British Centre for Literary Translation

follow @bcltuea on Twitter find BCLT on Facebook find BCLT videos on YouTube find BCLT 25th anniversary celebrations on tumblr



Emerging Translator Mentorship Programme

About our Mentorship Programme

The programme is intended for Anglophone translators with promise rather than experience, who are at a stage in their careers when they would benefit from the opportunity to work closely with an experienced mentor over a six month period.

Launched in 2010, the scheme has already produced thirty ‘graduates’ in languages ranging from Catalan to Tamil. Mentors and mentees work together in a combination of face to face meetings and also through online communication such as email or Skype.

An anthology First Lines is published each year to showcases the work of the mentees. Limited numbers of #1 and #2 are still available. Contact us if you would like a copy.

The Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize 2014

Win a place on the BCLT Mentorship Programme in 2015

Now in its fifth year, the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize aims to recognise the achievements of young translators at the start of their careers.It is an annual prize, which focuses on a different language each year and is open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 34, with no restriction on country of residence.

The chosen language for the 2014 prize is German, and entrants will be asked to translate a short story by German author Julia Franck. 

This year’s prize will be judged by author Dame Antonia Byatt, translators Shaun Whiteside,Sally-Ann Spencer and Harvill Secker editor Ellie Steel.

The winner will participate in the BCLT’s six-month-long mentorship scheme, working alongside renowned translator Shaun Whiteside.  The winning translator will also be invited to participate in Crossing Border Festival in the Netherlands and Belgium in November 2014.

The deadline for entries is 1 August

Find out more about how to enter at the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize website

Mentorships 2014

1 January – 30 June 2014


mentee Nashwa Gowanlock
mentor Paul Starkey

mentee David Young
mentor Barbara Haveland

mentee Vivien D. Glass
mentor David Colmer

mentee Claire Dickenson
mentor Ruth Urbom

mentee Atar Hadari
mentor Nicholas De Lange

mentee Geraint Howells
mentor Michael Emmerich

mentee Siân Mackie
mentor Don Bartlett

mentee Eliza Marciniak
mentor Antonia Lloyd Jones

mentee Jane Bugaeva
mentor Robert Chandler

Non-language-specific (awarded in Kurdish)
mentee Kareem Abdulrahman 
mentor Shaun Whiteside

Non-language-specific (awarded in Swedish)
mentee Saskia Vogel
mentor Shaun Whiteside

Portuguese (awarded as part of the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize)
mentee Lucy Greaves
mentor Margaret Jull  Costa 

About our Mentees

Nashwa Gowanlock is a UK-based journalist and translator. Her translations of the poems of Moroccan writer Mohammed Bennis appeared in online journals Poetry Miscellany and Asymptote, where she now works as their UK Editor-at-Large.  She holds an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

David Young worked for many years in banking and finance, and a few sporadic years teaching English in Sweden, he arrived in Denmark with his  Danish wife, Lotte, in 2002. He again began teaching English but came by chance into translation when a local author lit a spark by asking him to translate extracts from her books for her English website. That was 10 years ago and, in partnership with his wife, he now has a thriving commercial translation business, but what  yearns for  literary translation. He holds a a BA Humanities which principally involved English and European Literature and has had five non-fiction translations and one short graphic novel translation published.

Vivien D. Glass was born in Basle, Switzerland, where she was raised bilingually with English and German before moving to the Netherlands to study applied arts. She completed a Bachelor’s degree at the ITV Institute for Translation and Interpretation in Utrecht and has worked as a self-employed translator ever since, taking every opportunity to develop her skills by attending workshops in literary translation and creative writing. Vivien was translator-in-residence at the Crossing Border music and literature festival in 2011 and won the Nederland Vertaalt translation prize in 2013.

Claire Dickenson is currently studying for an MA in Translation Theory and Practice at University College London, focusing on translation from Finnish and Swedish into English. Having spent a year as an exchange student in Turku as part of her BA in Scandinavian Studies, she returned to Finland after graduation, and lived in Helsinki for a further year. During this time she completed an internship at FILI, a part of the Finnish Literature Society, focusing on the translation and promotion of Finnish literature abroad.

Atar Hadari was born in Israel, raised in England, and won a scholarship to study poetry and playwrighting with Derek Walcott at Boston University. His plays have won awards from the BBC, Arts Council of England, National Foundation of Jewish Culture (New York), European Association of Jewish Culture (Brussels) and the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he was Young Writer in Residence. Plays have been staged at the Finborough Theatre, Wimbledon Studio Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum (where he was a Mentor Playwright), Nat Horne Studio Theatre (New York), and most recently the West Yorkshire Playhouse. His “Songs from Bialik: Selected Poems of H. N. Bialik” (Syracuse University Press) was a finalist for the American Literary Translators’ Association Award and his poems have won the Daniel Varoujan award from New England Poetry Club, Petra Kenney award, a Paumanok poetry award and many other prizes. His debut poetry collection, “Rembrandt’s Bible”, was just published by Indigo Dreams Press and his “Lives of the Dead: Poems of Hanoch Levin” is forthcoming from Arc Publications. He also edits and translates fiction, history and plays from Hebrew and has twice adapted classic plays from Yiddish for theatres in Britain and the US.

Originally from Bangor, north Wales, Geraint Howells studied at the University of Manchester before moving to Japan. After returning from Japan in 2007, he started working at Nintendo as an in-house video game translator, eventually becoming a freelance translator. Since then he has worked mainly in the field of video games. Attending a BCLT workshop in April 2013 inspired Geraint to further pursue his interest in literary translation. In September he moved back to Japan.

Siân Mackie recently graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MSc in Literary Translation as a Creative Practice, having earlier completed an MA in Scandinavian Studies. She now works as a junior translator for translation company STP Nordic near Southampton, but ultimately hopes to be able to embark on a career in literary translation. She has a particular and passionate interest in translating drama, spending an embarrassing amount of time and money frequenting theatres, but also enjoys reading and translating a wide range of other literary genres. She is absolutely delighted to have been selected for the mentorship programme.

Eliza Marciniak was born in Kielce, Poland, and emigrated to Canada as the Iron Curtain fell. After completing her BA and MA in English Literature at the University of Toronto, she began working in publishing, mostly as a freelance editor and then at Penguin Canada. She moved to the UK in 2006 and currently works as an editor in London.

Jane Bugaeva emigrated to the United States from Russia at the age of seven. She is pursuing a masters degree in French, with a concentration in Translation Studies, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She translates both from French and Russian into English. Her primary translation interests lie in contemporary children’s literature, children’s poetry, as well as illustrated works for adults.

Kareem Abdulrahman  is currently working on the translation of Bakhtiyar Ali’s magical-realist novel ‘Ghazalnus and the Gardens of Imagination’ (Ghazalnus w baghakani xayal), his  first book-length translation into English. It is due to be published by Garnet Publishing in late 2014.  He was born in Iraqi Kurdistan and read English language and literature at the University of Sulaimani. He  moved to London in 2004 where he completed a Master’s degree in journalism at the University of Westminster. He has  been working for the BBC since 2006.

Saskia Vogel was born in Los Angeles, CA, and then moved to Gothenburg, Amsterdam, London and has now landed in Berlin. A short story translation for Granta, where she ran international PR and event campaigns for the literary magazine, sparked a love of translation from Swedish that resulted in a commission from Portobello Books. Her translation of Katrine Kielos’s Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner? is out in 2015. She also translates for Readux Books and participated in the BCLT’s Finland-Swedish Summer School workshop in 2013. She holds and MA in Comparative Literature from UCL and a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California. She is a co-founder of the international communications collective Dialogue Berlin and writes fiction.

Lucy Greaves lived and worked in Colombia, Peru, Chile and Switzerland before going on to study an MA in Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia. She is now based in the UK and works as a freelance translator from Spanish, Portuguese and French. Her translation work has been published by Granta and Words Without Borders.Lucy won the 2013 Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize and is currently Translator in Residence at the Free Word Centre.

The 2014 Mentorship Programme is supported by

The Foyle Foundation

Danish Arts Council
Dutch Foundation for Literature
Finnish Literature Exchange
The Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize
The Nippon Foundation
Royal Norwegian Embassy
Polish Cultural Institute
The Prokhorov Foundation



















Related content

BBC International Programme


Information about translation prizes, grants, residencies and other professional development opportunities find out more

Summer School

The 2014 Summer School will bring together experienced literary translators for a professional development Summit.  find out more

BCLT YouTube channel


Information about our publications including In Other Words, the journal for practising literary translators.


Sign-up to receive regular news updates from BCLT