We often hear that the biggest hurdles to translating books into English from other languages are hearing about books from other countries, finding a reader or book scout to assess a manuscript in another language, and finding a qualified and experienced translator who can write for younger readers. One of the aims of Project World Kid Lit is to address these obstacles with the help of the World Kid Lit community. We especially aim to encourage more translation from languages and countries beyond Western Europe.
Please see the resources below. Do let us know if you find anything useful or if you can suggest resources not mentioned here.
How to hear about children’s books awaiting translation into English
You can use the wealth of material on the World Kid Lit website and blog to find new authors and illustrators, by searching by country of origin or language of origin. Our contributors regularly highlight books under the #SeekingaPublisher rubric (formerly Translate This!). This is a great way to find children’s and teen books that haven’t yet been translated into English but perhaps should be!
In most #SeekingaPublisher (or Translate This!) posts, you’ll find a synopsis and in some cases a sample translation, as well as contact details for the rights holder and/or the translator of the sample. If you can’t find the info you need, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try to help.
Other ways to find new children’s and YA books not yet published in English translation:
- IJB’s White Ravens: annual selection of international children’s and youth literature
- IBBY’s annual selection of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities
- Bologna Children’s Book Fair Illustrators’ Exhibition
- dPictus where you can explore picture books from around the world and connect with agents
- dPictus 100 Outstanding Picturebooks
Find a bilingual reader for a reader’s report
Perhaps you’re intrigued to know more about a book you’ve heard about, but it’s in a language you can’t read? Or you come across a gem at a book fair, but don’t know anyone to read it and assess it for you?
Please download and use our World Kid Lit Bilingual Expert Readers List: of readers who can assess children’s and YA books in a range of languages (over 25 languages so far).
You could commission these bilingual children’s book experts to provide a reader’s report, to help you assess titles you like the sound of but can’t read in-house. These readers may also be able to act as book scouts. (Please note, these readers are not all necessarily translators into English. Please see their biographies at the end of the PDF for more details.)
Find a literary translator for a children’s/YA book
There are several professional organizations worldwide where you can find a literary translator for a children’s or YA book translation into English, or to commission a sample translation or reader’s report. In many directories you can search by language or keyword e.g. children’s or graphic novel to find translators with specific experience.
- SCBWI (The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) has translator members and you can search the directory here
- Bologna Children’s Book Fair translator directory
- CEATL, the Conseil Européen des Associations de Traducteurs Littéraires / European Council of Associations of Literary Translators. CEATL lists the 34 member associations here, with links to their websites and translator directories
- The Society of Authors/Translators’ Association. The translator directory here.
- ALTA – the American Literary Translators Association. The translator directory is here
- AALITRA – The Australian Association for Literary Translation
- Irish Translators’ and Interpreters’ Association (ITIA) / Cumann Aistritheoirí agus Ateangairí na hÉireann. Translator directory here
- ATA – American Translators Association) has a Literary Division. Translator directory here
Funding sources for literary translation
There are many grants available to help publishers to cover the costs involved in translation. See Literature Across Frontiers for an extensive list. The amount covered varies from grant to grant, so please check specific details.
PEN Translates: For UK-based publishers. Any language combination. Funding up to 100% of translation costs. Ensuring translators are acknowledged & paid properly. Submissions are open twice a year, usually with the closing date of 31st May and 30th Nov. Books for young people are eligible. See English PEN website for more details.
There is also a wealth of information for publishers on the Book Trust In Other Words page
Promoting your translated books and crediting your translators
Please send us your translated book news and PDFs or paperbacks to review here at World Kid Lit blog, and also send to Global Literature in Libraries Initiative and Outside In World – two other not-for-profit venues which review children’s books in translation.
Here at Project World Kid Lit, we feature everything from picture books, emerging readers, to middle grade and YA, nonfiction and poetry to graphic novels and comics. As a non-profit volunteer-run project, we can’t feature every book we’re sent as a full book review, but we also include recent and forthcoming translations on Instagram, in our recommended reading lists, in our monthly roundups, and in our annual list of children’s books translated into English.
Please check the lists below and let us know of any recent publications we’re missing; we’d be only too happy to include them.
- The 2022 list: children’s and YA books in translation
- The 2021 list: children’s and teen books in translation
- The 2020 list: new children’s and young adult books in translation
- New in 2019: Global Children’s and Young Adult Books in English Translation
- New in 2017 and 2018: Children’s Books Translated into English