PEN Translates

The current round of PEN Translates is open for submissions until Monday 12 December 2016, 5pm. Please direct any enquiries to Rebekah Murrell at


PEN Translates was launched in 2012, with support from Arts Council England, to encourage UK publishers to acquire more books from other languages. The award helps UK publishers to meet the costs of translating new works into English – whilst ensuring translators are acknowledged and paid properly for their work.

The award

PEN Translates will fund up to 75% of translation costs for selected projects. When a publisher’s annual turnover is less than £500,000 we will consider supporting up to 100% of translation costs.


PEN Translates is open to works from all languages, and it is not essential for publishers to have acquired the rights at the time of application. The submitted project may be a work of fiction (including children’s literature), non-fiction, poetry, prose or plays (for print edition), but not a magazine.

The main criteria for assessment are: literary quality, strength and innovation of the publishing project, and contribution to literary diversity in the UK.

Previous winners

All of our award-winning titles, writers and translators are featured on the World Bookshelf, an online gateway to the very best contemporary literature in translation.

The application process

There are two submission periods each year, the first in April–May (with awards decided in October) and the second in October–November (with awards decided the following April). The current round of submissions is open until Monday 12 December 2016, 5pm.

For information on how to make an application, please consult the ‘Guidance for applicants’ document below.

The selection panel (a specially selected group of industry professionals including writers, translators and booksellers) will assess your application based on the submitted form and the supporting documents provided. If you have any further queries please contact programmes coordinator Rebekah Murrell at

Documents to download

Application Form

Pro-forma budget

Guidance for applicants

Alternative Funding

Publishers are advised that English PEN funding is limited and we cannot support every title that is put forward. However, there are other sources of funding available. Here is a current list of Funding sources for translation. The British Centre for Literary Translation also has information about alternative funding sources.

Call for Assessors

We are looking for Assessors to help us choose which books have the right combination of literary quality, strength of publishing project and contribution to cultural diversity. You will need experience within the publishing/translation field, as well as specialist linguistic and cultural knowledge of the relevant country. Assessors will be paid a fee of £140 per application assessed.

We’re looking for a wide range of languages and welcome all enquiries. In particular, we’re looking for those with experience in Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Armenian (Hayeren), Assamese, Azerbaijani (Azeri), Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Melayu, Belarusian, Bengali (Bangla), Bhutanese (Dzongkha), Burmese, Catalan, Dari Persian (Fārsī-ye Darī), Fijian, Filipino, Galician, Georgian, Gujarati, Hassaniya Arabic, Hausa, Hebrew (Ivrit), Hindi, Icelandic, Igbo, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Kannada, Kashmiri, Khalkha Mongol, Khmer, Kirundi, Kiswahili, Korean (Choso’nmal or Choson’o), Korean (Hangungmal), Kyrgyz, Lao, Latvian, Lithuanian, Luo, Macedonian, Malagasy, Malay, Malayalam, Maltese, Maori, Marathi, Moldovan, Moroccan Arabic , Nepali, Nyanja (Chichewa, Chewa) Oriya, Panjabi,  Pashto (Pashtu, Pushtu), Pedi, Romanian, Rwanda (Kinyarwanda, Bantu vernacular), Samoan, Sanskrit,  Sesotho, Setswana, Shona, Sindhi,  Sinhala, siSwati (Swazi), Swahili, Tajik, Tamil,  Telugu, Tetum, Thai, Tigrinya, Tongan, Tshivenda (Venda), Tswana, Turkmen, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Welsh, Xitsonga (Tsonga) and Yoruba.

To find out more please contact programmes coordinator Rebekah Murrell at

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