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September 2020: World Kid Lit Month!


Why translate KidLit? A talk with translators around the world
30 September at 4pm BST

Celebrating #WorldKidLitMonth with translators from around the globe, this session is about translating for younger audiences. Why translate kid lit, anyway? Are translation difficulties different here? Panelists will talk about the particular challenges and highlights in theirkid lit journey, give their thoughts about improving the field, and discuss how others can get involved with translated literature for young readers.

This will be streamed on Facebook Live. Let us know you’re coming on our Facebook event page

Lawrence Schimel (Spanish)
Avery Fischer Udagawa (Japanese)
Laura Watkinson (Dutch, German and Italian)
Sawad Hussain (Arabic)
Moderated by Marcia Lynx Qualey

October 2020

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Digital Workshops 3.0 include an event focused on children’s literature in translation:
How and Why We Translate Books for Children Thursday 1st October 7 p.m. EDT

Panelists: Emily Balistrieri, Cathy Hirano, Helen Wang
Translation is a creative (and not a mechanical) act. Three translators of books from languages other than English discuss their processes, challenges, and the reasons they translate. Using books authored in East Asian languages as a case study, this panel will lift the veil on a rarely discussed process that brings stories to a global audience. Viewable for 30 days.
Moderated by Avery Fischer Udagawa (Contact)

Join SCBWI to Sign up for event


American Literary Translators Association Conference (ALTA43) has two events focusing on children’s literature in translation:

Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading – Children’s Literature & Performance
Saturday 3rd October 2:00-2:50pm EST

Readings by:
Richard Robinson
Anna Bentley
Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp and Lawrence Schimel
Jennifer Vevian-Sparf
Mina Kyounghye Kwon
Dongshin Chang 
Sign up for event


Children’s Literature in Translation: Beyond Three Percent (Free & open to the public)
Monday 12th October 2:00-2:45pm EST

Children’s literature all too often falls through the cracks in discussions about literature in translation, even though children’s book sales have remained stable, and growing numbers of children’s books are translated. Daniel Hahn, Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, and David Jacobson will discuss efforts to promote the translation of children’s literature, as well as the challenges that remain. Who are the central players promoting literature in translation, and how can translators help them? Would publishers and translators benefit from attending the Bologna Children’s Book Fair? What other routes are there for those in the book industry to find out about the best new children’s books from around the world? This aims to be a discussion-oriented session, with ample time for audience questions.

Chaired by Mia Spangenberg, with Daniel Hahn, David Jacobson and Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp
Sign up for event

Past Events

If you missed something, catch up with it here.

Emma Press Book Chat with World Kid Lit blog co-editor Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp.
Ruth speaks to Emma Daian of UK publisher The Emma Press about World Kid Lit Month, her favourite books in translation by women for #WITmonth, and about her latest kid lit translation from Russian.

Emma Press Book Chat with illustrator Ulla Saar
Ulla talks to Emma about Estonian children’s books.

Translating the Future: “Children’s Literature in Translation” with Lawrence Schimel and Daniel Hahn. Moderated by Lyn Miller-Lachmann (City University of New York Humanities Center). Find out more about this on our blog post.

Mother Tongue Twisters #TranslationThursdays Mohini Gupta in conversation with Lawrence Schimel

Making KidLit Travel: How Translations Happen

Wednesday 2nd September, 15:00 UTC / 16:00 BST

A conversation with children’s publishers and literary professionals from around the world to discuss the business of kid lit. What do publishers look for in translated children’s literature? How do market standards differ across regions? What are the unique challenges brought on by the pandemic, and how does it affect the kid lit universe? Our expert panelists give us their perspectives.

The video recording of this event is available on Facebook.

Charlotte Ryland – Director, Stephen Spender Trust (UK)
Shelley Tanaka – Author and Fiction Editor, Groundwood Books (Canada)
Radhika Menon – Publishing Director, Tulika Books (India)
Emma Wright – Founder, The Emma Press (UK)
In Conversation With Marcia Lynx Qualey – Co-Founder, World Kid Lit (Morocco)