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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 'Are bursaries available?'. 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, although you do need to some have experience of translating. The Summer School attracts a wide variety of people from across the world with varied experiences. To give you an idea of our selection criteria we ask you to refer to the Petra-E framework of reference for the education and training of literary translators. The Summer School is aimed at translators in levels 2 and 3. 

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. 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. Many published translators attend as it is a useful professional development opportunity. 

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 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. If you are offered a place, 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. 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 (less translated languages) and one for theatre. These will be translating 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 a 4-8 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.

What software and equipment will I need for the online Summer School?

We will be using Zoom and YouTube to deliver the Summer School. Before applying for the online event please consider the following:

  1. Is my internet connection reliable?
  2. Do I have a computer with a working camera, microphone and speaker?
  3. Will I be able to attend all of the sessions during the week? Sessions will take place between 9.30am-5.30pm (British Summer Time) with evening social events from 7-9pm (British Summer Time). Please check how these times work within your time zone.

What times will the sessions take place?

The Summer School will run from Monday 19th-Saturday 24th July 2021. Sessions will take place between 9.30am-5.30pm (British Summer Time). Optional evening social events will run from 7-9pm (British Summer Time). We understand that working online can be tiring so there will be plenty of scheduled breaks. 

Are any bursaries available to me?

We often 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.