BCLT Summer School, 22-26 July 2024, ONLINE
Fee - £350
Bursaries are available, find out more below.
The Workshop strands for 2024 are:
- Japanese (Advanced) - This year's workshop is for mid-career literary translators and/or translators that have previously attended a Japanese workshop at the BCLT Summer School
- Literature from Flanders - Suitable for Dutch to English translators - no previous knowledge of Flemish literature required
- Multilingual Poetry
- Multilingual Prose
- Multilingual Theatre
- Training the Trainer
All workshops are translating into English.
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.
Download an example programme to find out more about the timings for the week.
APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN. Find out how to apply below.
Deadline for applications is 23:59 (BST) on Sunday 31 March 2024.
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?
BCLT Summer School 2024 Faculty
Nariman Youssef - Workshop Leader
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.
Writer in Residence
Information to follow
Jen Calleja – Workshop Leader
Jen Calleja is a writer, literary translator from German, and publisher based in Hastings, UK. She has translated nearly twenty works of German-language literature by writers including Marion Poschmann, Wim Wenders, Raphaela Edelbauer, Michelle Steinbeck and Kerstin Hensel. She has been shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize and the Schlegel-Tieck Prize for her translations. She was a Translator in Residence at the British Centre for Literary Translation (2023), and the inaugural Translator in Residence at the British Library (2017-2019) and the Austrian Cultural Forum London (2015-2017). Her own books include Vehicle: a verse novel (Prototype, 2023), Dust Sucker (Makina Books, 2023) and I’m Afraid That’s All We’ve Got Time For (Prototype 2020). Alongside Kat Storace, she is co-founding publisher at Praspar Press, a small press for Maltese literature in English and English translation.
@niewview | www.jencalleja.com | @prasparpress | www.praspar.com
Helene Bukowski – Writer in Residence
Helene Bukowski, born in Berlin in 1993, now lives in her hometown again. She studied at the Hildesheim Literature Institute. In addition to writing, she runs seminars and workshops for creative writing. Her debut novel Milchzähne was published in 2019, followed by the novel Die Kriegerin (The Warrior) in 2022. Her books have been translated into various languages and have been nominated for the Mara Cassens Prize, the Kranichsteiner Literaturförderpreis and the LiteraTour Nord Prize, among others. Milchzähne (Milkteeth) was made into a film directed by Sophia Bösch and will be released in cinemas in 2024
Clarissa Botsford – Workshop Leader
Clarissa Botsford grew up in the UK, moved to Italy as an English lector in 1980 and ended up staying. She holds MAs in Modern and Medieval Languages from Cambridge, Comparative Education from the Institute of Education (London University) and Intercultural Studies from Rome, La Sapienza. A taste for literary translation developed later in life, after decades of non-fiction translating and running translation workshops at the University of Roma Tre. She went on to win a Pen Heim grant, was short-listed for the Crime Fiction in Translation dagger and a finalist in the 2022 ALTA Italian Prose in Translation prize. She has collaborated with the BCLT Summer School and the ESLT Rome conference and featured at numerous translation events, including a translation slam at the CEATL Conference, the Swiss-UK Publishing Day, and, recently, the first Festival of Italian and Irish Literature in Dublin. She has translated novels by Elvira Dones, Viola Ardone, Alessandro Baricco, Erica Mou, Concita De Gregorio, Sacha Naspini and Lia Levi. Clarissa is also a musician, as well as a Humanist wedding and funeral celebrant and celebrant trainer.
Fabio Andina – Writer in Residence
Fabio Andina (Lugano, Switzerland - 1972) graduated in cinema in San Francisco where he had the opportunity to meet the poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti who opened up the world of the Beat Generation to him - also regarding styles and compositional techniques. His publications, translated into various languages and winners of important literary prizes, include novels, collections of short stories, poems and screenplays. He lives and writes in Leontica, in the Swiss Ticino Alps. His website is www.fabioandina.com
Polly Barton - Workshop Leader
Polly Barton is a Japanese-English translator based in the UK. Her translations include Butter by Asako Yuzuki, Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda, Spring Garden by Tomoka Shibasaki, and There's No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura. Her translation of Mild Vertigo by Mieko Kanai was awarded a 2023-2024 Lindsley and Masao Miyoshi Translation Prize. She is the author of Fifty Sounds and Porn: An Oral History, published by Fitzcarraldo Editions.
Information to follow
Clare Richards – Workshop Leader
Clare Richards is an editor and translator from Korean. Clare has attended the BCLT Summer School twice, in 2020 and 2023, and after being mentored by Anton Hur through the NCW Emerging Translators Mentorship scheme in 2020-1, she is this now year's mentor, working with mentee Joheun Lee. Her debut novel translation, Kang Hwagil’s gothic thriller, Another Person, was published by Pushkin Press last year, and her translation of Yeon Somin's The Healing Season of Pottery is upcoming with Viking in the UK and Algonquin in the US. She has also translated Lim Solah's short story collection, To Say That It's Nothing, with a grant from LTI Korea. Clare has a particular interest in the intersection between disability and translation, and is passionate about making literary translation more accessible as a field. @clarehannahmary
Lim Solah – Writer in Residence
Poet and novelist Lim Solah is an extraordinary talent who has won essentially every award to be had in South Korea. First and foremost an activist, Lim’s work shines a glaring light on some of modern society’s most exploitative—and under-scrutinised—practices, giving voice to those who suffer most within their grip. Lim debuted in 2015 with hit novel The Best Life, inspired by her own experiences as a teenage runaway, which received the Munhakdongne University Fiction Prize and was later adapted for screen with director Lee Woo-jung’s Snowball in 2020. She has authored two poetry and two short story collections, winning the prestigious Munhakdongne Young Writer’s Award in 2022 for short story Tending to Fruit Flies. Her second novel in eight years, I Say I Am There, was published at the end of 2023.
Literature from Flanders
Laura Watkinson – Workshop Leader
Laura Watkinson loves reading and translating books of all kinds, from picture books to YA thrillers, literary fiction and non-fiction. Two of her career highlights have been visiting the film sets for the Netflix series The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt, which she translated for Pushkin Press, and the shortlisting of her translation of Annet Schaap’s Lampie (also Pushkin Press) for the Carnegie Medal, the first translated book to be nominated for the award since it was established in 1936. Three of her translated books have won the Mildred L. Batchelder Award: Bibi Dumon Tak’s Mikis and the Donkey and Soldier Bear (Eerdmans) and Truus Matti’s Mister Orange (Enchanted Lion). Laura lives in a tall, thin house on a canal in Amsterdam with her husband, her cat, and lots of shelves of lovely books.
Bart Moeyaert - Writer in Residence
Bart Moeyaert (b. 1964) was barely nineteen when he made his debut as a writer. His work has been described by critics as poetic, cinematic and appealing to the senses, and has been translated into twenty-seven languages. In 2014 he was appointed as the artistic director of the Frankfurt 2016 project, when Flanders and the Netherlands were joint guests of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair. He is the Laureate of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2019. This year he is shortlisted for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award for the fourth time. In April 2024 his Een ander leven (Another Life) will be published as the 328th title in Privé-domein, a series of autobiographical books at De Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam. Moeyaert’s work is published by Querido, Amsterdam. www.bartmoeyaert.com
Daniel Hahn – Workshop Leader
Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator. Recent translations include a short story collection from Angola, a Venezuelan novel, and non-fiction books about lighthouses, linguistics and death. He is currently writing a book about Shakespeare, co-editing a collection of Brazilian short stories and translating a Peruvian novel.
Writer in Residence
Information to follow
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. His second English collection is forthcoming with Chatto & Windus (Vintage) in early 2025.
Sawad Hussain is a translator from Arabic whose work in 2023 was shortlisted for The Warwick Prize for Women in Translation and the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation, and longlisted for The Moore Prize for Human Rights Writing. She is a judge for the Palestine Book Awards. 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 Edo's Souls by Stella Gaitano (Dedalus Books) and The Djinn's Apple by Djamila Morani (Neem Tree Press). Her upcoming works include the co-translation of The Book Censor's Library by Bothayna al-Essa (Restless Books).
Her website is: www.sawadhussain.com
William Gregory is a translator and dramaturg whose work with Hispanic playwrights has included A Fight Against… by Pablo Manzi and B by Guillermo Calderón (Royal Court), Cuzco by Víctor Sánchez Rodríguez (Theatre503) and The Bit-Players by José Sánchez Sinisterra (Southwark Playhouse). Published works include The Uncapturable by Rubén Szuchmacher (Methuen) and The Children of Taltal by Bosco Cayo (Laertes). He has collaborated with the translation mentorship programme of London-based theatre company Foreign Affairs since 2016. In 2020 he facilitated the Summer School’s first-ever theatre group, and in 2022 led the Royal Court’s inaugural Introduction to Translation workshop. He was joint BCLT Translator in Residence in 2020-21 and shortlisted for the 2019 Valle Inclán Award for translation from Spanish for The Oberon Anthology of Contemporary Spanish Plays. He is a member of the Ibero-American theatre collective Out of the Wings.
Training the Trainer
Adriana Hunter - Workshop Leader
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 just over 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.
MA in Literary Translation Strand
Michele Hutchison – Workshop Leader
Michele Hutchison was born in the UK and has lived in Amsterdam since 2004. She was educated at UEA, Cambridge and Lyon universities. She translates literary fiction and nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels and children’s books. Recent translations include works by Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, Raoul Deleo, Octavie Wolters, Gerda Blees, and Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, with whom she shared the 2020 International Booker Prize for The Discomfort of Evening. She also co-authored the successful parenting book The Happiest Kids in the World.
Mayada Ibrahim is a literary translator based in Queens, New York, with roots in Khartoum and London. She works between Arabic and English. Her translations have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and published by Willows House in South Sudan, Archipelago Books, Dolce Stil Criollo, and 128 Lit. She is the managing editor at Tilted Axis Press.
Applications for the 2024 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:
- Download, complete and return the 2024 BCLT Summer School Application Form.
- Download, complete and return the 2024 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 separate PDFs and ensure that your FULL NAME is included in the file names.
Please email them both as separate PDF files to email@example.com.
Deadline for applications is 23:59 (BST) on Sunday 31 March 2024.
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.
Arabic - English
All 10 chosen participants in the Arabic-English workshop will receive a full tuition fee bursary, kindly supported by the Sheikh Zayed Book Award.
German - English
Goethe-Institut London and New Books in German are offering 2 full tuition fee bursaries. We would particularly encourage applications from translators from a social or ethnic background that is traditionally under-represented in literary translation.
Italian – English
All 10 chosen participants in the Italian-English workshop will receive a full tuition fee bursary, kindly supported by Pro Helvetia.
Japanese - English
All 10 chosen participants in the Japanese-English workshop will receive a full tuition fee bursary, kindly supported by the Yanai Initiative.
Korean - English
All 10 chosen participants in the Korean-English workshop will receive a full tuition fee bursary, kindly supported by LTI Korea.
Literature from Flanders
All 10 chosen participants in the Literature from Flanders workshop will receive a full bursary, kindly supported by the Flip Through Flanders initiative by Flanders Literature.
BCLT is offering 1 full tuition fee bursary. This bursary is open to translators that are on a low income or that specifically require some extra financial support. We would like this bursary to make it possible for a translator to attend that may not have had the opportunity otherwise.
Translators Aloud is offering 1 full tuition fee bursary for a Black, Asian or Ethnically Diverse literary translator from anywhere in the world to attend the Summer School.
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. Please note: the Japanese workshop this year is an advanced workshop, specifically for mid-career translators and/or translators that have previously taken part in a Japanese workshop at the BCLT Summer School. We are not asking for specific evidence, but translators can identify whether they consider themselves to be mid-career. For example, you may have already published a book in translation. You may have attended one or two Japanese workshops at the Summer School and have published work in magazines or journals.
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 almost 25 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.
The Japanese workshop this year is an advanced workshop - The workshop will be led by Polly Barton and she will be joined by one or two English-speaking editors (to be confirmed). Each translator in the workshop will be asked to bring an extract that they are working on and the group will workshop each text alongside Polly and a professional editor. This is a great opportunity to work with a group of more experienced translators to share skills and experience. It is also a rare chance to spend time with a professional editor working in the industry.
The core activities will be taking place between 9.30am and 5.30pm (BST) each day. The Wednesday will be a half day finishing at around 1pm (BST). You must be available to attend all of the core sessions. There will be optional evening events/activities that will usually run between 7pm and 9pm (BST).
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.
What are the timings for the week?
The core Summer School workshop sessions and plenaries will take place between 9.30am and 5.30pm (BST). If you are offered a place you will be expected to attend all of these core sessions, as they are interactive and often in small groups. There will also be optional morning and evening events. You can download an example programme here.
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. Adriana Hunter will also be running dedicated workshops for the Training the Trainer cohort. These workshops address specific techniques, ideas and challenges when leading literary translation workshops.
You will also have the opportunity to experience at least one of the Creative Writing workshops.
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 2024 Summer School was supported by the following partners:
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:
The Summer School provided me with multiple valuable professional connections and information about the field, both of which will help me immensely as a full-time freelance literary translator.
Summer School attendee, 2023
The BCLT summer school is an extraordinary experience -- so concentrated and so valuable for taking a deep dive into the craft of translation, honing negotiation skills and building new relationships.
Summer School attendee, 2023
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
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
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
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.