Opportunities for literary translators

Free word launches latest call out for Translators in Residence     

Crossing Cultures: Translating Tales

Translators in Residence Programme, January 2014 – June 2014

Now in its third year, the Translators in Residence Programme, ‘Crossing Cultures; Translating Tales’, was established in association with the Translators Association with support from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. 

freewordexteriorforweb_jpg_760x760_q85The Translators in Residence (TIR) Programme forms part of Free Word’s commitment to Translation, which is delivered through a partnership launched in 2010 with the Global Translation Initiative, and also includes International Translation Day in the Autumn and the Literary Translation Centre at the London Book Fair each Spring.

TIR 2013/14 will build on the work of the TIR  2011/12 and 2012/13 that forged new approaches to translation, going beyond the academic to stage playful and interactive events that made people think about translation in new ways.  The 2012/13 programme also established a strong relationship with local schools, developing workshops and activities that, in a city where more than 300 languages are spoken, explored and celebrated translation across cultures, highlighting how it enriches and is part of our everyday lives.  

With thanks once again to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, we are delighted to offer two 4-month residencies at Free Word during the period January through to June 2014, with preparatory work in the Autumn of 2013.  We also recognize that some of the activities planned may extend beyond the designated residency period.

A fee of £5000 is available for each individual residency, together with a small budget to develop and realise workshops and projects in schools and community settings, as well as at the Free Word Centre.

Project Objectives

Translators will be responsible for researching ideas and developing innovative projects that will be realised with the support of Free Word, and where appropriate working with Free Word Founder Members and Associates, including English PEN, the Reading Agency, Arvon, The British Centre for Literary Translation, and Pop Up. 

Free Word logo 150pxImportantly, the Residency will also focus on working in educational and community settings to explore and celebrate language, translation and storytelling across different cultures and art forms. 

Free Word is a partner in the Stephen Spender Trust project Translators in Schools, an initiative to train a pool of translators with the skills to work in schools by developing and piloting a training programme for potential translator–facilitators.  The two successful candidates will be part of the Stephen Spender initiative that launches with a training day on November 26th.


Applicants must be practising literary translators.

At least one of candidates will work in a language that is widely spoken in the local community. In the local boroughs of Islington, Hackney, City and Tower Hamlets, these include: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Greek, Gujarati, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish, Urdu and Vietnamese.

The role of the translator in residence will be both challenging and rewarding. Therefore, we’re looking for a professional, practising translator, with an interest in and aptitude for working in schools and community settings, and a proactive, collaborative approach that will engage a wide range of participants and audiences.

Applications: Please send a CV and covering letter outlining why you want to be translator in residence at the Free Word Centre. Please include an outline of some initial ideas on how you would fulfil the project objectives and send to Lauren@freewordonline.com by Friday September 6th.

Interviews will be held at the Free Word Centre on September 19th

Free Word works at the meeting point of literature, literacy and free expression as a catalyst for local, national and international collaborations that explore the transformative power of the word. Established in 2008, Free Word brings together under one roof seven Founder Members – Apples & Snakes; Arvon Foundation; ARTICLE 19; Booktrust; English PEN; The Literary Consultancy; and The Reading Agency – and over 25 Associates to enhance their work and the profile of their sectors.


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