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New fund is opportunity for Maltese authors

File picture.

File picture.

Maltese authors will be given the opportunity to get their work translated into a language of their choice through a new fund launched today.

The fund will start off with a modest €20,000 for the first year but it will be increased if the government sees that it is being used, Culture Minister Mario de Marco said.

Called Spreading Words, the fund is one of the initiatives of the Malta Arts Fund and is being administered by the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts.

Dr de Marco said recent studies showed that only a minority of Maltese people preferred reading in their mother tongue.

Authors, who wrote in Maltese, faced various obstacles including the limited audience of just over 420,000 people. Apart from this there was  a lack of professional literary translators.

Simone Inguanez, arts executive for literature within the council, pointed out that Spead Word was an important and necessary step for Maltese literature. "Without support for translation, the limited number of readers of Maltese might discourage writing and publication in Malta in favour of more widely used languages." 

This fund will support authors to share their literary works with larger audiences.

The first call for applications by authors, translators and publishers is open and will close on March 1. 2013. Priority will be given to contemporary works.

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