Translation and International Literature Manager

Translation and International Literature Manager
0.6 FTE, 21 hours
£27-29k pro rata
Based at the Free Word Centre, Farringdon, London, UK

English PEN is the founding centre of an international writers’ association, working to promote literature and freedom of expression, and is based at Free Word, a hub for literature, literacy and freedom of speech organisations.  Our charter states that “literature knows no frontiers and must remain common currency among people in spite of political or international upheavals.”

English PEN’s Writers in Translation Programme pursues this vision with the support of Arts Council England, awarding grants for translation to publishers.  Over the past ten years, Writers in Translation has been at the centre of creating a thriving network of translators, publishers, editors and writers, and is a key partner of the annual International Translation Day and the Literary Translation Centre at London Book Fair.  Since the programme began awarding grants it has supported some of the world’s greatest writers: facilitating authors’ visits to the UK, building new audiences for international literature, and establishing translated literature in the literary mainstream.  The Translation and International Literature Manager oversees the grant programme, working with publishers to ensure that their titles reach the widest possible audience.  English PEN celebrates its centenary in 2021 and the post holder will be involved in creating and delivering an exciting programme connecting writers internationally.

Job Summary

  • To oversee the development and delivery of the Writers in Translation Programme of English PEN, including the World Bookshelf and live events with publishers.
  • To communicate the programme’s work to publishers, translators, funders, English PEN members and the media, where appropriate.
  • To work in partnership with other organisations on projects that including the Literary Translation Centre at London Book Fair, International Translation Day and to develop relevant new partnerships
  • To work with the English PEN team to build new audiences for international writing and to promote diverse writing from across the world
  • To manage the Administration Assistant and freelance assessors. To be a key member of the English PEN staff team, collaborating on projects and events.
  • Reports to the Director of English PEN


PEN Translates

  • Obtaining high-level submissions from English Publishers for the PEN Translates grant scheme
  • Organising the assessment and decision making process for the grant scheme
  • Ensuring all contracts are sent out in a timely way
  • Building strong relationships with publishers and continuing to diversify applicants to the grant programme
  • Ensuring all minutes, records and data is kept in a timely and safe way
  • Supporting publishers to promote titles on World Book Shelf
  • Managing PEN World Bookshelf and the corporate relationship with Foyles Bookshop.


  • Raising funds for and delivering International Translation Day (or any equivalent activity) to promote translation and support translators
  • Promoting translation and international literature at the Literary Translation Centre at London Book Fair and in any other relevant events


  • Reviewing PEN Transmissions and its role and impact and forming a strategic plan for its future
  • Keeping well informed about the landscape for translation and international writing and advising the team and external people on relevant international writers
  • Speaking at events, conferences and being one of the ‘go to’ people for translation in the sector
  • Writing articles, blogs, tweets and maintaining an expert presence and developing a voice that promotes translation across several platforms

Skills and Experience

The successful candidate may have experience in publishing, literature development or other arts promotion work.  They will be:

  • An organised administrator with good attention to detail
  • Have a creative flair and passion for international literature
  • Proven experience of building audiences online and/or through events
  • Have a strong knowledge of international literature, particularly in translation, and of the funding and organisation landscape
  • A good communicator across a range of platforms and audiences
  • Experience of building strong relationships with a range of stakeholders from embassies to individual writers and translators
  • Flexible, with a ‘can do’ attitude
  • An enthusiastic team player
  • Be committed to promoting diverse and new writing

English PEN is based at the Free Word Centre in Farringdon, London.

For more information please contact Antonia Byatt, Director, at

To apply please send your CV with a covering letter to telling us about your experience that makes you suitable for this post and your interest in working for English PEN.

Closing date: Wednesday 20 February 2019.

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