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Writers in Translation news from English PEN: October 2015


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October 2015

Welcome to your monthly newsletter from the Writers in Translation programme at English PEN

In this email you can find out about: exciting opportunities for translators; upcoming events; our weekly blog PEN Atlas; the Edinburgh First Book Award; a project by our friends at PEN International; a book by Raif Badawi; and the latest from the World Bookshelf.

If you would like to share translation news through this bulletin, please write to

Have a great month!

Translator opportunities

The PEN Samples Translation Pitch, part of European Literature Night 2016, is now open for submissions. This opportunity is open to all translators living in the UK, or in mainland Europe, who translate from a European language. Read more and apply

BCLT's Charles Wallace India Trust translation residency is now open for applications from translators based in India. Read more

October events

3 October - Translation in the Margins: A symposium exploring the radical edges of literary translation in a global context, with lectures, discussions, workshops, readings and networking opportunities. Read more
4 October - Jenny Erpenbeck at London Literature Festival: The PEN-supported author of The End of Days, which won the 2015 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, is in conversation with English PEN President Maureen Freely. Read more
6 October - The Big TranslateA workshop to celebrate children’s talents as translators. Sixty local pupils translate ten strikingly illustrated books from around the world, with award-winning translator Sarah Ardizzone and teacher Sam Holmes. Read more
12th and 17th October - Diao Dou in the UK: The author of the brilliant and surreal PEN-supported story collection Point of Origin is coming to the UK this month. See him at the Free Word Centre in London on the 12th or at Manchester Literature Festival on the 17th.

PEN Atlas is our weekly blog of literary dispatches from around the world. Contributors include Elena Poniatowska, Andrej Kurkov, Erwin Mortier and Han Kang. Browse our past articles. We are always looking for new and different voices, so if you are a writer, translator, journalist or activist interested in writing a piece for us please contact

Lots of great PEN-supported writers in translation are included in the Edinburgh First Book Award this year. The award celebrates the wealth of new writing included in the Book Festival programme, and the winner is decided purely on a public vote. Voting closes on Friday 16 October!
To mark International Translation Day (30 September) and to demonstrate the significant role translation can play in furthering freedom of expression, PEN International invited PEN members from around the world to translate a poem by Eritrean poet and journalist Amanuel Asrat. Find out more and read the translations
English PEN volunteers assembled outside the Saudi Embassy last Friday to read from 1000 Lashes: Because I Say What I Think by the imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi (translated by Ahmed Danny Ramadan). The book is available from all good bookshops, and proceeds will go to Raif's family to assist with their campaign for his freedom.


The Story of Vicente, Who Murdered His Mother, His Father, and His Sister: Life and Death in Juárez by Sandra Rodríguez Nieto, translated from Spanish by Daniela Ugaz and John Washington

Lost Evenings, Lost Lives, an anthology of Tamil poetry edited and translated by Lakshmi Holmström and Sascha Ebeling

Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila, translated from French by Roland Glasser


If you're keen to expand your reading horizons, why not browse our suggested reading list for 2015, complete with downloadable reading guides?



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