Unexplored children's books from Russia and beyond

Despite deep literary traditions and rich book illustration heritage, the Russian book market is still quite young marking 30 years after the collapse of the USSR. Our translation grant programs and book awards are also quite recent initiatives. The information below will guide you through the grants and awards referred to in Genya aGency catalogues to facilitate your decision to translate a Russian children’s book into your language.
Russian translation grants &
Russian awards for children's books
Illustration by Katya Klimova to "Stardust. Languages and Signs"
© Whale Publishing, 2021
TRANSLATION GRANTS
There are two institutions in Russia that offer translation subsidies:

Transcript Program of the Mikhail Prokhorov Foundation – the Charitable Foundation For Cultural Initiatives established by businessman Mikhail Prokhorov in 2004. Launched in 2009, Transcript Program covers different types of costs depending on the genre of a literary work: acquisition of rights, full or partial payment of translation costs, partial payment of the editorial and printing expenses for the publication. You can apply before drawing up a contract but at least 6 months before the estimated date of publication. The decision to subsidize the publication of a work, as well as the decision on the type of support, is made by an independent board of experts.

Read how to apply for translation grants here.
Email: grants@institutperevoda.ru
Grant program of The Institute for Literary Translation which is a nonprofit organization promoting Russian literature around the world. Since its foundation in 2011, the Institute has been supporting translations of the works written in the Russian language as well as in other languages of ethnic groups in Russia. This support covers both translation costs, either in full or in part, and costs of arranging various events initiated by foreign institutions to promote Russian literature and translation: festivals, translation schools, workshops, and others. Series publications are welcomed.

Application period is usually open from 1st October till 31st January but in 2022 the applications are accepted till 20th January. The jury reviews applications till 1st May and the translated work must be published within the current year or the next one.

Applications are invited throughout the year.

For more information please visit their website.
Email: transcript@prokhorovfund.ru
This is the largest all-Russian annual contest for the best teen fiction written in Russian or translated into Russian by the author. Launched in 2010, it’s one of the world’s few literary contests, where the final jury is composed of children aged 10 to 16. They select three winners by discussing and voting online for short-listed titles uploaded on the contest’s website.
RUSSIAN LITERARY AWARDS FOR CHILDREN’S BOOKS
KNIGURU
It was created “to encourage youth to read the latest Russian literature, to promote the publication of contemporary books for young people, and to foster better reading and writing skills among children and teens” (the official site).
The award’s name which can be translated as a “Book guru”, is also assonant to a “kangaroo” in Russian making everyone wonder what kind of beast is this Kniguru.
Both manuscripts and published works may be submitted for the contest, but each work can participate only once.
The winners are announced in December.
Established in 2010.
There is also a special contest Kniguru in the World which invites Russian-language book reviews (either in Russian or English) from readers aged 10 to 21 living outside Russia.
Website
An annual prize awarded for the best middle grade fiction written in Russian or translated into Russian from one of the languages of ethnic groups in Russia.
KRAPIVIN INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S LITERATURE AWARD
The aim is to draw attention to literary works that instill in children higher moral values and empathy; to support and promote aspiring children’s writers who are struggling to find their first publisher.
Named after a famous Soviet and Russian children’s author, poet, screenwriter, journalist and teacher Vladislav Krapivin (1938–2020).
Both manuscripts and published works can be submitted for the contest. For published works, book should have been published no longer than two years prior to the date of the competition announcement to be accepted.
Includes such nominations as Commodore’s Choice (the titles were selected by Vladislav Krapivin himself until his death in 2020), Professional Jury Choice, Child Jury Choice, and Literary Council Choice.
The winners are announced on 14 October, the day Vladislav Krapivin was born.
Established in 2006.
Website
An annual national contest covering different genres of literature written by Russian authors. There are two children’s books nominations: “To the 21st Century Children” for children’s books and “Generation Z” for YA fiction.
BOOK OF THE YEAR
It is aimed at supporting Russian publishing industry, glorifying its achievements, and promoting reading and book culture in Russia.
To enter the prize, the work must be published between 1 August of the year prior and 1 August of the year of the award.
The award ceremony takes place on the opening day of the Moscow International Book Fair which is usually held in September.
Established in 1999.
Website
Arranged by the Moscow Government, this new annual literary prize is awarded for fiction written or translated into Russian and Russian poetry for children under 12.
KORNEY CHUKOSKY AWARD
The main idea is to provide support for contemporary children’s writers and to assure the development of children’s literature.
The award is named after Korney Chukovsky (1882–1969) – a famous poet, writer, translator, literary critic, journalist, and one of the most read children’s authors in the Soviet and modern-day Russia.
Only titles published in the previous year or the same year prior to the announcement of application dates can be submitted for this award.
There are six nominations: Best Book for Children under 7; Best Middle Grade Book; Best Book of Poetry for Children under 7; Best Middle Grade Book of Poetry; Best Translated Book for Children under 7; Best Translated Middle Grade Book.
The winners of 2021 will be announced on 12 November.
Established in 2020.
Website
This annual Russian festival unites contemporary book illustrators, artists, publishers, writers and readers. “The Festival’s main program includes a large Exhibition of artworks by illustrators chosen to participate, as well as workshops, meet-and-greets with artists and authors, portfolio reviews, and an art and book market for illustrators and publishers.” (the official website).
ILLUSTRATION AWARDS FOR CHILDREN’S BOOKS
"MORS" INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF BOOK ILLUSTRATION AND VISUAL LITERATURE
The main idea is to reveal and promote young talented Russian illustrators and to highlight contemporary book illustration trends.
Twelve jury members choose two winning illustrators. The Festival’s Catalogue is then sent to leading Russian and foreign publishers.
Established in 2015, the Festival is held for a few days in October.
Website
This is an annual international book illustration contest aimed at finding and supporting new talented book illustrators.
"IMAGE OF THE BOOK" INTERNATIONAL ILLUSTRATION AND BOOK DESIGN COMPETITION
Russian and foreign illustrators and book designers can participate in the contest with both published and unpublished works.
Nominations include: Illustrations for Fiction, Illustrations for Children’s and YA Books, Illustrations for Non-Fiction, Book Design, Illustrator’s Book, New Names, Electronic Book, Artist’s Book, and “Phenomenon” (Grand Prix).
The award ceremony is traditionally held at the Moscow International Book Exhibition in September. The 2021 winners were announced online during the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
The contest has been held annually since 2008. In 2017 it gained international status.
Website
This annual contest of unpublished book projects is arranged by Samokat Publishing House for ambitious authors-illustrators aiming to improve their professional skills and pave their way into the world of illustration.
BOOK INSIDE by Samokat Publishing House
The main idea is to prepare young artists for the demands of the modern market of book illustration and to help participants gain experience and create useful partnerships.
There are four nominations: Non-fiction (for readers between 6 and 15), Picture Book (6+), Educational Book (for readers between 0 and 6), Graphic Novel (6+).
Only unpublished works can be submitted for the contest. The authors-illustrators, whose projects are selected for the second stage, should be finalized with the assistance of jury members and employees of Samokat. The winners’ projects are published by Samokat.
Established in 2017.
Website
This annual contest is aimed at book industry professionals, best projects and initiatives in book publishing, distribution and library activities in Russia.
NATIONAL BOOK INDUSTRY CONTEST
REVIZOR PRIZE
The main idea is to find, highlight and stimulate the best initiatives in the Russian book industry, to outline its importance and to promote the role of the book and reading culture in Russian society.
The contest is named after a famous Russian satirical play by Nikolai Gogol (1809–1852) – Revizor known in English as The Government Inspector.
Covering all areas of the book industry, the contest nominations expand each year, now totaling 18 in 2021: Event of the Year, A Hero of Our Time, Publisher of the Year, Innovative Book Project, Bestseller of the Year, Best Projects to Promote Books and Reading, and others.
The award ceremony is held as a theatrical performance, prior to the Moscow International Book Fair opening.
Established in 2012.
Website
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