English PEN Launches Major New fund for Literary Translation


English PEN, the charity promoting the freedom to write, is launching a major new fund for literary translation.

The fund responds to concerns that less than 3% of British books published are in translation from another language. At a time when more than 300 languages are spoken in British schools, the charity believes that this social diversity should be reflected by literary diversity. The new fund, backed by Arts Council England, will be launched at this week’s London Book Fair.

Gillian Slovo, President of English PEN, said: ‘British readers today are being deprived of the next generation of great international writers. This new fund should help to correct that imbalance.’

The fund, called PEN TRANSLATES!, will distribute £120,000 per year to translators and publishers. The initiative will support up to 20 works of outstanding literary merit translated from any world language. Applications are open to all literary genres including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays.

The addition of such titles to bookstores and the introduction of new literary figures to public events in this country will boost the diversity and add to the vibrancy of the British literary scene.

The new fund will be launched at the London Book Fair on Tuesday 17th April at 2:45pm.  All PEN members and supporters are very welcome to join us in the Literary Translation Centre, where our Director Jonathan Heawood and Writers in Translation Committee Chair Ros Schwartz will introduce the new fund, and make the case for more literature in translation.

For more details on the launch event see here 

For more information about PEN TRANSLATES!, please contact Emma Cleave, Programme Manager at English PEN on emma@englishpen.org or telephone 020 7324 2535



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