British Centre for Literary Translation

Opportunities funding, competitions and help for translators


PEN Translates

The PEN Translates Grants Programme is run by English PEN and is backed by Arts Council England. This major fund for literary translation distributes £120,000 per year to translators and publishers and will support up to 20 works of outstanding literary merit translated from any world language.

PEN Translates is now open for submissions from UK publishers. the deadline is 7 December 2015.

English PEN also produce a useful spreadsheet listing possible sources of funding for translators working in the UK and Europe.

Find out more

PEN Promotes

This programme, funded by Bloomberg, awards grants to UK publishers to help, promote, market and champion titles that are being translated into English and are under contract to be published.

PEN Promotes is now closed for submissions. The next submission period will open in December 2015.

Find out how to apply at the English PEN website

New Books in German – Emerging Translators Programme

The NBG Emerging Translators Programme runs every year from January to April. The competition for entry is announced in December, and the deadline for applications is mid-January.

Applications are now open for our 2016 programme. Full details can be downloaded here, and the application text here.

The deadline is Friday 8th January 2016.

Asymptote – Second Annual Contest for Emerging Translators

Fantastic news for emerging translators all over the world: ‘Close Approximations,’ Asymptote’s hugely popular translation contest, is back! Open to translators at the beginning of their careers, this contest invites translations in three genres: poetry, fiction, and—a new category this year—literary nonfiction. The winner and runner-up of each category will walk away with 1,000 USD and 500 USD respectively.


In addition to winning some serious prize money, they will also be featured in our April 2016 issue, joining an exceptional roster of translators published in our pages, including J.M. Coetzee, Lydia Davis, Susan Bernofsky, Robert Chandler, Ros Schwartz, Daniel Hahn, Pierre Joris, Rosmarie Waldrop and Howard Goldblatt.

For more information

John Dryden Translation Competition

Sponsored jointly by BCLT and the British Comparative Literature Association (BCLA)

The competition is organised by the BCLA and named in memory of the first British poet laureate John Dryden (1631–1700), who was a literary critic, translator, and playwright as well as a poet.

The John Dryden Translation Competition awards prizes for unpublished literary translations from any language into English. Literary translation includes poetry, prose, or drama from any period.

There are three prizes of £350, £200, and £100; other entries may receive commendations. All three prizes also include one-year BCLA membership.

The closing date for receipt of entries for 2015-2016 is 16 February 2016.

Find out more at the BCLA website

Programme of Translation Workshops for Autumn Semester 2015

Find out more about Translation Workshops at the University of East Anglia

Find out more about the MA in Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia

 UEA Live

Join us for: The Very Best in New Writing Talent & Headline Guest Authors from Across the Country.

UEA Live in collaboration with Writers’ Centre Norwich present a series of free literature evenings at Writers’ Centre Norwich’s new home – the spectacular, medieval Dragon Hall.

All events free. All welcome.

Find out more about UEA Live

Cambridge Conversations in Translation

Alternate Wednesdays, 14:30–16:30 during term-time

CRASSH, Seminar room SG2, Alison Richard Building

For more information

French and German Poetry Translation Workshops.

French and German poetry translators are invited to join a bi-monthly workshop in Central London (easily accessible by bus and Tube).

The group welcomes anyone with good French and/or German and an interest in translating poetry.

The group has been running for 10 years and has published two bi-lingual anthologies (both obtainable in the Poetry library South Bank Centre) –  ‘Over the Water’  (published by Hearing Eye) and ‘Across Frontiers’ (published by Amazon).

There is no fee, but anyone interested is invited to submit 3 – 4 translations from either French or German, and then to attend one meeting to see if the experience is satisfactory for everyone. Members come from Edinburgh, Essex, Oxford , Germany and North and South London.

Workshops meet on a Sunday 10.30 – 4.30.  Lunch and tea are provided. The next workshops are on Sunday 27 September, then Sunday 29 November.

Further details from


The Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation

in association with the Guardian

The 2015 winners are announced! The 2015 competition was judged by Josephine Balmer, Katie Gramich, WN Herbert and Stephen Romer. The competition will run again in January 2016. Entrants were invited to submit a previously unpublished English translation of a poem from any language, ancient or modern. There were cash prizes in three categories: Open, 18-and-under, 14-and-under.

Details can be found at

Email for a free booklet of past winning entries (UK addresses only).

Translators in Schools 2015

After two successful pilot programmes and in reponse to growing demand, Translators in Schools are launching the programme as an ongoing training scheme.

The 2015 programme includes a training day for multi-lingual teachers and a three-stage course for translators and bi-lingual teaching assistants.

Find out more at the Translators in Schools website

Emerging Translators Network

The Emerging Translators Network is a forum and support network for early-career literary translators working into English (primarily) and focused essentially on the UK,

ETN provides an email-based discussion group, where you can ask questions, seek and give advice, exchange tips and resources, post details of events and opportunities or even pass on work. Occasional meetings, socials, events and workshops are held in London throughout the year. Members outside London also organize meetings in their own areas.

It’s free to join, but prospective members should demonstrate a genuine interest in developing a career in literary translation

Find out more at the Emerging Translators Network website



BCLT hosts the Charles Wallace India Trust residencies for translators from India. Unfortunately we are not able to host a residency programme for translators from other languages.

Find out more about the Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship 2015-2016

Closing date for applications was 15 November 2015.

BCLT is a member of RECIT, the network for European literary translation houses.

Visit the RECIT website for more information about residencies at translation centres in the network.


Payment Rates for Literary Translation

The negotiation of fees is a matter for the individual translator and client to resolve.

It is the experience of the Society of Authors, when reviewing contracts, that UK publishers are prepared to pay in the region of £90 per 1,000 words.

Find out more at the Translators Association website


Literature Across Frontiers

Literature Across Frontiers is a European platform for literary exchange, translation and policy debate.  Surveys of national organisations and publishers supporting literary translation can be downloaded from the LAF website.  LAF also publishes data and statistics on literary translations in the UK and Ireland.

Find out more at the LAF website

Download the list of publishers in the UK and Ireland who publish translations

LTI Korea

The Literature Translation Institute of Korea (LTI Korea) was established in 2001, as an affiliate organization of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, to promote Korean literature and culture in all corners of the world. LTI Korea is spearheading the efforts to globalize Korean literature through a whole gamut of programs, including translation and publication grants, international literary exchanges, and fostering translators of Korean literature, and much more.

Find out more at the LTI website