Thursday, 8 September 2011

Literary translation events and a webinar

Hi all, 

With the rapid approach of St. Jerome's Day (where did the summer go??), several upcoming events on literary translation are also rapidly approaching. (I was all set here to pop in a copy of Breughel's Tower of Babel, but then I remembered this very pretty image from a fourteenth-century German manuscript)

INTERNATIONAL TRANSLATION DAY 2011 at the Free Word Centre takes place on Friday 30 September, 9.00am-5pm. Organised by English PEN and other leading translation organisations, it will feature workshops on practical issues such as getting started, residencies and funding, and the report Taking Flight: NewThinking on World Writing, the latest publication from the Global Translation Initiative which features essays by Olivia Sears, Maureen Freely and Peter Stothard. The provisional programme can be downloaded here. The ITD symposium is a space for all those interested in the business of literary translation to network and share ideas. This year, speakers include Sioned Rowlands, Michael Kelly, Jane Aitken, Sarah Ardizzone and Charles Hazlewood.

You can also book tickets at half price for the International Translation Day ‘evening special’ with Ahdaf Soueif and Amanda Hopkinson. Tickets are also available online.
Venue: Free Word centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3GA
Tickets: Full day entry £20; £10 concessions, including light lunch and refreshments
How to Book: Call 020 7324 2570. For further details contact Emma Cleave, Writers in Translation Programme Manager, at emma at

There's also an interesting-looking conference (even if the title is a little difficult to parse) at the British Library:

Literary Translators: Creative, Cultural and Collecting Contexts

British Library Conference Centre, London
3 October 2011, 9:00am – 8:30pm

A one-day conference jointly organised by the British Library, the Group for Literary Archives and Manuscripts, the British Centre for Literary Translation, the University of Birmingham, Poet in the City, the Polish Cultural Institute and the Lithuanian Embassy

Keynote lectures:

Adam Thirlwell (novelist and author of Miss Herbert)
Daniel Hahn (British Centre for Literary Translation, University of East Anglia)

Participants to include:

Rebecca Carter (Commissioning Editor, Random House)
Ruth Fainlight (poet and translator)
Michael Frayn (playwright)
Rosie Goldsmith (journalist and broadcaster)
Hamid Ismailov (journalist and writer) and Robert Chandler (poet and translator)
Ros Schwartz (Chair, Writers in Translation Committee at English PEN)

The conference will be followed by our evening event, Czeslaw Milosz: A Centenary Celebration (Chaired by David Constantine, editor of Modern Poetry in Translation).

This conference aims to bring together translators, academics, postgraduates, writers, publishers, librarians and archivists to examine the various relationships and contexts around literature in translation. Speakers and delegates will explore the collecting of translators’ papers as a research, educational and creative resource alongside questions including publishing models for translation, the creative dynamics of translation and differences between genres, academic and popular responses to literature and translation, and the political and socio-cultural contexts in which literary translation originates and is received. The conference seeks to have impact beyond the day itself, cultivating collaborations and initiating opportunities for delegates to pursue innovative research, business and creative projects in the future.

Conference fees (including buffet lunch and refreshments):
£35 / £25 students

Please direct any enquiries to Rachel Foss (rachel.foss at or Andrea Lloyd (andrea.lloyd at

For full conference programme and to make bookings, please go to the British Library website at

For those of you not in the London area, eCPD webinars are holding a webinar on "Working as a Literary Translator" with Maia Figueroa in which
Maia will explain her sometimes rocky path to becoming a translator of
fiction and give an insight into the characteristics of this type of
translation. Based on her real-life experiences, she will share things
translators should know about contracts, royalties, intellectual
property, relationship with publishers, associations, etc., as well as
some dos and don'ts for aspiring literary translators.

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