The winners of the prestigious Emerging Translator Mentorships Programme have been announced by Writers' Centre Norwich at a ceremony at the British Library. Writers from eight countries, covering twelve languages, will receive mentoring, professional development and financial assistance. 

The programme was founded by writer, editor and translator Daniel Hahn and is organised by Writers’ Centre Norwich (WCN). It aims to develop successive new cohorts of literary translators into English, particularly for languages whose literature is currently under-represented in English translation. Since the programme’s inception 73 mentees have been supported in 32 languages.

Daniel says:

“Literary translation is a hard profession to get into, even for the most promising of would-be translators. Each year our mentoring programme chooses a cohort of those who seem to have the most potential – who have both talent and commitment – and tries to make it just a little easier for them. There's nobody better placed to do this than other practising literary translators, those very well-established and respected colleagues who act as mentors, generously sharing their expertise, experiences and insights over six thrilling and challenging months”.

The winners are:

  • Arabic - Mona Kareem (Brooklyn). Mentor: Paul Starkey.
  • Catalan - Iain Robinson (Barcelona). Mentor: Peter Bush.
  • Greek – Joshua Barley (Athens). Mentor: David Connolly.
  • Korean [funded by the Literary Translation Institute of Korea]  – Erica Chung (Brooklyn). Mentor: Deborah Smith.*
  • Latin American Spanish – Ellen Jones (London). Mentor: Samantha Schnee.
  • Latvian [funded by Latvian Literature] – Mārta Ziemelis (Toronto). Mentor: Daniel Hahn.
  • Lithuanian [funded by the Lithuanian Culture Institute] – Erika Lastovskyte (Oxford). Mentor: Shaun Whiteside.
  • Malayalam. Aswathy Senan (Delhi). Mentor: J Devika. **
  • Norwegian 1 [2 x funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy] – Bruce Thomson (Norfolk). Mentor: Don Bartlett.
  • Norwegian 2 – Alison McCullough (Stavanger). Mentor: Kari Dickson.
  • Polish [funded by the Polish Cultural Institute] – Zosia Krasodomska-Jones (Cambridge). Mentor: Antonia Lloyd-Jones. 
  • Tamil -  Suchitra Ramachandran (Basel). Mentors: Subashree Krishnaswamy and Dilip Kumar.

The winners were announced by Chris Gribble, CEO of Writers’ Centre Norwich, at the British Library as part of the International Translation Day celebrations.

Chris says:  “We are delighted to support a new cohort of literary translators – their pioneering work will generate new writing and new readerships. The mentees will be supported by some of the most established translators in the industry. This year we have been able to introduce several additional languages – Korean, Tamil, Malayalam, Latvian and Lithuanian – with the generous support of our partners”.

The mentees will showcase their work at the London Book Fair in April 2018. 

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, says:

“This is an important programme that not only supports talented translators – something that is essential in itself – but also ensures that audiences across England have a greater opportunity to engage with literature from a wide range of languages. I’d like to congratulate all the emerging translators that will take part in this programme and hope that it will strengthen the breadth and depth of literature available in the UK”.


* Korean is offered in partnership with the Harvill Secker Young Translators Prize.

**Tamil and Malayalam both possible through ACE Reimagine India funding

Supported by Arts Council England, The Harvill Secker Young Translators Prize, Latvian Literature, The Lithuanian Culture Institute, The Literary Translation Institute of Korea, The Polish Cultural Institute, The Royal Norwegian Embassy and Reimagine India.

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