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Arbeitsstipendien für Übersetzer Photo (Detail): © Colourbox

Grants to professional translators

The Goethe-Institut’s European Translators’ Residency Programme, in cooperation with the Alfred Toepfer Foundation F.V.S. and the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony, offers working scholarships for professional literary translators.

In view of the still uncertain situation regarding the Covid 19 pandemic, the 2021 offer is aimed at translators of German fiction (novel, poetry, essay) who are resident in Germany.

The purpose of the stay is to devote oneself to a current project in the area of German-language fiction in a quiet, concentrated atmosphere.
For this purpose, the Alfred Toepfer Foundation F.V.S. provides a flat on the grounds of its seminar centre Gut Siggen on the Baltic Sea (Schleswig-Holstein). Another place to live and work is the residency hall for scholarship-holders of the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Saxony in the garden city Dresden-Hellerau.

Please note our current announcement for grants.
The deadline for applications is 30 April 2021.
For further informationen please note Grant application.

Application form


A fresh breeze from the sea or splendid baroque architecture, countryside or city life – Dresden-Hellerau and Gut Siggen, the two locations for our grant recipients, are widely different. What they have in common is a friendly, open atmosphere and plenty of opportunity for concentrated working. You can take a closer look here.

Seminarzentrum Gut Siggen - View from the main building Impressions Gut Siggen Seminarzentrum Gut Siggen - View from the main building | Photo: © Fria Hagen Siggen is one of the oldest estates in eastern Holstein: its history goes back to the Middle Ages. The manor house (1784), which underwent a number of structural alterations over time, and the farm buildings were rebuilt in 1934 after a fire. Since 1970 the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung F.V.S. has been increasingly using the seminar centre for its activities, including summer school programmes, concerts, alumni reunions and conferences. A new ultramodern seminar building was completed in 2007, rounding out the architecturally engaging complex.

Gut Siggen is a quiet, secluded spot about 20 km east of Oldenburg in Holstein, 70 km north of Lübeck and 70 km east of Kiel. There are nice bathing spots nearby along the Baltic Sea strand, which is only a 15-minute walk away.

Apartment Gut Siggen Apartment Gut Siggen | Photo: © Kirsten Haarmann Our translator-in-residence is lodged in a 45-sq-m apartment right on the estate. The flat has two bedrooms with a single bed in each, and an office with a desk, as well as a shower-bath and kitchen. The office is equipped with an Internet connexion as well as a laptop with printer and a basic collection of dictionaries. However, translators should bring any special reference books they need. Translators can also share in the use of the seminar building office and the equipment there, which includes a printer and photocopier. When events are being held simultaneously in the seminar building, the translator should coordinate the use of the office there with the current heads of the seminar. The library in the manor house can also be used to read and work in. Musical instruments, bicycles and sports equipment are available and can be used as needed.
Estate Location Dresden-Hellerau Impressions Location Dresden-Hellerau Estate Location Dresden-Hellerau | Photo: © Peter Hausdorf
Hellerau garden city was built from 1909 on the northern outskirts of Dresden. The basic idea of this estate, which was modelled on English garden cities, was to create a reformist countermodel to urbanization and industrialization by fusing urban and rural life, housing and work, culture and education, in one and the same place. Handicrafts and art figured prominently in Hellerau from the outset. The furniture manufactured at the Deutsche Werkstätte (German Workshops) in Hellerau, for instance, was a milestone in the history of design. The Festspielhaus (festival hall) built by Heinrich Tessenow exerted a Europe-wide influence in the years before World War I. The house of publisher/translator Jakob Hegner became a hub of the German literary scene. The whole historical area is now a listed monument protected by a preservation order.

The Festspielhaus Hellerau (Festival Hall) Photo: Stephan Floss In recent years Hellerau has evolved into an attractive cultural centre in Dresden. The Festspielhaus now holds the Europäisches Zentrum der Künste (European Arts Centre), which presents innovative performances of contemporary music as well as dance projects and media art. The buildings of the Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen (Cultural Foundation of Saxony) are situated right on the grounds of the Festspielhaus. And there are good transport links to the centre of Dresden (about 20 minutes away by tram).

Translators are housed in an approximately 50-sq-m flat on the first floor of a summer house that was built in 1910 and completely renovated in 1996. The flat has a bedroom, a living room, a kitchen and bathroom. Use of the garden may be shared as well. It has an Internet connexion, and there is a photocopying machine in the foundation office that can also be used by translators. Dresden is a university town with a great many public libraries. The Saxon Regional and University Library, holding roughly 8.6 million items, is one of the biggest research libraries in Germany.