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.
Write for World Kid Lit
Do contact us if you’d be interested in writing about or being interviewed about your work in translation within the children’s publishing world.
We warmly welcome guest contributors and suggestions for interviews and features. Please email the blog editors Ruth and Claire if you’d like to contribute, share an idea for an article, or suggest great books for a certain country/language.
We have a section of the blog with the category Translate This! where readers recommend books they would like to see published in English translation. If you would like to present an as yet untranslated children’s or YA book on this blog, please read the submissions guidelines below and send us an email.
If you would like to use your Translate This! 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 new YouTube channel, Translators Aloud. Hosts Tina Kover and Charlotte Coombe are keen to receive as many submissions as possible for World Kid Lit Month!
Children’s books and YA are too often overlooked in discussions of translation and this is a great way to remind readers of the thriving translated kid lit scene. 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.
Becoming a children’s book translator
Here are some resources to help translators navigate the world of children’s and YA publishing
- 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: 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 Sawad Hussain, Antonia Lloyd-Jones and Nicky Harman)
There are funding opportunities available to publishers of children’s literature in translation. Please let us know of any we are missing:
PEN Translates: For UK-based publishers. Any language combinations. Funding up to 100% of translation costs. Ensuring translators are acknowledged & paid properly. Currently open for submissions until 31st May. See English PEN website for more details.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Journals and competitions
There are also literary journals and translation competitions 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.
The John Dryden Translation Competition – Prizes will be awarded for the best unpublished literary translations from any language into English. Literary translation includes poetry, prose, or drama from any period. Submissions usually during winter.
The ArabLit Story Prize is an award for the best short stories, in any genre, newly translated from Arabic into English. Deadline 2 August 2021.
The Warwick Prize for Women in Translation is awarded annually to the best eligible work of fiction, poetry, literary non-fiction, work of fiction for children or young adults, graphic novel, or play text, written by a woman, translated into English by a translator (or translators) of any gender, and published by a UK or Irish publisher. Deadline annually in May.
The Global Literature in Libraries Initiative Translated YA Book Award recognizes publishers, translators, and authors of books in English translation for young adult readers. Submissions usually Autumn / Fall.