Introducing the mentees selected for the Emerging Translator Mentorships 2024!
Our mentees will receive six months of personal mentoring. They will also be awarded a £800 stipend to cover expenses associated with the mentorship, such as travel. The mentorship will include various online industry events with tailored training events and talks, a feature at International Translation Day and attendance of London Book Fair with a networking day at NCW’s headquarters at Dragon Hall in Norwich.
At the end of the six months, the mentees’ work will be celebrated in a concluding digital showcase, when a print and digital anthology with samples of the mentees’ translations will also be published, to further amplify the translators’ work.
Scroll down to find out more about the latest cohort of emerging translators.
Meet the Mentees
Khadija Aidoo (Mentee: Québec French, mentored by Sarah Ardizzone)
Khadija Aidoo is a recent graduate from the University of Oxford, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in French. Born and raised in London and with a Ghanaian background, she has always been surrounded by diverse languages and been fascinated by their interplay. She has been especially interested in cross-cultural communication and the relevant considerations for this process. This has naturally made her gravitate towards translation. She enjoys the challenge of undoing the knots of language and conveying these specific and often highly nuanced messages across languages, particularly in the genre of literary fiction.
(c) Ishmael Aidoo | IA Creative Design
Rilla Melati Bahri (Mentee: Malay, mentored by Jeremy Tiang)
Rilla blends entertainment and education in her work as the founder of Mini Monsters Limited, an educational company that publishes books and develops cross media content for children. As an author of children’s books, she has won the Anugerah Persuratan (Literary Award) in 2018 and 2021 from the National Arts Council and is the translator of the Malay edition of The Crane & The Crab, a picture book written by Singapore’s 6th president, the late Mr S R Nathan. Rilla is also a local television personality with MediaCorp Suria and is an adjunct lecturer with the National Institute of Early Childhood Development (NIEC). She is presently based in Singapore.
Charlotte Goff (Mentee: Japanese, mentored by Polly Barton)
Charlotte lived in Japan for five years, where she learned Japanese and started to get into contemporary Japanese literature. She has grown increasingly interested in literary translation since returning to the UK: reading and writing regularly in Japanese and English, and translating Japanese literature samples on a freelance basis alongside her full-time work for a charity in the VAWG sector. She is excited to begin the mentorship with Polly Barton, and hopes to work on a text which explores ideas around family, bereavement, and work culture in Japan.
Alex Mepham (Mentee: D/deaf, Disabled and/or Neurodivergent Mentorship, mentored by Khairani Barokka)
Alex Mepham is a writer and translator based in York, UK. Alex translates poems from Scandinavian languages and has had translations of the Norwegian poet Gunvor Hofmo featured in Modern Poetry in Translation x Dead [Women] Poets Society. Alex was awarded the 2023 Northern Debut Award for Poetry by New Writing North, and has had various poems and creative non-fiction published in print and online journals including Magma, fourteen poems, Full Bleed, and Ink Sweat & Tears. Alex is also the Poetry Editor at Queerlings. More of Alex’s work can be found at amepham.carrd.co and on Twitter @am3pham.
(c) Rob Irish / New Writing North
Joheun Lee (Mentee: Korean, mentored by Clare Richards)
Joheun Lee (Jo) is an aspiring literary translator from Korea who has been working as a Korean-to-English freelance translator for several commercial projects. A long-time fan of K-pop and many other subcultures, she finds herself drawn to the works on related topics and speculative fiction, especially by women and queer writers. A UX Designer by day, Jo now lives with her partner and two cats in Shanghai, China.
(c) Joheun Lee
Nasim Luczaj (Mentee: Polish, mentored by Sean Gasper Bye)
Nasim Luczaj is a poet and translator between Polish and English. She translates, transcreates and proofreads a wide range of texts, from academic articles and product descriptions to film scripts. Her translations of contemporary Polish poets have appeared in The Atlanta Review. She grew up in the Carpathians and is now based between Glasgow and London, where she is studying for an MA in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London.
(c) Nasim Luczaj
Sean McDonagh (Mentee: Italian, mentored by Elena Pala)
Sean McDonagh is a literary translator and publishing professional from Birmingham, living in Milan. He translates from Italian to English, and he is currently studying Irish. He attended the Warwick Translates summer school, and he has been a member of the Emerging Translators Network committee. His translations and reviews have appeared in MAYDAY Magazine, Literary Hub, Exchanges: Journal of Literary Translation, Asymptote, and Morocco Bound Review.
(c) Sean McDonagh
Tayiba Sulaiman (Mentee: Swiss German, mentored by Jamie Lee Searle)
Tayiba Sulaiman translates between German and English, and has just graduated with a degree in English and Modern Languages from St Hilda’s College, Oxford. She also writes: she won the Eugene Lee-Hamilton Poetry Competition in 2021. Her work has most recently been read at the 23. poesiefestival berlins and at the White Rose Translation Project’s 2023 event, commemorating the 80th anniversary of the first arrests of the anti-Nazi resistance group. She lives and works in Manchester.
(c) Tayiba Sulaiman
Victoria Issa Yacoub (Mentee: Arabic, mentored by Sawad Hussain)
Victoria Yacoub is a writer and translator based in Amman, Jordan. She is an aspiring literary translator who works between Arabic and English. She translated short stories and poems, and recently a full-length novel. She had worked as a media analyst, primarily focused on translating Middle Eastern news media, and doing research on political, economic, and humanitarian issues.
(c) Victoria Yacoub
The Emerging Translator Mentorships Programme is supported by Arts Council England, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, the Italian Cultural Institute, the Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities at UCLA and Waseda University, the Literary Translation Institute of Korea, the Polish Cultural Institute, the Québec Government Office in London, the National Arts Council Singapore, the Society of Authors and ProHelvetia.