British Centre for Literary Translation

Opportunities funding, competitions and help for translators


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UK or Irish nationals or residents (includes anyone studying in the UK or Ireland), are invited to submit a previously unpublished English translation of a poem from any language, ancient or modern.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).



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The John Dryden Translation Competition awards prizes for unpublished literary translations from any language into English.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 Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize 2015

The Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize 2015 is now open for submissions.  The prize is for book length literary translations into English from any living European language. It aims to honour the craft of translation and to recognise its cultural importance.

It is funded by Lord Weidenfeld and by New College, The Queen’s College and St Anne’s College, Oxford.

Closing date: 31 January 2015

Further details at the St Anne’s College 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

Call for Entries: European Literature Night

Translators are invited to pitch an exciting work with international potential by a European author for the ELN Translation Pitch.

This new event, part of the 2015 ELN Series is open to all translators living in the UK or in in mainland Europe who have an author whose work they are proposing to translate into English and develop for publication.

The six best proposals will be shortlisted and the selected translators will compete for the Best Pitch by presenting their project live to a jury and audience at Free Word on 4 June 2015.

The winning translator will be offered support and promotion by English PEN and Free Word. The winning translation will be subsidised by English PEN and published on their website with an accompanhing interview on the Free Word site. PEN will also commission a professional reader’s report to accompany the sample translation so that it can be presented to UK publishers.

Closing date: 16 January 2015

Further details at the English PEN 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 £88.50 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



EU Grants for Literary Translation

Creative Europe aims to support the translation of 4,500 books over the next 6 years. Publishers and publishing groups can apply for up to EUR 100 000  for the translation, production and promotion of European fiction.

The funding deadline for the next call is 3 February 2015.

Download an information sheet from the Creative Europe Action Desk UK.