Who We Are

The English PEN Writers in Translation programme, supported by Bloomberg, promotes and supports literature in translation. Each year, a dedicated committee of professionals selects between 6-8 books that are translated into English from a wide variety of foreign languages. We award grants to UK publishers to help promote, market and champion these titles. Our aim is to celebrate books of outstanding literary value, dedication to free speech and intercultural understanding, which have a clear link to the PEN charter


Writers in Translation grants assist UK publishers with promoting and marketing the books they have contracted to publish in English translation. Supported titles are expected to print the PEN Writers in Translation logo (below) on the front cover of the book and fully credit the programme inside. In association with the publisher, Writers in Translation devises a promotional strategy designed to increase public awareness of the title, and of translated literature in general.  Strategies vary according to the nature of the title in question, but possible options include: 

  • Incorporating the title into English PEN’s successful Events programme, Writers in Public 
  • Running a dedicated event with bi-lingual readings from the book, and an introduction to the book from a prominent PEN member
  • Publishing extracts (both in English and the original language) on the English PEN website, information about which will be sent out to all English PEN members (currently c. 1200 people) and everyone who signs up to receive news about the programme
  • Securing a guaranteed print-run for the book
  • Meeting the costs of bringing the author and/or translator to the UK to take part in readings and other events
  • Generating feedback and reviews from UK readers through The Reading Agency’s Reading Groups for Everyone scheme
  • Inscribing the book in the UNESCO List of Representative Works, and advertising it on the UNESCO website


How are applications assessed?

Publishers are asked to submit a sample translation of the work to the programme director, as well as supporting information about the work.  This material is assessed by the programme’s Steering Committee, which consists of prominent translators, publishers, writers and other industry professionals.  The committee meets twice-yearly to discuss material, and will choose one to four titles for the programme to support at each meeting. 


What kind of works are eligible to apply?

The programme will consider both fiction and non-fiction.  All works submitted to the programme must adhere to PEN’s aims, and should either:

  • explore a freedom of expression or human rights issue
  • contribute in some way towards inter-cultural understanding through illuminating an aspect of another country or culture

Publishers are strongly advised to read the PEN charter before submitting works to the programme.  If you have any questions about the eligibility of the work, please contact us .


What financial assistance is available?

Up to £4000 will be available to support a title.  Funds will be allocated at the discretion of English PEN.


Who can apply?

The grants are open to all UK publishers for works that are under contract to be translated into and published in English.  


How do I apply? 

Click here for more information: How to apply to the programme


 All titles we support are distinguished by the following branding on their jackets:







 Writers in Translation is supported by  







Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersintranslation/aboutwritersintranslation/

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