British Centre for Literary Translation

The British Centre for Literary Translation was founded in 1989 by the late W.G. Sebald for the support of literary translation. The research centre sits within the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. They support an MA in Literary Translation, a variety of undergraduate modules in the subject, and an extensive programme of PhD research.

The BCLT also works in close partnership with the National Centre for Writing and a wide range of other national and international organisations to deliver a programme of activities which support the professional development of literary translators and promote the recognition of literary translation as a profession. These include literary translation workshops, research seminars, the annual Sebald Lecture on Literary Translation, usually held in the spring at the British Library, and the International Literary Translation and Creative Writing Summer School.

International Literary Translation and Creative Writing Summer School

The International Literary Translation and Creative Writing Summer School brings together writers and translators from around the world for an intensive programme of hands-on translation and creative writing practice. The week-long event takes place every year in July and is delivered by the BCLT in partnership with the National Centre for Writing. The core activity of the week is the literary translation workshops, led by experienced literary translators, working from a range of languages into English. As well as language-specific workshops there are multilingual workshops for translators translating from any language into English. We also have a strand for the training of trainers.

The Summer School will be taking place online in 2022, from Monday 18 to Friday 22 July. The deadline for applications is Tuesday 19 April 2022. You can find details of this year’s programme on the BCLT website.

You can watch short talks and panels from previous BCLT Summer Schools on the BCLT YouTube channel.

Sebald Lecture in Literary Translation

Every year the BCLT, in partnership with the National Centre for Writing, invites a renowned writer or translator to give the W.G. Sebald Lecture on Literary Translation at the British Library. Past speakers have included Jhumpa Lahiri, David Bellos, Emily Wilson, Arundhati Roy and Margaret Atwood. You can watch past lectures on the BCLT YouTube channel.

Translators in Residence

BCLT hosts a Charles Wallace India Trust Fellow annually. Check the BCLT website for details of the application process, as well as information about previous Fellows. The BCLT also considers other residencies on an individual basis, so it is worth getting in touch to enquire.

BCLT offers two BCLT translation residencies every year for UK-based literary translators. The residencies are for four months, one day per week. The 2022 BCLT Translators in Residence, from February to May 2022, are Sawad Hussain and Laura McGloughlin. The inaugural BCLT Translators in Residence were Olivia Hellewell and William Gregory, from October 2020 to January 2021.

MA in Literary Translation

What do Karl Knausgård, Valeria Luiselli and Clarice Lispector have in common with Jo Nesbø, Georg Trakl and Yoko Tawada? They’ve all been translated into English by graduates from the MA Literary Translation at UEA. On this course participants focus exclusively on literary translation, combining translation practice with translation theory. UEA have been training literary translators for twenty-five years. The students have gone on to become award-winning translators, writers, editors and academics. The course is supported by the BCLT.