British Centre for Literary Translation

The BCLT is Britain’s leading centre for the study and support of literary translation






The British Centre for Literary Translation (BCLT) is a research centre in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at UEA in Norwich.

We support the MA in Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia, a variety of undergraduate modules in the subject, and an extensive programme of PhD research.

What we do

How can I get a literary work translated into English and how do I make contact with a suitable translator?

As an organisation we don't provide a service for matching translators and authors/ literary works, however we do suggest that you contact the Translators Association and the Emerging Translators Network for further advice and guidance. 

Do you offer grants for translations into English?

We don’t ourselves offer grants for translations, but we often post on our Facebook and Twitter accounts regarding any upcoming opportunities that we have been made aware of. English PEN also publish a very useful list of grants that are currently available.

How do I meet fellow translators?

The Emerging Translators Network is a great source of advice, guidance and support for translators that would like to collaborate or just share best practice.

How do I get started in literary translation?

What is literary translation? These films, along with many others about literary translation are available on our YouTube channel

Where do I go next?

Find useful information about grants, funding and professional development, and other useful for literary translation sector on our resources and opportunities pages.

The BCLT Library, housed within the British Centre for Literary Translation in AHB1.19 at UEA, is a resource available to literary translators, researchers, UEA staff and students and the general public. Almost all of the library’s collection is available for readers to explore. Within the BCLT Library are books written in a wide variety of languages, as well as books translated into English from various languages. The library also contains reference works for the practice of literary translation, translations of poetry collections, dual-language poetry texts, journals relevant to literary translation, anthologies of translated works and biographies of writers. Whether you are a researcher seeking a theoretical text, an MA student looking for a work to translate, or an undergraduate student looking for something new to read, the BCLT Library welcomes you. 

Browse the BCLT Library on Tuesdays, 10am — 4pm.

You can find us in Room 1.19 in the Arts and Humanities building (previously the Registry building).

Email for more information, and to access the library outside of these hours. 

We organise a range of activities that promote literary translation in the wider community.  For example, Duncan Large organised a workshop on Bible translations at Norwich Cathedral and a Bible translation masterclass at London Review Bookshop.

If you would like to work with BCLT on an event involving literary translation, please get in touch.

Creative Translation in Schools Programme

BCLT and National Centre for Writing are working with Queens College Translation Exchange, to run a Creative Translation in Schools programme in local Norfolk schools. The focus of the programme is on bringing current UEA students from the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing and the School of Languages together with teachers and pupils from local schools for translation workshops.

With an emphasis on translation as a creative, inspiring, and aspiration-raising activity, these workshops channel the students’ expertise in translation and enthusiasm for language-learning and literature into enriching literary experiences for young people from primary age upwards. 

For further details email 

We work in close partnership with the National Centre for Writing and a wide range of other national and international organisations to deliver a programme of activities which support the professional development of literary translators and promote the recognition of literary translation as a profession.

These include the annual Sebald Lecture, usually held in the spring at the British Library in London, and the International Summer School in Literary Translation and Creative Writing, held in July at UEA in Norwich.

National Centre for Writing logo  Petra-E logo  Recit logo

Academic research networks

Our academic work is embedded within the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing and the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of East Anglia, allowing us to collaborate with numerous scholars who are members of our Affiliated Faculty and at other universities within the CHASE consortium.

BCLT works with a wide variety of other academic partners within the UK and overseas. Recent collaborations have included the conference Dalit Literature and/in Translation with the AHRC network Writing, Analysing, Translating Dalit Literature, and the PETRA-E project with seven other European partners.

National and INTERNATIONAL partners

BCLT works in collaboration with the National Centre for Writing. In addition, we work closely with regional and national partners including the Society of Authors, Literature Across Frontiers and English PEN.

BCLT is an active member of the RECIT network of literary translation centres in Europe and works with many international partners.

Summer school partners

Our annual International Literary Translation and Creative Writing Summer School is supported by partners such as the Sheikh Zayed Book AwardNippon Foundation, NORLA, Dutch Foundation for Literature, LTI Korea, the Goethe-InstitutArts Council England, Danish Arts Foundation and Pro Helvetia.

WG Sebald ("Max")Our history

BCLT was founded in 1989 by the late W.G. Sebald. ‘Max’ was Professor of European Literature at UEA and a German writer who opted to live in the UK and continue writing in German.

His novels and collections of essays, including The Rings of Saturn, The Emigrants, Austerlitz and On The Natural History of Destruction, established him as one of the leading writers of the twentieth century.

To mark 20 years since his death we are sharing past and present pieces about his life, work and legacy:

“Doubly Taxing: W. G. Sebald and Translation“, an unpublished article by Jo Catling translated by  Christophe Barnabé from a French-language original.

"Among Translators: W.G. Sebald and Translation", by Anthony Vivis, Christine Wilson and Stefan Tobler, introduced by Jo Catling. This piece was published in In Other Words.

UEA's Nick Warr has recently written a new piece about his legacy.