BCLT Summer School, 22-26 July 2024, ONLINE.
The 2024 BCLT Summer School will be taking place ONLINE, 22-26 July 2024.
After 24 years of running literary translation summer schools, the BCLT Summer School is a vibrant, tried and tested format for the professional development of literary translators. Not only does it provide a nurturing environment for translators to work on their craft; it also establishes a valuable network of translators, editors, publishers and indeed friends from around the world.
The core activity of the week is the literary translation workshops, led by experienced literary translators and editors, working from a range of languages into English. We also include in the programme two creative writing sessions for literary translators with authors writing in English, as well as plenary sessions addressing various aspects of the theory and practice of literary translation, with a focus on professional development for translators.
Applications for the 2024 Summer School will open in January 2024.
Be the first to hear when applications open by signing up to the BCLT Newsletter.
We have made the decision to offer both in-person and online Summer Schools in the future. Our 2024 Summer School will be ONLINE followed by an in-person Summer School in 2025. We will then continue to alternate between the two formats. We will not be offering a hybrid event.
What happens at a BCLT Summer School?
Workshop Leaders and Writers in Residence 2023
2024 Faculty information will be available soon.
Arabic Workshop Leader — Nariman Youssef
Nariman Youssef is a Cairo-born literary translator and translation consultant based in London. Her literary translations include Mo(a)t: Stories from Arabic (UEAP, 2021), Inaam Kachachi’s The American Granddaughter (new edition, Interlink, 2020), Donia Kamal's Cigarette No. 7 (Hoopoe, 2018), and contributions to publications like The Common, Arab Lit Quarterly, and Words Without Borders. In recent years, she has managed an in-house translation team at the British Library, and led and curated translation workshops with Shadow Heroes, the Poetry Translation Centre, Shubbak Festival and Africa Writes. Nariman holds a master’s degree in Translation Studies from the University of Edinburgh.
Arabic writer in residence — Bothayna Al-Essa
Bothayna Al-Essa is a novelist from Kuwait. Born in 1982, she holds a Master’s degree in business administration from Kuwait University with a major in finance. She is the co-founder of Takween (a cultural platform, bookstore, and publishing house) and the author of ten novels, the most notable of which include: Lost in Mecca and All That I Want to Forget, which have been translated into English; Under the Feet of Mothers, which has been translated into Persian (as بهشت مامان غيضه); and Guardian of Superficialities, which will be published in English in 2024. Furthermore, Al-Essa has written books on writing and has offered writing workshops throughout the Arab region. She has been writing full-time since 2013 and won Kuwait’s national Encouragement Award twice for her fiction: in 2003 and 2012.
French Workshop Leader — Adriana Hunter
Award-winning translator Adriana Hunter spent four years in a French school as a child and studied French & Drama at the University of London. Since ‘discovering’ the first book she was to translate, she has brought nearly 100 books to English-language readers and still enjoys the buzz of finding promising new francophone authors. Her recent work includes the international bestseller The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier and Sapiens: A Graphic History based on Yuval Noah Harari’s global phenomenon, Sapiens. She relishes the challenges of translating anything from intricate literary fiction to the goofy antics – and even goofier word games – of Asterix and Obelix.
French Writer in Residence - Naomi Cahen
Naomi Cahen is a Swiss and British designer and author. She co-wrote the short film "Action" with Benoît Monney which was selected at the Locarno film festival and nominated for the 2023 Swiss Film Awards. In 2022 her first book "Une chambre à air", a cycling journey from London to Lausanne with illustrations, was published by Slatkine.
Japanese Workshop Leader — Hitomi Yoshio
Hitomi Yoshio is Associate Professor of Global Japanese Literary and Cultural Studies at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. Her main area of research is modern and contemporary Japanese literature with a focus on women’s writing and literary communities. As a literary translator from Japanese to English, she has published numerous short stories and prose poems by Mieko Kawakami in literary magazines and books, and her translation of Natsuko Imamura’s novella This is Amiko is forthcoming from Pushkin Press in 2023. She also translates from English to Japanese, and her translations of contemporary American poetry and essays have appeared in Subaru and Gendaishi techo. During the 2022-2023 academic year, she is residing in the Boston area as a visiting scholar at the Harvard-Yenching Institute.
Japanese Writer in Residence — Kaori Fujino
Photo © Yuko Moriyama / anan
Kaori Fujino is a fiction writer known for reimagining tropes from horror, science fiction, Hollywood thrillers, urban legends, fairy tales, and museum culture, among other narrative modes. She holds an MA in Aesthetics and Art from Dōshisha University. In the fall of 2017, Fujino was a participant in the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program. The English translation of her 2013 Akutagawa Prize-winning novella, Nails and Eyes, will be published in the UK (with distribution to the US) by Pushkin Press in July 2023. Her stories have appeared in English translation in Granta, Monkey, and the US-Japan Women's Journal. Other novels include Pieta to Toranji (Pieta and Transi, 2020) and Aoki Kirara no chotto shita bōken (The Many Lives of Aoki Kirara, 2022). Her stories have been collected in Ohanashi shite ko-chan (Little Miss Tell-Me-a-Story, 2013), Fainaru Gaaru (Final Girl, 2014), and Doresu (Dress, 2017), and her essays in Watashi wa yūrei o minai (I Don't See Ghosts, 2019).
Korean Workshop Leader — Anton Hur
Anton Hur was born in Stockholm and currently resides in Seoul. He studied law and psychology at Korea University and specialized in Victorian poetry at the Seoul National University Graduate School English program under Dr. Nancy Jiwon Cho. He won a PEN Translates grant for his translation of The Underground Village by Kang Kyeong-ae and a PEN/Heim grant for Bora Chung’s Cursed Bunny, the latter of which was shortlisted for the 2022 International Booker Prize. His translation of Sang Young Park’s Love in the Big City was longlisted for the same prize in the same year. His translation of Violets was longlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Awards. His other translations include Kyung-Sook Shin’s The Court Dancer and I Went to See My Father, Hwang Sok-yong’s The Prisoner, and Baek Sehee’s I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki. He has taught at the British Centre for Literary Translation, the Ewha University Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation, and the Bread Loaf Translators Conference. Also a writer, Anton is represented by Jon Wood at Rogers Coleridge & White in London and his writing is published in Words Without Borders, Asymptote Journal, Litro, and others.
Korean writer in residence — Sang Young Park
Sang Young Park was longlisted for the 2022 International Booker Prize for Love in the Big City, a massive queer bestseller in Korea. His other books include Tears of an Unknown Artist or Zaytun Pasta, On Trust, and his collection of columns No Snacking Tonight. He has won numerous literary awards including the 2019 Young Writers Award.
Literature from Taiwan Workshop Leader — Jeremy Tiang
Jeremy Tiang has translated over twenty books from Chinese, including novels by Yan Ge, Yeng Pway Ngon, Zhang Yueran and Lo Yi-Chin. He also writes and translates plays, and his novel State of Emergency won the Singapore Literature Prize. In 2022 he was an International Booker Prize judge, a Translator-in-Residence at Princeton University, and the co-editor with Dr Kavita Bhanot of Violent Phenomena: 21 Essays on Translation.
Literature from Taiwan writer in residence — Chang Chuan-Fen
Chang Chuan-Fen is a writer, activist, and criminologist. She has published seven books with themes spanning from judicial reform, gender equality to travel literature. Her most recent work Hooligan Wang Xinfu won the Taiwan Literature Golden Award. Chang Chuan-Fen dedicates herself to the abolition of the death penalty and is credited with the exoneration of several capital cases in Taiwan.
Multilingual Poetry Workshop Leader — Leo Boix
Leo Boix is a bilingual Latinx poet and translator born in Argentina who lives and works in the UK. His debut English collection Ballad of a Happy Immigrant (Chatto & Windus, 2021) was awarded the PBS Wild Card Choice and was selected as one of the best five books of poetry by The Guardian (August 2021). He has authored another two books, in Spanish, Un Lugar Propio (2015) and Mar de Noche (2017). His book To Love a Woman/Amar a una mujer (Poetry Translation Centre-PTC, 2022), a collection of poems by the Argentine queer writer Diana Bellesi, received a PEN Translate prize. Boix has translated many Latin American poets into English, including José Watanabe, Cecilia Vicuña and Jorge Eduardo Eielson. Boix is a fellow of The Complete Works program, co-director of Un Nuevo Sol, an Arts Council national scheme to nurture new voices of Latinx writers in the UK, and an advisory board member of the Poetry Translation Centre.
Multilingual Prose Workshop Leader — Daniel Hahn
Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator with ninety-something books to his name. Recent translations include Diamela Eltit's novel Never Did the Fire (published alongside Catching Fire, his diary of the translation process) and a collection of short stories by Machado de Assis. Among his forthcoming translations are novels from Brazil, Angola, Argentina, Portugal and Venezuela.
Creative Writing Workshops
Moniza Alvi was born in Pakistan and grew up in Hertfordshire. Her first collection The Country at My Shoulder (Oxford University Press, 1993) was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot and the Whitbread poetry prizes and selected for the New Generation Poets promotion. Europa (Bloodaxe, 2008) and At the Time of Partition (Bloodaxe, 2013) were both Poetry Book Society Choices and shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Her most recent collection is Fairoz (Bloodaxe, 2022). She received a Cholmondeley Award in 2002. Moniza now lives in Norfolk and has recently gained a PhD from UEA on the life and poetry of Stevie Smith.
Nick Bradley holds a PhD from UEA focussing on the figure of the cat in Japanese literature. He lived in Japan for many years where he worked as a translator, and currently teaches on the Creative Writing master's programme at the University of Cambridge. His debut novel, The Cat and The City, was published in 2020 to much acclaim, has so far been translated in thirteen languages, and described by David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas) as "vibrant and accomplished". His second novel, Four Seasons in Japan centres around a character translating a Japanese novel within a novel into English, and will be published in June 2023 by Penguin Random House.
Julianne Pachico is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where she teaches on the MA in Creative Writing. A short story writer and a novelist, her books include The Lucky Ones (2017), The Anthill (2020), and Jungle House (forthcoming November 2023). Her work has been translated into Spanish, French, Italian, and Dutch.
Cecilia Rossi is Associate Professor in Literature and Translation at the University of East Anglia, where she convenes the MA in Literary Translation and works for BCLT as Postgraduate and Professional Liaison. Her latest translation, The Last Innocence and The Lost Adventures (Alejandra Pizarnik) was published by Ugly Duckling Presse and shortlisted for the National Translation Awards for Poetry (ALTA) in 2020.
Plenary Panel and Short Talk Speakers
Jenny Bhatt is a writer, Gujarati-to-English literary translator, and book critic. She teaches creative writing at Writing Workshops Dallas and the PEN America Emerging Voices Fellowship Program. Her debut story collection, Each of Us Killers, won a 2020 Foreword INDIES award. Her debut translation, Ratno Dholi: Dhumketu’s Best Short Stories, was shortlisted for the 2021 PFC-VoW Book Awards. The US edition, The Shehnai Virtuoso and Other Stories, was published in 2022 by Deep Vellum. One of her short stories was included in The Best American Mystery and Suspense 2021. Her nonfiction has been published in various venues, including NPR, The Washington Post, BBC Culture, The Atlantic, and others. Find her at www.jennybhattwriter.com.
Dan Bird joined Granta in July 2019. After initially working as part of Granta’s campaigns team, he moved into the editorial department in 2021. As Editor, he now acquires across both fiction and non-fiction. Recent titles on which he’s worked include: Hiroko Oyamada’s Weasels in the Attic (translated by David Boyd), Sam Mills’ The Watermark, Justin Torres’ Blackouts, Walter Kempowski’s An Ordinary Youth (translated by Michael Lipkin) and A.K. Blakemore’s The Glutton. Prior to joining Granta, he worked at Waterstones, as both a bookseller and events coordinator, while completing an MA in Contemporary Literature at Queen Mary University of London.
Jessica Cohen is an independent translator born in England, raised in Israel, and living in Denver. She translates contemporary Hebrew prose and other creative work. In 2017, she shared the Man Booker International Prize with David Grossman, for her translation of A Horse Walks Into a Bar. She has also translated works by major Israeli writers including Amos Oz, Etgar Keret, Ronit Matalon and Nir Baram. She has received NEA and Guggenheim fellowships.
Michele Hutchison is a literary translator from Dutch and French into English. As a former commissioning editor at various top publishing houses, she has translated more than twenty books from Dutch and one from French. Recent literary translations include La Superba by Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, Roxy by Esther Gerritsen, and Fortunate Slaves by Tom Lanoye. In 2020, Michele won the Vondel Translation Prize for her translation of Stage Four by Sander Kollaard and the International Booker Prize together with author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld for The Discomfort of Evening. She is also co-author of The Happiest Kids in the World: What We Can Learn from Dutch Parents.
Sawad Hussain is a translator from Arabic whose work has been recognised by English PEN, the Anglo-Omani Society and the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation, among others. She is a judge for the Palestine Book Awards and the 2023 National Translation Award. She has run translation workshops under the auspices of Shadow Heroes, Africa Writes, Shubbak Festival, the Yiddish Book Center, the British Library and the National Centre for Writing. Her most recent translations include Black Foam by Haji Jaber (AmazonCrossing) and What Have You Left Behind by Bushra al-Maqtari (Fitzcarraldo Editions). www.sawadhussain.com
Slin Jung is a freelance translator and interpreter. She received an MA in conference interpreting at the Graduate School of Interpretation and Translation (GSIT) at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. She won the 2014 LTI Korea Award for Aspiring Translators and the 2015 Korea Times Modern Korean Literature Translation Awards Commendation Prize in Fiction. Her published works include Gwangju Uprising (2022) by Hwang Sok-yong and the short story Black is Black, White is White in The Age of Doubt (2022) by Pak Kyongni.
Paige Aniyah Morris is a writer and translator from Jersey City, New Jersey, USA, who divides her time between the United States and Korea. She holds BAs in Literary Arts and Ethnic Studies from Brown University and an MFA in Fiction from Rutgers University. The recipient of awards and honors from the Fulbright Program, the American Literary Translators Association, the Daesan Foundation, the Literature Translation Institute of Korea, and others, she has translated works by writers including Pak Kyongni, Chang Kang-myoung, Ji-min Lee, Seo Jang-won, and is the co-translator with Emily Yae Won of Han Kang’s forthcoming We Do Not Part. She is a translator-in-residence at the National Centre for Writing for July 2023.
Mariam Rahmani is a writer and translator. Her fiction and essays have appeared in Granta, Gulf Coast, BOMB Magazine, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, and exhibition catalogs, and her translation in n+1, Columbia Journal, and the collected volume, After Cinema: Fictions From A Collective Memory (Archive Book, 2019). Her first book-length translation - of the 2008 Iranian cult hit, In Case of Emergency by Mahsa Mohebali - was on The New Yorker’s Best Books of 2022 list, and otherwise well reviewed in both The New Yorker and The New York Times Book Review. Rahmani holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from UCLA and an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. Among her honors and awards are the 2021 Henfield Prize, the Columbia MFA’s highest honor in fiction, a 2018 PEN/Heim translation grant, and a US Fulbright fellowship. She currently teaches as a Lecturer at UCLA and online with Great Place Books.
Clare Richards (she/her) is an editor and translator from Korean, with a key interest in feminist literary fiction. Her debut novel translation, Kang Hwagil’s gothic thriller Another Person, was published by Pushkin Press in 2023. She also translated Park Min-jung's Like A Barbie as part of the Strangers Press IYAGI series. Clare is an elected member of the Society of Authors Translators Association Committee, and is passionate about making literary translation more accessible, particularly for disabled and neurodivergent people. @clarehannahmary
Archna Sharma is the Founder of Neem Tree Press, an independent publisher based in London. She is focused on discovering and amplifying new voices ignored by mainstream players. The company’s vision is to publish books that change and broaden perspectives. It has a strong focus on translated literature, with translations from Arabic, German, Romanian, Turkish and Spanish to date. The company is a recipient of a grant from the Romanian Cultural Institute for The Book of Perilous Dishes and one from English PEN for the Algerian The Djinn’s Apple. Its books translated from Arabic have been on the IBBY list, short-listed for the Etisalat Award for children’s literature, the Palestine Book Awards and the Saif Ghobash–Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation.
More plenary session speakers to be announced soon.
Applications for the 2024 Summer School will open in January 2024.
Please take a look at the Petra-E Framework to get an idea of the level of experience required to apply. The BCLT Summer School is suitable for translators that consider themselves Level 2 (Advanced Learner) or Level 3 (Early Career Professional).
Although we cannot offer bursaries to all participants, we always try to have a variety of full bursaries available.
Please note that if you receive a bursary you will be asked to write a short one-page report on your experience of the Summer School.
To apply for a bursary you just need to complete the bursary section of the Summer School application form.
It's also worth investigating other sources of funding that might be available to you in your home country, such as Arts Council grants or funding provided by your relevant embassy, college or university.
2024 Bursary information coming soon.
Here you'll find answers to questions you have, from experience needed to what the creative writing workshops involve.
If you don't find the answer you're looking for please email us and we will respond as soon as possible.
Do I need to be an experienced literary translator to attend?
The answer is no you do not need to be an experienced literary translator to attend, although you do need to some have experience of translating. The Summer School attracts a wide variety of people from across the world with varied experiences. To give you an idea of our selection criteria we ask you to refer to the Petra-E framework of reference for the education and training of literary translators. The Summer School is aimed at translators in levels 2 and 3.
I have already published a translation, is the Summer School still relevant to me?
As the answer above stresses, the Summer School attracts a wide variety of people. Each person that attends will take something away from the week, whether it be knowledge of the industry, strategies for certain translation challenges, contacts, friends...the list goes on. Many published translators attend as it is a useful professional development opportunity.
If I apply am I guaranteed a place on the course?
The BCLT Summer School has been running for 24 years and is a popular Summer School with a very good reputation. Therefore, some of our workshops can be oversubscribed. This is why we ask applicants to choose a first and second preference if that is possible for them and their interests. If a workshop is oversubscribed we work with the workshop leader to try to create a group that we feel will work well together based on the information from your application. We contact all applicants after the deadline to state whether your application has been successful. If you are offered a place, it is at that point that we will send you a link to book onto and pay for the course in full.
What do the literary translation workshops involve?
The core activity of the week is the literary translation workshops, led by experienced literary translators and/or editors, working from a range of languages into English. During these sessions the participants work on a consensus translation of one particular text. In a majority of the workshops the author is present to talk about his or her work, answer questions and contribute to the translation process. The focus is on the process, rather than the end product. While each group is expected to come up with a consensus translation at the end of the week, it doesn’t really matter how much or how little text is actually translated. What is important is that, as a group, you really think about the possibilities, and engage with your workshop leader, author and one another in a creative, collaborative exercise.
For translators working from other languages, there are multilingual workshop strands. These workshops focus on translating into English.
All the workshops are designed to encourage collaboration and peer learning.
What do the creative writing workshops involve?
The Tuesday and Thursday mornings begin with creative writing workshops for all delegates, developing different creative writing skills for translators. The whole cohort are divided between 4-8 tutors. These sessions are designed to help literary translators focus on themselves as creative writers and take a practical, exercise-based, rather than a theoretical approach.
This workshop strand is for experienced literary translators that have published work and would like to receive some training in leading literary translation workshops.
If you are successful in gaining a place, you will spend the summer school week shadowing our experienced workshop leaders. A workshop leader will also be running dedicated workshops for the Training the Trainer cohort along with some guest speakers. These workshops address specific techniques, ideas and challenges when leading literary translation workshops.
The Training the Trainer strand will return in 2024.
The BCLT Summer School is run in partnership with the National Centre for Writing and is generously supported by a number of national and international sponsors. The 2023 Summer School was supported by the following partners:
The Yanai Initiative
The BCLT's International Literary Translation Summer School has been running since 2000 at University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.
Throughout those years the Summer School has been invaluable for many literary translators for many different reasons, including professional development and networking. Here is some of the feedback we have received:
I gained more confidence in my translation skills, met people I can consult or collaborate with in the future, and learned a lot about the professional/marketing side of translating.
Summer School attendee, 2022
It was such a privilege to focus only on translation for an entire week, to think deeply and intensely, and to share that process with others.
Summer School attendee, 2022
I found the online format a smooth and enjoyable experience. It was successful in replicating the main parts of the campus-based event. Once I had got over the initial unfamiliarity of working with other people who I had not met in person, I almost became unaware of the online environment.
Dutch workshop attendee, 2020
Being relatively new to the field of translation and particularly literary translation, I felt a little nervous before coming to the Summer School. I quickly came to learn that all the participants and instructors - regardless of their level of experience or chosen career path - were eager to share their advice, ideas and philosophies on translation, and equally willing to listen to my views.
The BCLT Summer School was, for me, an overwhelmingly positive experience and I would recommend it wholeheartedly to any budding or seasoned translator.
French workshop attendee, 2019
The hand's on translation sessions were very helpful, particularly when we moved into smaller groups. And the networking was fantastic - a few of us are already planning a co-translation project for September.
Italian workshop attendee, 2019
I feel re-energized, and ready to tackle the challenges of translating children's literature! I was given so much to think about this week and feel like I want to apply it right away. And if I run into snags (inevitable!) I know I have a wonderful support group to turn to.
Multilingual Prose workshop attendee, 2019
It was a truly wonderful week, spending time with a diverse range of interesting people. The final presentations were genuinely moving as we were able to see how much high calibre work could be produced across many languages and styles in a very short space of time.
German workshop attendee, 2017
I learned to have confidence in what I've done and feel happy that I'm ready to start pitching my sample translations. I also picked up a few tips on publishers who might be interested in my project and grants available.
Multilingual Prose workshop attendee, 2017
It has inspired me to keep going and pursue a career in the field, to have the confidence to believe in my own writing.
German workshop attendee, 2016
The workshops themselves were fantastic, but it was these unrepeatable chances to chat and hang out with like-minded aspiring linguists over breakfast, coffee, dinner and drinks, that made the Summer School such a valuable experience.
Daniel Bradley, Japanese workshop attendee, 2013.
I attended the BCLT Summer School as a participant in 2006.....It was a life-changing experience....Many of the people I met that week later helped me to get work, and vice versa.
Katy Derbyshire, German workshop attendee, 2006 - German workshop leader 2012 onwards.