a publisher residences and grants.

The translation promotion of the Literary Colloquium Berlin is addressed on the one hand to translators with the target language German as well as on the other hand to translators of German literature. Alongside it offers bilingual translation workshops for agents of a special language pair.

The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia aims to increase with its support programme Moving Words the quality of literary translation in Switzerland.

The Hieronymus-Programme a jointly initiative of the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Federal Government Representative for Culture and Media offers the opportunity for young translators with the native language German to work at its own translation project at the European Translator Colloquium Straelen.

The Goldschmidt Programme is organised jointly by the Frankfurt Book Fair, the German-French Youth Office and the Bureau International de l’Édition Française. It gives German and French up-and-coming translators the chance to get to know publishing companies of both countries and to work at translation projects under the guidance of experienced translators.

The German Translator’s Fund offers various support programmes amongst others also work and travel scholarships for translators of foreign-language works into German.

The Network of European Literary Institutions Halma organises scholarships for writers, translators and promoters of literature. Each scholarship lasts for two months, and includes a grant holder’s stay in at least two different host countries. Usually grant holders spend one month in the first host country and then travel to a second one.

The Alfred Toepfer Foundation and the Goethe Institute offers four to six weeks continuing residence scholarships at the manor Siggen for European translators working at the translation of a subject of the German-speaking literature.

The Translation House Looren in Switzerland offers translators from all nations a place to reside and work for a number of weeks. There up to ten guests can devote themselves to their task and at the same time exchange experiences and ideas with other translators.

Awards for Translations

The Robert Bosch Foundation awards every two years the Karl Dedecius Prize for Polish translators of German literature and German translators of Polish literature. The next award ceremony is in 2011.

The European Translation Council in Straelen awards in cooperation with the Art Foundation NRW the Translator Prize of the Art Foundation NRW. This prize acknowledges outstanding achievements in literary translations from German into another language or from another language into German.

The Literary Colloquium Berlin awards together with the Goethe Institute the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize honouring each year an outstanding literary translation from German into English published in the USA the previous year. The Else Otten Translator’s Prize is awarded every two years for the best German translation of one of the most important literary works from the Dutch.

The Translator’s Prize Tarabya of the Ernst Reuter Initiative is awarded for outstanding literary translations from Turkey to German and from German to Turkey and is offered from the Federal Foreign Office and the Turkish Cultural Ministry.

Support Programmes for Artist in the Field of Literature

Funding Programmes of the DAAD for Authors

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) promotes with following programmes for authors and artists free artistic development. For a certain period of time their life and work at appointed places is supported.

The Berlin Artists-in-Residence Programme is one of the most renowned international programmes offering grants in the fields of visual art, literature, music and film. Each year, some 20 grants are awarded to international artists for approximately a one-year stay in Berlin.

The Künstlerhäuser Worpswede see themselves as a place of international encounter. They aim to promote professional artists in the fields of the fine and visual arts, literature and music by awarding residential grants. They also support the projects of the funded artists and present these to the public.

The Foundation Künstlerdorf Schöppingen awards grants to authors and artists as well as in the field New Media and composition. During the time of six month the awardee lives and works in the artists’ village.

The Künstlerhaus Lukas sees itself as a place for artistic work and for international meeting and encounter for professional artists from the disciplines fine arts, literature, dance and music. The international context focuses on the Baltic littoral states.

For particularly well-qualified German students, post-graduate and post-doctoral scholarships in special-field of literature the DAAD offers a number of scholarships and grants.

Solitude Residence Programme

The Akademie Schloss Solitude promotes with its scholarship programmes mainly younger, particularly gifted international artists from the disciplines architecture, visual art, performing art, design, literature, music/sound, video/film/new media.

Application forms and further information at

Artist's House Edenkoben

The Artist's House Edenkoben is a place of meeting for writers, authors, translators, visual artists, musicians and for literature and art interested a audience. The Edenkoben scholarship offers to authors and visual artists the possibility to live and to work several months in the artist's house.

Residence Programme George Sand – Frédéric Chopin

The Federal Government Representative for Culture and Media provides artists of the fields of literature, music, visual arts, performing arts and media arts, a 10-week stay at the Castle Genshagen near Berlin. The participants come from Germany, Poland and France and develop a common result of her artistic work.

Robert Bosch Foundation

The programme Border Crossers of the Robert Bosch Foundation supports in cooperation with the Literary Colloquium Berlin authors preparing publications that focus on making Central and Eastern European issues accessible to a wide audience. The genres may range from literary prose, children’s and youth literature and essays through documentary and motion picture scripts and radio shows.

Literary Colloquium Berlin

The residence scholarship of the Literary Colloquium Berlin (LCB) lasts three month and is addressed to young German-speaking authors who have already published their first work. The scholarships are founded by the State Chancellery Berlin, the Cultural Foundation Pro Helvetia and the branch literature of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture.

The writer’s workshop prosa offers to young authors who cannot show until now a publication the possibility to meet at the Literary Colloquium Berlin at four weekends in autumn each other and to compare notes with mentors.

Scholarship of Literature in Jerusalem

The author's scholarship of the Goethe Institute and the Lower Saxony’s Ministry of Science and Culture is directed to authors who are living and working in Lower Saxony or whose application project is related to Lower Saxony. During the four-month stay in Jerusalem the scholarship-holders should write a literary text which deals with the Israeli-Jewish culture.

P.E.N. Centre Germany

The Writers in Exile Programme offers authors and journalists living in exile the possibility to find an assured home in Germany for several years. The scholarship holders are housed in apartments of the P.E.N., get health insurance and receive an amount for the payment of her living costs. The scholarship is awarded for one year and can be extended.

Halma Network

The Network of European Literary Institutions Halma organises scholarships for writers, translators and promoters of literature. Each scholarship lasts for two months, and includes a grant holder’s stay in at least two different host countries. Usually grant holders spend one month in the first host country and then travel to a second one.

Author's Awards

The Literary Colloquium Berlin awards every year the Alfred Döblin Award for that authors can apply which have at least one self-contained book publication.

The German Youth Literature Award has been awarded annually for outstanding children and young adult books.

Project Support of Federal Cultural Foundation

The Federal Cultural Foundation has made cultural relations between Germany and African countries the theme of the new international programme TURN - Fund for German-African Cooperation. The programme started with a two-year fund to promote artistic exchange and cooperation between artists and institutions from Germany and African countries. The main objective of the programme is to provide incentives to German institutions and artists (museums, theatres, dance companies, art association, composers, writers, publishers, etc.) to broaden their profiles with new themes, working methods and perspectives.

Support of Literature Exchange

German Book Information Centres Abroad

With funding from the Federal Foreign Office and the Goethe Institute, the Frankfurt Book Fair maintains offices abroad in Moscow, Beijing, Bucharest, New York and New Delhi promoting the exchange between the German book market and the respective host country. It organises book exhibitions, professional contact trips and exchange programmes, post-entry careers training seminars for publishers and booksellers and make contacts with opinion-influentials.

Book Fairs and Book Collections

The Frankfurt Book Fair organises German collective stands at international book fairs. Therefore it compiles each year book collections on topical subjects that are currently being discussed in Germany and also noted with interest in other countries.

International Networks of Literature Exchange

TRADUKI is an European Network for literature and books. Beside translation programmes for fiction books, nonfiction books, books for children and young people TRADUKI affords exchange between authors, translators, publishers, librarians, critics and scientists. Its aim is to strengthen the European and interregional exchange of information and cooperation.

Worth Knowing about the Field Literature

Libraries/Data Bases

The Goethe Institute presents at its site books that people talking about new publications at the German book market. The selection of fiction and non-fiction literature reflects current trends and recommendations.

The research library of the Herder Institute collects literature of humanities and social science from and over East and Central Europe in East and West European languages. The collecting field encloses the political cultural history, economic history and social history of the contemporary states Poland, Czech, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as the historical German East areas and the German settlement areas in East and Central Europe.

Featuring the largest specialised European library on Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the Caribbean, the library of the Ibero-American Institute collects and preserves books, magazines, electronic documents, maps, audio media, photographs, videos, DVDs, papers and diverse additional materials. The library systematically acquires materials in all languages and from all corners of the globe. Subject areas include the belles-lettres, humanities, social sciences, economics, jurisprudence and government publications as well as the geological, agricultural and environmental sciences.

The university library of the Freie Universität Berlin offers a database with bibliographical and other information about circa 1,500 German-speaking authors in alphabetical order.

The data base Literature and Translation of UNESCO aims to offer helpful information to translators, publishers, researchers, archivists and teachers, which works at the discovery and promotion of even more unknown literature.

Events in Germany

The eleven Literature Houses in Germany, Austria and Switzerland develop and arrange with different partners international projects and events.

In the worldwide net of the Goethe Institutes there are events organised not only important for Germany but also take place in Germany. An overview provides the calender of events of the Goethe Institute.

The House of World Cultures is a place for international contemporary arts and a forum for current developments and discourse. Visual arts, music, literature, performing arts, film, academic discussions and digital media are all linked in an interdisciplinary programme that is unique in Europe. In cooperation with artists and experts, it offers visitors opportunities to grapple with the conflicts, challenges and questions of our time.

The Kulturportal Deutschland informs about German and European cultural projects and offers a database with the topical events can be called up.

Additional Addresses

Federation of German-speaking Translators




Literaturhaus Berlin




Literaturhaus Frankfurt




Literaturhaus Graz




Literaturhaus Hamburg




Literaturhaus Köln




Literaturhaus Leipzig




Literaturhaus München




Literaturhaus Rostock




Literaturhaus Salzburg




Literaturhaus Stuttgart




Literaturhaus Zürich



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