Our mission is simple: We want more international literature to be available in English, and we want more readers to read books from around the world. Readers don’t have access to some of the best writing not originally published in English. With our programme of grants, events, and campaigning, we’re here to change that. We aim to create an environment in which reading books from other countries is as normal as reading a book by a UK writer.
English PEN supports publishers and translators who want to reach an English-speaking audience with a financial grant:
- PEN Translates awards grants to UK publishers for the translation costs of literature into English.
We run a series of events with writers from around the world, and organise programmes to raise awareness of translated literature.
- We programme events throughout the year featuring international writers and translators. Find out more about our events here.
- We mark International Translation Day with an annual event at the end of September.
- In partnership with the London Book Fair, we programme the Literary Translation Centre at the Fair each year and are responsible for a series of seminars and discussions.
We feature all of our PEN Translates award winners on the World Bookshelf, an online collection of the best contemporary literature in translation.
The Writers in Translation Committee is made up of writers, translators, publishers, literary journalists, scouts and agents. The current members are:
Chair: Sarah Ardizzone (translator)
Co-chair: Ros Schwartz (translator, Translators Association)
Raficq Abdulla (writer), Alev Adil (writer), Arifa Akbar (editor and festival director), Pete Ayrton (publisher), Rebecca Carter (literary agent), Lynn Gaspard (publisher), Emma House (Publishers Association), Toby Lichtig (literary editor), Laura Macaulay (publisher), Jonathan Ruppin (agent)
English PEN’s Writers in Translation programme was established in 2005 with support from Bloomberg and is supported by Arts Council England. English PEN is the founding centre for the worldwide PEN movement, which in 2015 adopted the Quebec Declaration on Literary Translation and Translators, a vital set of principles which all PEN centres have committed to uphold in our work.