Ahead of our opening as the National Centre for Writing this summer, we have programmed a series of events for London Book Fair to discuss the rapidly changing world of writing.

Join us in conversation with, amongst others, Sabeena Akhtar (Bare Lit Festival), Nick Barley (Edinburgh International Book Festival), Ted Hodgkinson (Southbank Centre), Cristina Fuentes La Roche (Hay Festivals) and Jarred McGinnis (The Special Relationship).

From Promotion to Pitching

Tuesday 10 April, 10 – 11am, Literary Translation Centre

How do publishers choose which books to translate and how can translators and cultural institutes influence them? WCN’s Kate Griffin chairs a discussion on changing the dynamics of literature in translation.

With: Ruth Clarke (Starling Bureau), Vilis Kasims (Latvian Literature), Sarah Braybrooke (Scribe)

Readers for Writers

Wednesday 11 April, 1 – 2pm, Literary Translation Centre

Chris Gribble, CEO of WCN, chairs a discussion on how readerships are being created for work in translation. Chris will suggest that the same thinking that strangles diversity in UK publishing is hindering the growth of literature in translation: “Readers are not scared of ‘funny foreign names or settings,’ the business just fears that they are.”

With: Sarah Cleave (Comma Press), Sarah Odedina (Pushkin Press) and Jonathan Ruppin (The Ruppin Agency).

Emerging Literary Translators – showcase and launch

Wednesday 11 April, 5.15 – 6.15pm, Literary Translation Centre

Eleven early-stage literary translators read from their work at the culmination of the 2017/18 Emerging Literary Translation Mentorship Programme. To date, the scheme has supported over 70 translators working in over 32 languages. Mentors include Deborah Smith, Peter Bush, Daniel Hahn, Antonia Lloyd-Jones.

Deborah Smith, Programme Mentor and translator of The Vegetarian – for which she and author Han Kang won the Man Booker International Prize 2016 – says: “The translation community runs on a network of informal support and encouragement from which, like all recently-emerged translators, I’ve benefited hugely, so it’s a great privilege to be able to pass it on in a more structured way through this programme.”

Festivals Unbound

Thursday 12 April, 1 – 2pm, High Street Theatre

Chris Gribble, CEO of WCN, chairs a discussion on how literary festivals can grow, react and respond to our times.

With: Nick Barley (Edinburgh International Book Festival), Susie Nicklin (MILD Group) and Cristina Fuentes la Roche (Hay Festivals)

Festival Futures 

Thursday 12 April, 2.15 – 3.15pm, High Street Theatre

Former WCN Board member and current Publishing Director at Indigo Press Ellah Wakatama Allfrey OBE asks: what next for the literary festival? How can they respond to the rise of the festival of ideas and should we try to become all things to all people?

With: Ted Hodgkinson (Southbank Centre), Sabeena Akhtar (Bare Lit Festival) and Jarred McGinnis (The Special Relationship)