LAF at the London Book Fair 12-14 March, 2024

Tuesday February 20th, 2024

We’re back at the London Book Fair’s Literary Translation Centre with the following programme. Find the rest of the programme here.

Tuesday 12 March 2024, 13:15 – 14:00

Writing the same text twice? Bilingual poets and self-translation

Self-translation is a way forward for bilingual authors writing in less translated languages who want to reach a wider audience in a range of markets. It may also give them a chance to approach a text from another cultural and linguistic perspective, rethink and reshape it, producing an authoritative second language version or a second ‘original’. Poets bilingual in Basque, Dutch, English, Spanish and Welsh discuss the processes, challenges and rewards of having the capacity to write in two or more languages and translating one’s own work.

Speakers: Astrid Alben (Poet, Translator, Editor, Prototype Publishing), Beatriz Chivite Ezkieta (Poet), Iestyn Tyne (Writer, Translator)

Moderator: Alexandra Büchler (Director, Literature Across Frontiers)

Organised by Literature Across Frontiers

Tuesday 12 March 2024, 15:25 – 14:00

European Union Prize for Literature: making fiction travel

Launched in 2009 to highlight writing by emerging authors from across Europe, the coveted prize is a token of recognition that makes outstanding literary titles visible to publishers and contributes to the diversity of the European book market. With almost 1400 translations of the winning titles into 48 languages, including English, the prize continues to open doors for the awarded authors and internationalise their careers. The session will present the prize, its evolution and impact on translation across European literary scenes over the years and discuss the opportunities it offers to early career prose writers, especially those written is less translated languages.

Speakers: Dr Richard Davies (Publishing Director, Parthian Books), Bianca Bellová (Author), Sheila O’Reilly (Board Member, European & International Bookselllers Federation)

Chair: Alexandra Büchler (Director, Literature Across Frontiers)

Organised by EUPL consortium in association with Literature Across Frontiers

Wednesday 13th March, 15:25 – 16:10

LEILA: Highlighting Outstanding Arabic Titles to Publishers in Europe

Discoverability is crucial to making books written in regions less connected with the European book market noticed by publishers, and only a few authors from the Arabic-speaking region have made a name for themselves in translation in recent years. The LEILA project aims to present the best of Arabic literature selected by a group of experts knowledgeable about the current publishing scene, who understand the literary qualities that could make books merit translation for international readership. Supported by the Creative Europe programme, LEILA is the first pan-European project giving visibility to carefully selected titles and creating a network of literary professionals interested in promoting writing from the Arab world. The session will present the LEILA project with its newly launched website, research into translation flows, networking efforts and skills development opportunities for translators and discuss how it can serve to connect the literary scenes of the two neighbouring regions.

Speakers: Sawad Hussain (Arabic Literary Translator), Dr Abdel-Wahab Khalifa (Senior Lecturer in Translation and Interpreting, Queen’s University Belfast), Anne Millet (LEILA Project Coordinator)

Chair: Olivia Snaije (Journalist)

Wednesday 13th March, 16:30 – 17:15

ENLIT: supporting literary translation across Europe

The session will present the European network ENLIT which brings together national organisations whose remit includes international promotion of literature and support for translation of their literatures. To achieve their goals, ENLIT members share information, discuss policy and the practical aspects of their programmes, invest in research and data collection, and set up collaboration projects. The session will focus on questions central to the members’ work and its impact: what kind of data is available on published translations, whether subsidised or not, and what do these tell us about the interaction and influence of different literary cultures in the English-language market? What post-publication information do the funding organisations require from the grant recipients to find out more about how the published books fare in terms of sales and reception? The session will tie in with other panels asking related questions and will offer possible avenues for collaboration in obtaining and analysing information that could inform literary translation advocacy in a market perceived as being resistant to cultural imports.

Speakers: Joan de Sola (Director of the Literature Department, Institut Ramon Llull), Łucija Gawkowska (Foreign Projects Coordinator, Polish Book Institute), Margit Wałso (Director, NORLA)

Chair: Alexandra Büchler (Director, Literature Across Frontiers)