French Voices Grant



Second Year
Call For Submissions 2007

Description “French Voices” - what is it?

The French version of World Voices! To make contemporary French voices available to American readers through translation - books to be read and debated by American readers eager to explore new forms and ideas.

What’s the objective of this program?

To ensure that 30 contemporary French books are translated in the United States by the end of 2008. In 2006, one in three books that received grants had no American editor; they found one thanks to the French Voices grant and through our efforts.

Who can participate?

If you are a literary agent, editor, or translator, and you already have a translated sample of a French book - but you do not necessarily have a contract with an American publisher - , fill in the application form and send it back to us.

What’s to be gained by participating?

To help offset the financial risks associated with distributing translated texts in the American marketplace, the publisher of each selected project will receive $6,000.
If a project without an American publisher is selected, we will do our best to support it by identifying and making overtures to a suitable partner.

Who chooses the books?

A committee of French and American professionals meets several times a year to read and discuss the works submitted for consideration. The committee is headed by a representative from the Book Office of the French Embassy’s Cultural Services and comprises:

Esther ALLEN (Columbia, Center for Literary Translation)
Olivier COHEN (L’Olivier)
Emmanuelle ERTEL (translator, NYU)
Siri HUSTVEDT (writer)
Suzanna LEA (agent)
Elisabeth PEELLAERT (translator)
Jeannette SEAVER (Arcade Publishing)
Frédéric VIGUIER (NYU, Institute of French Studies)
Alyson WATERS (translator, Yale)

Why speak of “a collection”?

The books will be published by different houses, but there will still be a coherent thread. To establish this coherence, a French Voices logo will appear on every book included in the series. To attract as many readers as possible, especially those who may be more hesitant to choose translated texts, each book will contain a short preface by a notable American author who will explain the book’s main ideas and themes.

In 2006, seven titles have been selected by the committee. In fiction, Jean Echenoz’ Ravel, Leonora Miano’s L’Intérieur de la nuit, Véronique Ovaldé’s Déloger l’animal and Abdourahman A. Waberi’s Aux Etats-Unis d’Afrique. In non-fiction, André Comte-Sponville’s L’Esprit de l’athéisme, Amin Maalouf’s Origines and Malika Zeghal’s Les Islamistes marocains.

Selection criteria
- It must be a French book published no earlier than 2000
- The quality of the French book
- The quality of the translation
- Innovative content and literary forms
- Possible reception in the American bookmarket (i.e., would an American reader buy this book in translation)

Terms & Conditions
Application for support may be submitted by publishers, agents, or translators, , after which the Committee will make its selection of the projects to be supported in 2007.

Please note that once grants are awarded, projects must have both contracts (French publisher/American publisher and American publisher/Translator) signed by October, 12th 2007 in order to receive payment.

Fabrice Rozié, Literary Attaché, at:
Anne-Sophie Hermil (non fiction) at:
Anne-Sophie Simenel (fiction) at:

Requested documents
- A 10-12 page, double-spaced sample of the translation
- The same passage in French
- A one page statement outlining the work and describing its importance
- A bio/bibliography of the author
- A CV of the translator
- A copy of the contracts between:
- the translator and the American publisher
- the French publisher and the American publisher.

If the project is not yet under contract: a letter from the copyright holder stating that English-language rights to the book are available.

Applicants should submit two copies of this documentation, two copies of the book to be translated, as well as an electronic version of the complete application file saved on a CD or a floppy disc, to:

French Cultural Services,
French Voices
972 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10021

Please specify on the envelope whether the project is Fiction or Non-Fiction. Electronic submissions cannot be accepted.

For more information or to download the application form, log on: (in « Grants/American publishers »)

Dernière modification : 14/09/2007

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