British Centre for Literary Translation

Opportunities funding, competitions and help for translators


Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize – Polish Language for 2015

 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.

This year’s winner will take part in a mentorship with renowned translator and judge of this year’s prize Antonia Lloyd-Jones, and will also be invited to participate in Crossing Border Festival in November 2015.

As well as the mentorship and taking part in Crossing Border, the winning translator will receive £1000 and a selection of Harvill Secker titles.

The deadline for entries is 31st July.

The short story and details on how to enter can be found at



John Dryden Translation Competition

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

The  2015-16 competition is now open for entries.

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The John Dryden Translation Competition awards prizes for unpublished literary translations from any language into English.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.

Find out more at the BCLA website


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.

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


PEN Translates!

The PEN Translates! Grants Programme is open to submissions from all UK-based publishers.

PEN Translates! 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.

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 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.

Find out how to apply at the English PEN 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

The Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation

in association with the Guardian

The 2015 competition, judged by Josephine Balmer, Katie Gramich, WN Herbert and Stephen Romer, is open for entries. Entrants, who must be UK or Irish nationals or residents (includes anyone studying in the UK or Ireland), are invited to submit a previously unpublished English translation of a poem from any language, ancient or modern. There are cash prizes in three categories: Open, 18-and-under, 14-and-under.

The closing date is 22 May 2015, and details and entry forms can be found at

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


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

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






French and German Poetry Translation Workshops.

French and German poetry translators are invited to join a  bi-monthly workshop in Central London.

The group has been running for 10 years and has published two bi-lingual anthologies (both available at the South Bank) –  ‘Over the Water’  (pub. by Hearing Eye) and ‘Across Frontiers.  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.

Further details from


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

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 will include 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



Translate in Chantilly

Two and a half days of hands-on training in French-to-English and English-to-French translation by top industry professionals.

Hippodrome de Chantilly, August 3-5 2015.

Find out more at the Translate in Chantilly website