Emerging Translator Mentorships 2019-20

The winners of the prestigious Emerging Translator Mentorships Programme were announced by the National Centre for Writing during International Translation Day (30 September 2019).

They each received six months of mentoring from an experienced translator, a £500 bursary, an Industry Day specially tailored to the needs of emerging translators, and access to London Book Fair.

Download the Emerging Literary Translators 2020 anthology here


Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize – French – Anna Leader

Anna LeaderAnna Leader was born to American-British parents and raised in Luxembourg; like many Luxembourgers, she has a vivid interest in languages and in translation. Her renditions of poems by Jules Laforgue and Jan Wagner were awarded joint first place in the Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation in both 2013 and 2015 (under-18 category). Leader has also been commissioned by the Luxembourgish Ministry of Culture to translate the work of poets Florent Toniello and Tom Nisse, who represented Luxembourg at the Transpoésie Festival in Brussels in 2017 and 2018. Leader’s poetry, plays, and novels and have been recognized three times with first prize in Luxembourg’s Concours national littéraire (2014, 2015, and 2018, under-25 category). In both her teaching and her writing, Leader is dedicated to practices of inclusion and celebrating difference, with a particular focus on LGBT storytelling, racial justice, and climate change consciousness. After graduating from Princeton University in 2018 with a degree in Comparative Literature, she has been working in the United States in the education sector.

Korean – Rachel Park

Rachel Min ParkRachel Min Park (박민희) received her B. A. in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley and her M. A. from Korea University. She is a co-winner of a translation grant from LTI Korea and has translated various academic articles and essays.



Norwegian – Megan Turney

Megan TurneyMegan graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 2018 with a MA (Hons) in Scandinavian Studies and English Literature. Since graduating, she has spent the last year working as an editorial assistant at an independent publishing house, a library assistant, and a volunteer science fiction book reviewer for the magazine Shoreline of Infinity. She is currently participating in a graduate springboard scheme at the translation agency Nordic Word, and is studying for a MA in Translation Studies at the University of Manchester.

Polish – Marek Maj

Marek MajMarek grew up in Warsaw, and studied literature in London. He began translating literary texts just over a year ago. His favourite Polish writers are Norwid, Wat, Gombrowicz, and Lem.



Russian – Siân Valvis 

Siân Valvis 

Siân is a freelance translator and interpreter, based in Brazil. She translates from French, Russian, Greek, and Portuguese. She holds a master’s degree from Bath University, and enjoys translating children’s literature in particular.



Swiss Italian – Elena Pala

Elena PalaElena grew up in Italy and after her BA in English and French literature from the University of Bologna, she moved to the UK to complete an MPhil and then a PhD in Linguistics at Cambridge University. Following a four-year stint in an advertising agency in London, Elena has been working as a translator for a French consulting firm in Glasgow for the past two years. She holds a DipTrans diploma in both her main language combinations (IT>EN and EN>IT), and she’s over the moon to have been selected for the 2019 – 2020 cohort!

Tilted Axis Mentorship for a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic literary translator – Yan Chen

Yan ChenYan Chen is a member of the inaugural class of Oxford’s new MSt in Comparative Literature and Critical Translation and a Rhodes Scholar for China. Her work as a dramaturg and translator has been seen at American Repertory Theater, Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Hartford Stage and more. She was a Fellow at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Critics Institute, and her writings and translations have been published by Playbill, the Public Theater, HowlRound, Critical Stages/Scènes critiques, Stage and Screen Reviews (China), and TheTheatreTimes.com, where she is also an editor. Master’s in Dramaturgy and Theater Studies, A.R.T. Institute at Harvard University; BA English, Nanjing University.


The Emerging Translator Mentorships Programme is supported by Arts Council England, Institut Francais, the Italian Cultural Institute, Harvill Secker, the Literary Translation Institute of Korea, the Norwegian Embassy and NORLA, the Polish Cultural Institute, Pro-Helvetia, the Russian Institute for Literary Translation and Tilted Axis Press.

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