The British Centre for Literary Translation (BCLT) was founded in 1989 by the late W.G. Sebald for the support of literary translation.
The BCLT also works in close partnership with the National Centre for Writing and a wide range of other national and international organisations to deliver a programme of activities which support the professional development of literary translators and promote the recognition of literary translation as a profession. These include literary translation workshops, research seminars, the annual Sebald Lecture on Literary Translation, usually held in the spring at the British Library, and the International Literary Translation and Creative Writing Summer School.
International Literary Translation and Creative Writing Summer School
The International Literary Translation and Creative Writing Summer School brings together writers and translators from around the world for an intensive programme of hands-on translation and creative writing practice. The week-long event takes place every year in July and is delivered by the BCLT in partnership with the National Centre for Writing.
The core activity of the week is the literary translation workshops, led by experienced literary translators, working from a range of languages into English. As well as language-specific workshops there are multilingual workshops for translators translating from any language into English. We also have a strand for the training of trainers.
The 2023 BCLT Summer School will run from 23 to 29 July. You can watch short talks and panels from previous BCLT Summer Schools on the BCLT YouTube channel.
Sebald Lecture on Literary Translation
Every year the BCLT, in partnership with the National Centre for Writing, invites a renowned writer or translator to give the W.G. Sebald Lecture on Literary Translation in partnership with the British Library. Past speakers have included Alberto Manguel, Jhumpa Lahiri, David Bellos, Emily Wilson, Arundhati Roy and Margaret Atwood. You can watch past lectures on the BCLT YouTube channel.
Translators in Residence
BCLT hosts a Charles Wallace India Trust Fellow annually. Check the BCLT website for details of the application process, as well as information about previous Fellows. The BCLT also considers other residencies on an individual basis, so it is worth getting in touch to enquire.
BCLT offers two BCLT translation residencies every year for UK-based literary translators. The residencies are for four months, one day per week. The 2023 BCLT Translators in Residence, from February to May 2023, are Jen Calleja and Jayasree Kalathil. This scheme has been running since 2020 and previous BCLT Translators in Residence have included William Gregory, Olivia Hellewell, Sawad Hussain and Laura McGloughlin.
Photography credit goes to Sawad Hussain.
MA in Literary Translation
What do Karl Knausgård, Valeria Luiselli and Clarice Lispector have in common with Jo Nesbø, Georg Trakl and Yoko Tawada? They’ve all been translated into English by graduates from the MA Literary Translation at UEA!
On this course participants focus exclusively on literary translation, combining translation practice with translation theory. UEA have been training literary translators for twenty-five years. The students have gone on to become award-winning translators, writers, editors and academics. The course is supported by the BCLT.