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  • Aug 20, 2019
    Taipei International Book Exhibition: A Gathering Place for Publishers and Book Lovers Alike
    By Michelle Tu ∥ Translated by Sarah-Jayne Carver

    Every February, while most cities in Europe and North America are snowy and battling the cold, it’s flip-flop weather in Taipei, with comfortable temperatures and cherry blossoms blooming. The MRT makes it easy to get anywhere in the city, whether you want to head out to the green mountains in the suburbs, or enjoy the hot springs, visit museums, go for tea, or visit a temple. There’s delicious food, great places to wander around, fantastic shopping centres and all the cultural activities you could want.    

    With the incredible city and all the publishers visiting from around the world, the Taipei International Book Exhibition (TiBE) allows people to catch up with old friends, network with industry contacts, and attend thousands of literary events, all in a welcoming, easy-going atmosphere. Every year, it attracts internationally renowned authors such as Nobel Laureate Gao Xingjian, Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award winner Kitty Crowther, Hans Christian Anderson Award winner Lisbeth Zwerger, and the youngest ever winner of the Booker Prize Eleanor Catton, generating a tide of half a million visitors who make the fair feel like a carnival.  

    The Taipei Book Fair Foundation was co-founded in 2003 by 18 different-sized domestic publishers and various big names in the industry. Each year, the foundation organises the TiBE, which is hosted by the Ministry of Culture and actively encourages international cultural exchange, enhancing publishers’ skillsets and promoting reading in a wide variety of ways.

                                               

    Reading in the City: The TiBE and Reading Promotion

    The Taipei Book Fair Foundation starts gearing up for the coming year’s TiBE in about November and, as the Christmas bells ring, bookstores and art venues across Taiwan are buzzing with “Reading in the City” events. At the same time, there are Bookmobiles driving from Taipei, New Taipei City and Keelung to different corners of the island, bringing with them a huge range of writers’ events. Book lovers everywhere can use the “Maps for Reading in the City” to find events they want to attend and take the chance to meet authors and illustrators whose work they enjoy.

    For years, the national library’s “Winter Vacation Reading Manual” has acted as a publicity generator, letting children get to know more about that year’s TiBE guest of honour country. Children can also actively participate in events run by libraries which encourage them to read books from the guest nation.  

     

    Guided Tour for Children

     

    In recent years, the Taipei Book Fair Foundation has encouraged teachers to bring students of all ages to the fair, organising a range of recommended itineraries and challenges where they can win prizes. The most popular events of all are the guided tours of the international exhibits, where the students can get to know the local customs of the different countries. At the same time, the Ministry of Culture also subsidises transportation for children from rural areas to visit the book fair and works with the Taipei Book Fair Foundation to give each student a free book voucher. While the TiBE is on, there’s still a sea of student groups pouring in even during work hours, it makes for a great scene!

     

    Taking the TiBE to the Next Level

    To encourage local creation and book design in Taiwan, prizes are also awarded each year during the fair. The Taipei Book Fair Award is given to up-and-coming creatives, while the Golden Butterfly Prize is awarded for excellence in book production and design, and particularly outstanding works go on to compete at the Leipzig Book Fair for the “World’s Most Beautiful Book Award”.

    As well as encouraging local publishers with awards, the TiBE also invites industry leaders from around the world to Taiwan, and strives to inspire professional exchanges through the sharing of knowledge and greater interaction within the industry. Over the last six years, the TiBE has partnered with the Frankfurt Book Fair to produce training courses and a wide range of forums on digital publishing, children’s books, international publishing, book design, and corporate CEOs; as well as forums exploring the power of publishing in the face of dramatic changes in the publishing landscape, in accordance with annual trends and the different influences which develop each year.

     

    Guests of Honour: Promoting Publishing and Culture

    As with other global book fairs, each year the TiBE invites a country to be the fair’s guest of honour, focusing on significant authors and fostering the in-depth exchange of industry expertise on both sides. The guest nation often takes advantage of the opportunity to plan rich and unique cultural exhibitions, using their position at the fair to highlight their own national brand image.

    For example, Israel, which was founded as a country relatively recently, created an enticing Middle-Eastern style market in the middle of their national pavilion in 2018. In addition to selling fresh fruits, vegetables and Israeli wine, they also sold contemporary literary works and had a VR experience where visitors could see Israel’s fashionable architecture, which gave a refreshing image of the country’s culture. In 2011, the TiBE invited Bhutan, the world’s happiest country according to the World Happiness Index, to be the guest of honour. For this mysterious, mountainous country to agree to reveal their culture in this way was unprecedented, and they very carefully displayed the Heart Sūtra (Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya), which had never been overseas before, demonstrating the importance of the TiBE.

    In addition to promoting their own culture, the guest of honour’s activities are often linked to Taiwan. As a response to Taiwan’s love of Thai cuisine, the 2009 TiBE featured a special Thai kitchen serving fine food in a huge range of colours, flavours and smells, cleverly using lemon grass as a way to bring the cookery books to life by getting readers to connect with the smells. In 2013, the Belgian-themed national pavilion created a “Genius Inventor: Adolphe Sax” exhibition displaying musical instruments, which reflected Taiwan’s position as one of the top three saxophone manufacturers in the world. When New Zealand was the guest of honour in 2015, they focused on indigenous literature which is an equally important issue in Taiwan. The Nga Kete Tuku Iho Aboriginal dance group was invited to come to Taiwan and gave such a bold, hot-blooded performance that their stamping almost broke the floor of the exhibition hall!

  • May 10, 2019
    Translation Grant Program, Ministry of Culture, Republic of China (Taiwan)
    By Books from Taiwan

    Books from Taiwan supports the translation of Taiwanese literature into foreign languages with the Translation Grant Program, administered by The Ministry of Culture of Taiwan. The grant is to encourage the publication of translations of Taiwan’s literature, including fiction, non-fiction, picture books and comics, and help Taiwan’s publishing industry to explore non-Chinese international markets.

     

    •    Applicant Eligibility: Foreign publishers (legal persons) legally registered in accordance with the laws and regulations of their respective countries.


    •    Conditions:

    1. Works translated shall be original, published works (for example, fiction, non-fiction, picture books, and comics but not anthologies) by Taiwanese writers (Republic of China nationals) in traditional Chinese characters.

    2. Priority is given to works to be translated and published for the first time in a non-Chinese language market.

    3. Applicants are not limited to submitting only one project for funding in each application year; however, an applicant may only receive funding for up to three projects in any given round of applications.

    4. Projects receiving funding shall have already obtained authorization for translation, and be published within two years starting from the year after application year (published before the end of October).

     

    •    Funding Items and Amount

    1. Funds may cover licensing fees going to the rights holder of the original work, translation fees, and promotional fees (limited to an economy-class airline ticket for authors who are citizens of the Republic of China traveling abroad to attend promotional activities), and book production fees.

    2. The maximum funding available for any given project is NT$600,000 (including income tax and remittance charges).

    3. Priority consideration will be given to those works that have not yet been published in a language other than Chinese, as well as winners of a Golden Tripod Award, Golden Comic Award, or Taiwan Literature Golden Award (list appended.)


    •    Application Period: Twice every year. The MOC reserves the right to change the application periods, and will announce said changes separately. The first application period for 2019 is May 10 through June 10.


    •    Announcement of successful applications: Winners will be announced within three months of the end of the application period.


    •    Application Method: Please visit the Ministry’s “Books from Taiwan” (BFT) website (http://booksfromtaiwan.tw/), and use the online application system.


    For full details of the Translation Grant Program, please visit http://booksfromtaiwan.tw/grant_index.php
    Or contact: books@moc.gov.tw

     

    *Recommended Books for Translation Grant Program 

  • Oct 15, 2018
    The Pivot South Translation and Publishing Program Application Guidelines
    By Books from Taiwan

    * Period of Application: 15th October~15th November 2018

    * How to apply: The online system used in 2017 has expired. Please send your application forms and documents to books@moc.gov.tw.

    * The Pivot South Translation and Publishing Program Application Guidelineshttps://goo.gl/PifbEW

    * 南向翻譯及出版交流補助作業要點https://goo.gl/1gPrgX

    * For general inquiries, please contact books@moc.gov.tw.

     

    The Ministry of Culture (hereinafter referred to as “the Ministry”) has formulated these guidelines to encourage the publication of translations of Taiwan’s literature, in the territories of South Asia, Southeast Asia and Australasia (hereinafter referred to as the Pivot South nations), as well as to fund exchange trips for publishers and the publication of original titles that deal with the cultures of Taiwan and the Pivot South nations, as well as the topic of cultural exchange between them.


    * South Asia, Southeast Asia and Australasia will be taken to mean: Cambodia, the Philippines, Laos, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Bhutan, Australia and New Zealand.


    * The program is split into three different strands, which are:
    1.    Translation and Publication Grant Program
          a.    The translation, publication and marketing of Taiwanese literature (including fiction, non-fiction, illustrated titles and anthologies) in the Pivot South nations.
          b.    The translation into Chinese (Complex characters), publication and marketing of literature from the Pivot South nations (including fiction, non-fiction, illustrated titles and anthologies) in Taiwan.
    2.    Publisher Exchange Program
          Fund exchanges and cooperation activities between publishers in Taiwan and the aforementioned Pivot South nations.
    3.    Original Book Program
          Fund the publication of original titles yet to be published on the topics of Taiwan, the cultures of the Pivot South nations or cultural exchanges. Material deemed unsuitable for minors will not be accepted.


    * Applicant Eligibility:
    1.    Citizens of the Republic of China (Taiwan) or civic organizations and legal persons registered in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
    2.    Citizens of the aforementioned Pivot South nations or civic organizations and legal persons registered in accordance with the laws and regulations of their respected country.

    * Conditions:
    1.     Translation and Publishing Grant Program
          a.    Works translated shall be original works by Taiwanese writers (R.O.C. nationality) in written in any of the languages native to Taiwan, or else be by writers from the Pivot South nations written in their local language.
          b.    All Chinese content must be in Complex characters.
          c.    All translations must be done directly between the relevant Taiwanese and Pivot South languages, no relay translations will be accepted.
          d.    Priority is given to works to be translated and published for the first time in Taiwan or the relevant Pivot South nation.
          e.    Projects receiving funding shall have already obtained authorization for translation, and be published within two years from the signature of a letter of agreement.

    2.    Publisher Exchange Program
          a.    Citizens of the Republic of China (R.O.C) selected to take part in an exchange abroad must have completed their military service in accordance with laws of the Republic of China and must not have any restrictions upon their travel abroad.
          b.    Citizens of the Pivot South nations must be citizens of said territories and have completed any military service according to the laws of their country of citizenship where applicable and have no travel restrictions in place.
          c.    Applications must be received according to these guidelines before the published deadline and show clear evidence of professional experience in the field of publishing.
          d.     “Exchange and cooperation” refers to events related to translation, editing, rights selling and other publishing related activities such as book fairs, author seminars and forum etc.
          e.    The period for staying abroad or coming to Taiwan shall not exceed six months.

    3.    Original Book Program
          a.     The subsidy will fund original projects that are yet to be published, with priority given to titles on the subjects of Taiwan, the cultures of the Pivot South nations or else cultural exchanges.
          b.     Projects receiving funding shall be published in one of the Pivot South nations within two years from the signature of a letter of agreement.

     

    * Funding Items and Amount
    1.    Translation and Publishing Grant Program
          a.    The maximum funding available for any given project is NT$ 500,000 (including income tax and remittance charges).
          b.    The funding can cover: a licensing fee for the rights holder of the original work, a translation fee, funds to cover production and marketing and promotion costs (not including salary or equipment purchase costs).

    2.    Publisher Exchange Program
          a.    The maximum funding available for any given project is NT$ 500,000 (including income tax and remittance charges).
          b.    The funding can cover: transportation, living and accommodation expenses, insurance and marketing and promotion costs. (not including salary or equipment purchase costs).

    3.    Original Book Program
          a.    The maximum funding available for any given work is NT$ 500,000 (including income tax and remittance charges). For a series, the funding will be multiplied by the number of books in the series, but total funding in that case will be limited to NT$ 2,000,000 (including income tax and remittance charges).
          b.    The funding can cover: Production costs, translation and marketing and promotion costs (not including salary or equipment purchase costs).

    * Special projects: For projects of particular significance and scope that involve exceptional creativity, deep-level cooperation and concrete outcomes, and provided that they help promote the work of the department, the Ministry will enter into a special agreement. In such cases, the actors involved, the nature of the project and the application period will not be bound by articles four to six, nor articles eight and nine.


    * Principles:
    1.    Applicants are not limited to submitting only one project for funding in each application year; however, the same applicant can only receive funding for up to three projects in any given round of applications.
    2.    For those applying under article III section 1, the maximum number of projects that will be accepted to the Translation Grant Program and the Pivot South Publishing Program shall be limited to three.
    3.    Those applying under article III section 2 for a second year running will be prohibited from applying the next year and for three years in total.

  • Sep 05, 2018
    Translation Grant Program, Ministry of Culture, Republic of China (Taiwan)
    By Books from Taiwan

    Books from Taiwan supports the translation of Taiwanese literature into foreign languages with the Translation Grant Program, administered by The Ministry of Culture of Taiwan. The grant is to encourage the publication of translations of Taiwan’s literature, including fiction, non-fiction, picture books and comics, and help Taiwan’s publishing industry to explore non-Chinese international markets.

     

    •    Applicant Eligibility: Foreign publishers (legal persons) legally registered in accordance with the laws and regulations of their respective countries, or foreign natural persons engaged in translation.


    •    Conditions:
    1. Works translated shall be original works (for example, including fiction, non-fiction, picture books and comics…but anthology is not included) by Taiwanese writers (R.O.C. nationality) in traditional Chinese characters.
    2. Priority is given to works to be translated and published for the first time in a non-Chinese language market.
    3. Applicants are not limited to submitting only one project for funding in each application year; however, the same applicant can only receive funding for up to three projects in any given round of applications.
    4. Projects receiving funding shall have already obtained authorization for translation, and be published within two years starting from the year after application year (published before the end of October).


    •    Funding Items and Amount
    1. The subsidy includes a licensing fee for the rights holder of original work, a translation fee and a production fee.
    2. The maximum funding available for any given project is NT$ 500,000 (including income tax and remittance charges).


    •    Application Period: From September 1 to September 30 every year.
    •    Announcement of successful applications: Before December 15 every year.
    •    Application Method: Please visit the Ministry’s “Books from Taiwan” (BFT) website (http://booksfromtaiwan.tw/), and use the online application system.


    For full details of the Translation Grant Program, please visit
    http://booksfromtaiwan.tw/grant_index.php
    Or contact: books@moc.gov.tw
     

    *Recommended Books for Translation Grant Program: http://bit.ly/2MQvJ84

  • Aug 28, 2017
    The Pivot South Translation and Publishing Program
    by Books from Taiwan

    The Ministry of Culture has formulated these guidelines to encourage the publication of translations of Taiwan’s literature, in the territories of South Asia, Southeast Asia and Australasia (hereinafter referred to as the Pivot South nations), as well as to fund exchange trips for publishers and the publication of original titles that deal with the cultures of Taiwan and the Pivot South nations, as well as the topic of cultural exchange between them.

     

    * South Asia, Southeast Asia and Australasia will be taken to mean: Cambodia, the Philippines, Laos, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Bhutan, Australia and New Zealand.

     

    * Application Period: From September 1 to September 30.

     

    * Application Method: Please apply via the online application system (https://nspublication.moc.gov.tw/) after reading through the Pivot South Translation and Publishing program application guidelines (available online).

     

    * For general inquiries, please contact books@moc.gov.tw

  • Jul 24, 2017
    Taipei Rights Workshop, Summer 2017 Edition
    by Books from Taiwan

    During the last week of June, we welcomed a group of friends from Thailand and Vietnam along with the steaming hot summer air. In cooperation with Books from Taiwan, Taiwanese publishers grasped this rare chance to impress our guests with interesting stories and beautifully made books.

     

     

  • Jul 17, 2017
    Seoul International Book Fair 2017
    by Books from Taiwan

    The theme of SIBF 2017 is Meta-morphosis, which did take place—thanks to the effort of the new President of Korean Publishers Association, more large publishing groups and even independent bookstores participated. However Books from Taiwan had two full days of back-to-back meetings (isn’t it a good sign?) and hardly had the time to walk around the Fair… Still we managed to take some photos.

     

  • Jul 17, 2017
    BFT in Bangkok and Bologna
    by Books from Taiwan

    Books from Taiwan completed its first back-to-back book fair trip to Bangkok (March 29-31) and Bologna (April 3-6). We were delighted to witness the Taiwan Pavilion made its comeback to the Bangkok International Book Fair after ten years, and to give a presentation on BFT’s main task and the translation fund program to a group of Thailand publishers on March 31.