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Summer School Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will hopefully find the answers to any question you may have about the Summer School from 'How do I apply?' to 'Where will I be staying?'. If you don't find the answer you are looking for please email us and we will respond as soon as possible.

Do I need to be an experienced literary translator to attend?

The answer is no you do not need to be an experienced literary translator to attend. The Summer School attracts a wide variety of people from across the world with varied experiences. Some may just be exploring literary translation whereas others may be more established literary translators that have already published work. Some may do literary translation as a hobby whereas others are more serious about establishing a career in literary tranlsation - it is a real mix.   

I have already published a translation, is the Summer School still relevant to me?

As the answer above stresses, the Summer School attracts a wide variety of people from newcomers to the more established literary translators. Each person that attends will take something away from the week, whether it be knowledge of the industry, strategies for certain translation challenges, contacts, friends...the list goes on. The Summer School is open to all levels of experience. 

How do I apply?

Visit our 'How to Apply' page on the website for details of how to make an application.

If I apply am I guaranteed a place on the course?

The BCLT Summer School has been running for over 20 years and is a popular Summer School with a very good reputation. Therefore, some of our workshops can be oversubscribed. This is why we ask applicants to choose a first and second preference if that is possible for them and their interests. If your application is not successful on this occasion we are always happy to provide feedback. If a workshop is oversubscribed we work with the workshop leader to try to create a group that we feel will work well together based on the information from your application. We contact all applicants after the deadline to state whether your application has been succesful. It is at that point that we will send you a link to book onto and pay for the course in full.

What do the literary translation workshops involve?

The core activity of the week is the literary translation workshops, led by experienced literary translators and/or editors, working from a range of languages into English. During these sessions the participants work on a consensus translation of one particular text. In a majority of the workshops the author is present to talk about his or her work, answer questions and contribute to the translation process. This year languages on offer are Danish, Dutch and French (plus another TBC). The focus is on the process, rather than the end product. While each group is expected to come up with a consensus translation at the end of the week, it doesn’t really matter how much or how little text is actually translated. What is important is that, as a group, you really think about the possibilities, and engage with your workshop leader, author and one another in a creative, collaborative exercise. 

For translators working from other languages, we will be running two multilingual workshops, one for prose and one for theatre. These will be for translators working from any language into English. 

All the workshops are designed to encourage collaboration and peer learning.

What do the creative writing workshops involve?

The Tuesday and Thursday mornings begin with creative writing workshops for all delegates, developing different creative writing skills for translators. The whole cohort are divided between two tutors. These sessions are designed to help literary translators focus on themselves as creative writers and take a practical, exercise-based, rather than a theoretical approach.

Where do the workshops take place?

All of the workshops take place in the Enterprise Centre on campus at University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, famed for being the 'Greenest building in the UK'.

Do we have any free time to explore Norwich?

Wednesday afternoon and evening is kept free for participants to explore Norwich city centre and the surrounding area if they would like to. Find out more about what Norwich has to offer.

What happens on the final celebratory afternoon and evening and do I need to wear formal dress?

On the Friday afternoon each group gets to present their weeks' work to the whole Summer School. It is a wonderful celebratory afternoon and is always great fun. We will also present each attendee with a certificate for taking part in the Summer School. This is all followed by a drinks reception and some food and wine. Participants are not required to wear formal dress.

Are any bursaries available to me?

We occasionally have bursaries available to participants of the Summer School. More details can be found on the dedicated 'Bursaries' page. It is also worth investigating other sources of funding that might be available to you in your home country, such as Arts Council grants or funding provided by your relevant embassy, college or university.

If I choose the residential package what is included?

The 2020 residential package is £700 and includes all tuition, accommodation for 6 nights on the beautiful UEA campus in a single en-suite room, breakfast, morning and afternoon refreshments, lunch and dinner. There will be a mixture of dinners, including buffets, possibly a BBQ and a closing event with wine. Wednesday will be a free afternoon and evening where afternoon refreshments and evening dinner are not included. Note that accommodation is in university student halls of residence on campus. The accommodation is therefore basic, but very comfortable and in a convenient location. 

If I choose the non-residential package what is included?

The 2020 non-residential Package is £400 and include all tuition, morning and afternoon refreshments and lunch. The non-residential package includes opening and closing events with wine. There will be an option to book onto other evening meals if you would like to attend them - this will come at an extra cost. Wednesday is a free afternoon and evening where afternoon refreshments are not included. Some participants choose to stay in hostels or Airbnbs off campus.

If I am a non-residential participant can I attend the evening meals?

There will be an option to book onto evening meals on the Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings if you would like to attend them - this will come at an extra cost. However the opening drinks reception and meal on the Sunday evening is included and also the closing celebratory event is included. This is a wonderful opportunity for all participants and summer school staff to come together and celebrate their hard work and enjoy the relationships that have been established over the week.