International Translation Day (ITD) celebrates translation, translators and translated literature every 30 September. English PEN and the National Centre for Writing are collaborating to highlight and promote events and activities taking place across the UK in celebration of ITD 2022.

View the programme of events from organisations, publishers, academic institutions, festivals and other organisers here. All events and initiatives are planned, coordinated and delivered by the organiser listed, and further details on each initiative is available on the organiser's website.

Nationwide programme

Out of the Wings

Play in Translation Table-Read
30 September, 3pm BST

Following our sixth annual festival of plays in translation at London's Omnibus theatre, join the Out of the Wings collective as we gather again to read and explore a brand-new English translation of a play from Ibero-America. At this free, friendly and definitely informal gathering we will introduce, cast, read aloud and discuss the work of our guest writer and translator, as part of our year-round activities platforming international theatre across languages. No acting or translation experience necessary. Speakers of all languages welcome. A hybrid event, so join us from anywhere in the world! We look forward to meeting you.

Marlborough Literature Festival

Translation Duel: Grimms' Fairy Tales
1 October, 2.30pm BST
This amicable sparring between two top translators has become a regular feature of Marlborough LitFest by popular demand. The choice of text this time is a tale from the Brothers Grimm: ‘The Wolf and the Seven Young Goats’.

Each of our German-language experts will be given the story to translate. The ensuing debate over choice of words, punctuation and grammar, with Daniel Hahn as ringmaster, will be given extra spice with a fairy tale familiar to many.

Translator in Residence Scheme

Translator Residencies: A Beginner's Guide
27 September, 5pm BST
Three translators currently on year-long residency programmes – Ruth Clarke (Durham/New Writing North), Sarah Letza (Aston/Writing West Midlands), and Polly Barton (Queens' College Translation Exchange, Oxford) – discuss their plans, the nature of translation residencies, various approaches to residencies, and what works and what doesn't.

The translator-in-residence scheme has been developed by a range of partners across the UK, including the Stephen Spender Trust, New Writing North and Writing West Midlands, and is led by translators Daniel Hahn OBE and Ros Schwartz. The pilot scheme is already running at Durham, Aston and Oxford Universities, and hopes to expand into more universities across the country in future years.

Collected Books

Women in Translation Reading Group
12 October, 6pm BST
The first of a new reading group series hosted by Collected Books and New Writing North, exploring works by women in translation. Titles will be selected and sessions led by Ruth Clarke, Translator in Residence for Durham University and New Writing North. Each month, discover a book by an outstanding author (and translator!) and get together to discuss your thoughts and reactions over a drink in Durham's newest independent bookshop.

Join us for the inaugural meeting of our new translated fiction book club! For our first club meeting, we will be reading Absence written by Lucie Paye and translated by Natasha Lehrer, both of whom will be with us on the night to talk about the writing and translating of the book and joining our discussion.

Copies of Absence are available in store to buy now so that you can read ahead of the meeting. Pop in to get yours and to find out more.

Our translated fiction book club is arranged in partnership with Ruth Clarke, translator in residence at New Writing North/Durham University.

Ruth Clarke

Translation Forge
3 October, 6pm BST
Join Ruth Clarke, Translator in Residence for Durham University and New Writing North, and a group of literary translators and editors to workshop your translations in progress. Bring your own work, offer editorial feedback for others, or just discuss the ideas and projects you’re working on.


LitFest International Fiction Book Club: Geetanjali Shree – Tomb of Sand
10 October, 6.30pm
For this special edition of the book club we are delighted to welcome the acclaimed Indian writer Geetanjali Shree to discuss Tomb of Sand (Tilted Axis Press) and her story ’These Days’ in All Walls Collapse: Stories of Separation (Comma Press).


The Lancaster International Fiction Lecture: Geetanjali Shree
11 October, 1pm BST
Fiction is an artform shared by almost all languages. Right now, the English-speaking world – thanks to translators and innovative publishers – has become more aware of the extraordinary fiction that has been and is being written everywhere and in all languages. So it seemed to us that a lecture to discuss and celebrate fiction as an international artform could not be more timely.

Borders have loomed large in Geetanjali’s life, and so it’s not surprising that her prize-winning novel, Tomb of Sand, should be an urgent and timely protest against the destructive impact of borders and boundaries, whether between religions, countries, or genders. It is also extremely funny and utterly original.