BCLT Summer School (23-29 July 2023), University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. 

The 2023 BCLT Summer School will be taking place in-person for the first time since 2019. 

The workshop strands for 2023 are:

  • Arabic-English - led by Nariman Youssef
  • French-English - led by Adriana Hunter
  • Japanese-English - led by Hitomi Yoshio
  • Korean-English - led by Anton Hur
  • Literature from Taiwan - led by Jeremy Tiang
  • Multilingual Poetry - led by Leo Boix
  • Multilingual Prose - led by Daniel Hahn

After 23 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 and short talks addressing various aspects of the theory and practice of literary translation, with a focus on professional development for translators.

Residential fee £850.00 (includes tuition, bed and breakfast accommodation for 6 nights, lunch Monday - Friday, dinner on Sunday-Friday, excluding Wednesday). Participants must fund their own travel expenses.

Non-residential fee - £450.00 (includes tuition, lunch Monday - Friday, opening and closing dinners on Sunday and Friday). Participants must fund their own travel expenses.

We have a large number of FULL residential bursaries available to apply for, more information below.

Applications are now open. Find out how to apply below.

The deadline for applications is Monday 27th March 2023.

We have made the decision to offer both in-person and online Summer Schools in the future. Our 2023 Summer School will be in-person followed by an online Summer School in 2024. 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? 

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.   

 

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.

 

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. 

 

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. 

 

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 workshop leaders, plenary session speakers and more writers in residence to be announced soon.

Applications for the 2023 Summer School are OPEN.

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).

To apply for the Summer School you must do the following:

  1. Download, complete and return the 2023 BCLT Summer School Application Form.
  2. Download, complete and return the 2023 BCLT Summer School Personal Details Form.

The application form asks for a sample translation of up to 400 words. Please include the original extract and your English translation.

Please save your completed application form and personal details form as PDFs and ensure that your FULL NAME is included in the file names. Please email them both to bclt@uea.ac.uk.

Deadline for applications is 23:59 (BST) on Monday 27th March 2023.

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.

You can apply for more than one bursary – for example you could apply for a language-specific bursary and the BCLT bursary if you are eligible. 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.

2023 Bursaries 

Arabic-English (Supported by the Sheikh Zayed Book Award)

6 x Full residential bursaries (worth £850.00 each) are available for translators applying for this workshop strand.

French-English (Supported by Pro Helvetia)

12 x Full residential bursaries (worth £850.00 each) are available for translators applying for this workshop strand. 

Japanese-English (Supported by the Yanai Initiative)

12 x Full residential bursaries (worth £850.00 each) are available for translators applying for this workshop strand.

There will also be travel bursaries worth up to £500 available for non-UK translators to apply for. Translators will be able to apply for a travel bursary if they are offered a place on the course. 

Korean-English (Supported by LTI Korea)

8 x Full residential bursaries (worth £850.00 each) are available for translators applying for this workshop strand.

Literature from Taiwan (Supported by the National Museum of Taiwan Literature)

12 x Full residential bursaries (worth £850.00 each) are available for translators applying for this workshop strand.

There will also be two travel bursaries worth up to NT$ 60,000 available for two Taiwanese citizens to apply for. Taiwanese translators will be able to apply for a travel bursary if they are offered a place on the course. 

Any workshop strand

3 x BCLT Full residential bursaries (worth £850.00 each) available for anyone to apply for that requires financial assistance for any reason.

Travel Bursaries

Travel bursaries will be available to apply for once places are offered to translators in April 2023. You do not need to apply for travel bursaries at the initial application stage. 

Japanese travel bursaries - There will be travel bursaries worth up to £500 available for non-UK translators to apply for. Translators will be able to apply for a travel bursary if they are offered a place on the course. 

Literature from Taiwan travel bursaries - There will be two travel bursaries worth up to NT$ 60,000 available for two Taiwanese citizens to apply for. Taiwanese translators will be able to apply for a travel bursary if they are offered a place on the course. 

General travel bursaries - Thanks to the support of Translators Aloud and Seagull Books, we have a fund of up to £450 for travel bursaries. This is available for anyone to apply for that requires financial assistance for any reason. Translators will be able to apply for a travel bursary if they are offered a place on the course. 

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 23 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 poetry and multillingual prose 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 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 is supported by the following partners:

Arts Council England

 

 

 

LTI Korea

 

 

 

 

National Museum of Taiwan Literature

 

 

 

Ministry of Culture, Taiwan

 

Pro Helvetia

 

Sheikh Zayed Book Award

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Yanai Initiative 

 

 

Seagull Books

 

 

 

 

 

Translators Aloud

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.