Arabic, Chinese and Nordic languages in the running for the 2nd Reading Colombia selection as publishers target the international book markets

Submissions are about to close for the second Reading Colombia, a joint project of the Ministry of Culture, the National Library and the Colombian Book Chamber.

Reading Colombia 2019 will be a catalogue of carefully selected titles across fiction, non-fiction, children’s & YA and poetry, that will be up for translations funds as part of a drive to give Colombian literature international recognition and foster international trade.

Between June 27 and July 8 publishers have had the opportunity to submit works to the jury, with the promise of a presence at national and international book fairs among other avenues for the lucky winners to find global IP buyers.

The jury of “experts” will consider books by Colombian nationals published since January 1 2011, implicit in this being that these will be Spanish originals, not from Colombia’s indigenous languages.

The submitted titles must not already have translation deals in hand in any of English, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. In addition Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Icelandic and Norwegian are on the no-prior-deals list this year as the Nordic nations will be joint guests of honour at the 2020 Bogota International Book Fair.

Ten awards are on the table, each worth COP 6,400,000 ($2 million) to cover translation costs, which will help the publishers mount the biggest hurdle to international deals – finding foreign publishers who can read the books and then want to buy the rights.

Particularly worthy of note is that the submitted titles must be available in Chinese and Arabic. Not languages that would have been considered international deal languages five years ago.

Read more here.

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