Sunday Submissions: PEN/Heim Translation Grants

The PEN/Heim Translation Fund, established in the summer of 2003 by a gift from Priscilla and Michael Henry Heim, is now open for submissions:

I believe only three Arabic translations have ever won a PEN/Heim grant: Elizabeth Winslow’s project to translate of The War Works Hard, by Dunya Mikhail, won the grant in 2004 and was published in 2005 by New Directions. Elisabeth Jaquette’s  translation of Rania Mamoun’s Thirteen Months of Sunrise won the grant in 2017 and came out last month from Comma Press. Emily Drumsta’s translation of Nazik al-Mala’ika’s Revolt Against the Sun won a grant in 2018 and will be forthcoming from Saqi Books in 2020.

Over the 16 years of its existence, the Fund has given grants of $2,000–$4,000 to a total of 180 translations from more than 30 different languages. They note that “about 20 percent of the published PEN/Heim Translation Fund projects have won or been shortlisted for major literary awards.”

There is no citizenship or residency requirement for those applying for the grant. They clearly value linguistic, geographical, and stylistic diversity. They’re also seeking to “encourage translators to undertake projects they might not otherwise have had the means to attempt,” so this should be an ambitious work-in-progress rather than something a translator has already done.

The deadline for submissions is June 1, and those interested can submit via Submittable.