Finding readers and translators
We often hear that the biggest hurdles to translating books from other countries are:
- hearing about books from other countries
- finding a reader to assess a manuscript in another language
- finding a translator
Well, here at Team World Kid Lit, we want to solve all these problems and more here on this website with the help of the World Kid Lit community. Here’s how:
1) hear about new CHILDREN’S books from around the world
In the tags, click on a country or language to find books from places of interest to you and your readers; follow the Translate This! links to find titles not yet in translation but which we think should be.
In most Translate This! posts, you’ll find synopses and in some cases sample translations, as well as contact details for the translator or original rights holders. If you can’t find the info you need, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try to help!
For picture books, there’s also dPictus where you can explore some of the world’s best illustrated texts.
2) COMMISSION a reader’s report
As you’ll see from interviews and guest posts here, children’s book translators are often passionate and keen to tell publishers about new books from their country of interest. It’s true that many countries don’t have a literary agent representing even adult fiction on the international market, let alone children’s writers, but translators can do a lot of what an agent would do.
We keep a list of readers who can assess children’s and YA books in a range of languages. Please email us at email@example.com for a copy of the PDF list.
3) find a CHILDREN’S BOOK translator
In the UK, you can find a literary translator via the Translators’ Association (a subgroup of the Society of Authors). The translator directory here. You can search by language or keyword e.g. children’s to find translators with specific experience.
In Australia, the organization representing literary translators is AALITRA.
The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) has translator members and you can search the directory here.
Bologna Children’s Book Fair also has a translator directory which you can find here.
4) get funding for your project
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.
5) CELEBRATE BOOKS in translation FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS
The Global Literature in Libraries Initiative Translated YA Book Prize celebrates the best translated literature for young adults. Submissions currently closed. Check back later in the year.
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. Submissions open NOW. Deadline 28th May 2021.