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French Embassy launches new pre-Frankfurt fellowship for Canadian publishers

(Frankfurt Book Fair, 2016)

(Frankfurt Book Fair, 2016)

The French Consulate in Toronto has announced a new endeavour it hopes will build relationships between French and Canadian publishers.

Books in Translation: A Paris Fellowship for Canadian Publishers offers up to three English-language presses from Canada the chance to spend three days in Paris visiting publishing houses and having one-on-one meetings with publishers and rights directors, all air travel and per diem expenses paid. It will take place strategically one week prior to the Frankfurt Book Fair, which this year runs Oct. 11–15, allowing the participating publishers to attend the industry’s largest event for acquisitions and rights sales.

“We’ve heard that sometimes Canadian publishers don’t go to Frankfurt because of the cost of the flight ticket, so now it will be paid,” says Charlotte Groult, the book and debates officer for the French Consulate. “And this year is the perfect year to emphasize French literature for Canadian publishers because France will be the guest of honour [at Frankfurt this year], as Canada will be in 2020.”

The fellowship is part of a grant program France offers to aid international presses looking to publish translations of French books. The grant policy will be shifted, alternating each year between the fellowship and the grant for Canadian publishers to use toward purchasing English-language rights.

Groult says the program’s focus won’t solely be French literature: “It’s about a relationship between the two book industries,” she says, “to help French and Canadian publishers strengthen professional bonds, get to know each other better … and grow all kinds of translation projects.”

Interested presses are asked to fill out an application form from the embassy’s website and submit it before April 28.