World Kid Lit blog is one of very few blogs aimed at shedding light on the process of translation and we love featuring the people who have helped children’s books travel from one country to another. We aim to always #namethetranslator and illustrator in our blog posts.
Please see below for a range of resources for literary translators with a particular focus on writing for children and young adults. Please email us to recommend any other useful resources we could add.
Write for World Kid Lit Blog
This blog is run by a community of volunteers. We warmly welcome suggestions and submissions for book reviews, interviews and features relating to world literature or translation for children and young adults. Please email the blog co-editors if you’d like to write for us, share an idea for an article, or suggest great books for a certain country/language.
We have a section of the blog called Translate This! Since 2022, this is now called #SeekingAPublisher. The aim of these blog posts is for translators, readers, and foreign language publishers and agents to highlight books for young people in other languages that are not yet published in English translation, but you think should be.
If you would like to use your #SeekingAPublisher proposal as the basis of a pitch directly to publishers, there is a list here of publishing houses that have published children’s/YA translations. You’ll find a list of contact details of publishers at Outside In World and at Writers and Artists.
Translators are invited to share their published work on the following YouTube channels:
Translators Aloud Hosts Tina Kover and Charlotte Coombe are keen to receive submissions for September, #WorldKidLitMonth, and year round. Send in a 5-minute recording of yourself reading from one of your kid lit translations; more details here. Translators Aloud also now has a Seeking a Publisher playlist for translators who have translated a sample of a book that is not yet published in English translation, in the hope of drawing publishers’ attention to the book.
Jill! A Women+ in Translation reading series. Laryssa welcomes submissions for September, #WorldKidLitMonth, and year round. Videos need to fit Jill!’s primary mission (women, trans, and/or nonbinary translators or translators of women, trans, and/or nonbinary authors), but outside of that parameter, what you read is up to you, as is the format of the reading itself. You can share picture books, graphic novels, comics, YA fiction, poetry or performance for children — or whatever work you might have that fits the bill. See the website for the general submissions guidelines
Becoming a children’s book translator
Here are some resources to help translators navigate the world of children’s and YA publishing
- Step-by-step guide to becoming a literary translator by Outside In World, together with Daniel Hahn and the BCLT (the British Centre for Literary Translation (download as a PDF)
- Getting started in children’s book translation by Julie Sullivan, Words & Pics, the online magazine of SCBWI British Isles
- Translation at SCBWI: the new website showcasing translators at the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators has a wealth of translator interviews and other resources
- Translators’ Critique Connection at SCBWI: a self-serve system for connecting with other translator members who are interested in forming a peer support and feedback group
Pitching to publishers
There are a growing number of resources to help translators prepare an effective book proposal for a publisher. Here are a few:
- ITD 2020 feature at Translators Aloud: Getting into print: translator Ros Schwartz on how to pitch to publishers
- ALTA43 event: Chad Post and Katie Whittemore ‘How to Pitch Publishers‘ (video and transcript available on Crowdcast)
- LBF 2018: Bridging Language Divides: The Role of Translators in Supporting Diverse Acquisitions (panel discussion with translators Sawad Hussain, Antonia Lloyd-Jones and Nicky Harman)
- How to Pitch a Translation: translator Nanette McGuinness shares her tips at SCBWI blog
There are several funding opportunities available to publishers of children’s literature in translation.
PEN Translates: English PEN funding For UK-based publishers. Any language combinations. Funding up to 100% of translation costs. Ensuring translators are acknowledged & paid properly. Two application windows per year, usually 31 May and 31 November.
PEN Presents: English PEN funding for UK-based publishers. Supports and showcases sample translations, funding the often-unpaid work of creating samples, giving UK publishers access to titles from underrepresented languages and regions, and helping diversify the translated literature landscape.
Please see Literature Across Frontiers for a comprehensive list of national institutions which fund translation, and bursaries and grants available to literary translators.
Become a book scout or expert reader
Here at World Kid Lit, we keep a list of expert readers of children’s literature in languages other than English, whom English-language publishers can contact if they want to commission a reader’s report on a book they can’t read themselves. If you’re a translator with experience of the children’s book market or of writing for children and young people, please get in touch by email (email@example.com).
There are also literary journals that welcome submissions of texts for young people in translation. If submitting, please ensure you check your permissions first with the source language publisher. Please let us know if you come across any we don’t have listed
Lunch Ticket Literary Journal from Antioch University, USA. Check submissions dates.
Voyage YA Literary Journal A journal dedicated to inclusive Young Adult writing. Rolling submissions.
Words Without Borders The Home for International Literature
Translation competitions and prizes
There are several prizes that welcome submissions of texts for young people in translation. In some cases, the translator applies, and in others it is the publisher of the English translation that applies. Please follow the links below for more information. Please see here for a list of prizes, including ones for unpublished translations which translators can enter.