Advanced Scandinavian-English Translation Workshop
(7-9 November 2023, Online)
Since 2021, BCLT has been running 3-day online advanced translation workshops for literary translators that have already published one or more book-length works of fiction/literary non-fiction translated into English. These workshops bring together translators from around the world working with the same language combinations. We ran a pilot of this event in 2021 with the support of the Institut Ramon Llull, with a focus on Catalan-English translators. We then ran a second successful advanced translation workshop in November 2022 for German-English literary translators, in collaboration with Goethe Institut and New Books in German.
Thanks to the generous support of the Danish Arts Foundation, NORLA and the Swedish Arts Council, this year we will be running a larger advanced translation workshop for Danish, Norwegian and Swedish to English literary translators. We will have 3 individual workshop strands running at the same time and also bring the cohorts together for plenary events and networking to explore the similarities and differences when working as literary translators with Scandinavian languages. Each group of 10 translators will work with an experienced literary translator and an editor (with no/little knowledge of the source language).
Previous participants on the advanced translation workshops have applied for the following reasons:
“I wanted to gain more experience and confidence in my own translation practice.”
“I applied because, due to various circumstances, I have struggled to make the step from one published book to regular translation work. I relished the chance of collaborative work and the opportunity to hone my skills.”
“Because I was losing confidence after a few ignored pitches and some very dull commercial work.”
“To refine existing translation skills, establish new professional connections and contribute to others through constructive feedback.”
Find out more about the programme and how to apply below.
During the workshop sessions, the groups will discuss a range of challenging texts brought to the table by the translators themselves. They will work to find creative specific and replicable solutions. While looking in sequence at a variety of texts, they will also aim to gather a bank of recurring problems and work on some approaches to tackling them. The workshop facilitator will draw on their long experience of translating; and the editors will approach the work from an editor's viewpoint. The advanced translation workshops are a rare professional development opportunity for published literary translators and are designed to bring peers together to discuss their work and challenges.
Cost of attending
Thanks to the support of our sponsors, the Advanced Scandinavian Translation Workshop will be free of charge to all 30 translators taking part.
The literary translation workshops will be interspersed with plenary sessions focused on the industry.
Hold Your Nose and…Translate?
How to translate books you don’t adore, and how to talk about it afterwards
Meet the World: Translating Genre
National Centre for Writing
Chaired by Aki Schilz (Chair) with speakers Jade Chandler (Baskerville at John Murray Press), Kirsty Dunseath (Doubleday at Transworld) and Rory Williamson (Pushkin Press).
You can watch the plenary sessions from the 2021 and 2022 Advanced Translation workshops on the BCLT YouTube channel.
Paul Russell Garrett
Paul is a literary translator from Danish and Norwegian, with drama holding a particular interest for him. He has translated a dozen plays and heads the translator mentoring programme at Foreign Affairs theatre company in London. He has also translated a score of books, most recently Michael Strunge’s punk poetry collection, Speed of Life. In 2020, his translation of Christina Hesselholdt’s Vivian was longlisted for The Warwick Prize for Women in Translation. Paul is the current chair of DELT (the association of Danish-English Literary Translators) and is a founding member of the translator collective, The Starling Bureau.
Kari Dickson is a literary translator from Norwegian. Her work includes crime fiction, literary fiction, children’s books, theatre and non-fiction. Her translation of Roslund & Hellström’s Three Seconds won the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) International Dagger in 2011. She is also an occasional tutor in Norwegian language, literature and translation at the University of Edinburgh, and has worked with BCLT, the National Centre for Writing and the TA committee.
Ian Giles is an Edinburgh-based Scandinavian languages-to-English translator. He currently serves on the committee of the Translators Association and has been Chair of SELTA since 2018. His recent publications include translations of Camilla Läckberg and David Lagercrantz.
Ore Agbaje-Williams is a British-Nigerian writer and editor from North London who has written for gal—dem, Glamour UK and Wasafiri magazine. Her fiction writing has also been featured on Reflex Fiction. Her first novel, The Three of Us, was published in May 2023.
Greg Clowes is a Commissioning Editor at Viking, an imprint of Penguin General. Previously, he was at Chatto & Windus and Vintage Paperbacks. He has worked with a mixture of fiction and non-fiction writers, in both English and translation. The authors he's worked with include Yan Lianke, Dag Solstad, Charlotte Van den Broek, Erling Kagge, Lawrence Osborne, Taran N. Khan, Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Helen DeWitt, Cara McGoogan, Adam Higginbotham, Thomas Heatherwick, David Omand, Will Gompertz and the estate of Anne Frank.
(c) Maaike Koning, 2023
Michele Hutchison was born in Solihull. She earned a first class degree in Comparative Literature with French at UEA, the equivalent of a BA Hons in Philosophy from Lyon University and an MPhil in European Literature from Cambridge. She is an award-winning translator and worked as an editor at Penguin, Weidenfeld and Doubleday publishing houses in the UK, and De Arbeiderspers in the Netherlands, focussing on books in translation. She now enjoys a portfolio career as a freelancer.
Plenary session speakers
Charlotte Barslund translates books and plays from Norway, Denmark and Greenland. Her translation of Is Mother Dead by Vigdis Hjorth was nominated for the 2023 International Booker Prize. Novels translated include Will and Testament and Long Live the Post Horn both by Vigdis Hjorth, the Arctic crime novels The Girl Without Skin and Cold Fear by Mads Peder Nordbo, Resin by Ane Riel, which was shortlisted for the 2019 Petrona Award, and A House in Norway by Vigdis Hjorth, which was longlisted for the 2019 International Dublin Literary Award. Her translation of Wildwitch by Lene Kaaberbøl was the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY UK) Honour Book of 2018.
Kirsty Dunseath began her career at Jonathan Cape and then The Women’s Press in the 1990s. She went on to join Orion in 2002, where she remained for 16 years, publishing bestselling authors including, most notably, Gillian Flynn, whose book Gone Girl has now sold 4.3 million copies, Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind, Laura Barnett’s The Versions of Us, Michel Bussi’s After the Crash and the bestselling the Call the Midwife series. With an interest in translated fiction her other authors included Arturo Perez-Reverte, Almudena Grandes, and Gregoire Delacourt. She joined Transworld, PRH, in 2019 as Publisher of Doubleday, and her authors there include Kate Atkinson, Donal Ryan, Catherine Newman and Victoria Mas.
Jade joined John Murray from Harvill Secker in 2021 to launch the publisher’s first dedicated crime list. Baskerville publishes books that haunt the imagination, whether that be via ghostly chills, atmospheric settings or thought-provoking themes. The list is home to Sunday Times number one bestseller Mick Herron and includes translated titles such as 1795: The Order of the Furies by Niklas Natt Och Dag – translated by Ian Giles – and Lady Joker by Kaoru Takamura – translated by Allison Markin Powell and Marie Iida.
Twitter handles: @jade__chandler @baskervilleJMP
Atar Hadari’s Songs from Bialik: Selected Poems of H. N. Bialik was a finalist for the American Literary Translators’ Association Award. His Pen Translates award winning Lives of the Dead: Collected Poems of Hanoch Levin appeared from Arc Publications. He contributes a verse bible translation to the US digital magazine MOSAIC and psalm translations to PLOUGH. Liverpool Hope University awarded him a PhD in Theology for a thesis on William Tyndale’s translation of Deuteronomy and how it was revised, word by word, into the King James Version. His most recent translation was Liad Shoham’s novel Key Witness.
(c) Anna Michell
Sophie Lewis is a London-based translator and an editor. Working from Portuguese and French, she has translated Natalia Borges Polesso, João Gilberto Noll, Sheyla Smanioto, Stendhal, Jules Verne, Marcel Aymé, Violette Leduc, Leïla Slimani, Noémi Lefebvre, Mona Chollet and Colette Fellous, among others. With Gitanjali Patel, she co-founded the Shadow Heroes translation workshops enterprise – www.shadowheroes.org. Lewis’s translations have been shortlisted for the Scott Moncrieff and Republic of Consciousness prizes, and longlisted for the International Booker Prize. She was joint winner of the 2022 French-American Foundation prize for non-fiction translation, for her work on anthropologist Nastassja Martin’s book In the Eye of the Wild.
Guy Puzey is Senior Lecturer in Scandinavian Studies and Head of the Department of European Languages and Cultures at the University of Edinburgh. He grew up in the Highlands of Scotland, just a short swim from Norway, and he has translated work by a wide range of authors, especially from Nynorsk, the lesser-used of the two official written standards of Norwegian.
His translation work has included fiction and non-fiction, as well as books for children and adults. He was shortlisted for the 2015 Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation for Waffle Hearts, his translation of Maria Parr’s debut novel Vaffelhjarte.
Aki Schilz is the Director of The Literary Consultancy, the UK's longest-running consultancy for writers offering editing, mentoring and events. She is a judge for various literary prizes including the Bridport First Novel Award and the Creative Future Writing Awards for marginalised writers. Aki has featured in the Bookseller 150, a list of the most influential figures in UK publishing, twice: in 2020 and in 2021. She is the Founder of the #BookJobTransparency campaign and has been recognised by the Kim Scott Walwyn and h100 awards for her work to improve representation and accessibility in the literature sector. Aki is also the founder of the Rebecca Swift Foundation, a charity that advances the craft, creativity and wellbeing of women poets, and co-Director of the Being A Writer programme for writers that focuses on creativity, wellbeing, and resilience. She is interested in, and facilitates training sessions on, how to create ethical editing frameworks for publishers. In 2023 Aki was named an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature for her contributions to literature. She is the current Vice Chair of the human rights charity English PEN. Aki was born in Japan, grew up speaking German, taught English in France, and now lives in the Bedfordshire countryside with her two dogs in a bungalow full of books from around the world.
Rory Williamson is a Scottish editor. He studied literature in Cambridge and Montreal and is now Editor at Pushkin Press, where he works on classic and contemporary books in translation.
Applications are now CLOSED.