Children's publishers urged to translate more international works

Children's publishers urged to translate more international works

BookTrust is launching a new children’s books in translation initiative called In Other Words, to encourage UK publishers to release more works from around the world.

The charity has pledged to pay for sample translations from 10 works for the scheme and present them to the UK publishing community in an event at the Bologna Book Fair next year.

Foreign publishers, agents and scouts have been invited to submit "outstanding" works of fiction for 6-12 year-olds to a panel of expert judges who will select 10 titles for translation.

Chaired by literary critic, Nicolette Jones, the panel includes translators Sarah Ardizzone and Daniel Hahn, Waterstones’ children's book buyer Florentyna Martin, Emma Langley from Arts Council England and BookTrust’s director of children’s books Jill Coleman. The judges will select 10 entries, with up to four declared BookTrust In Other Words Honour Titles. A special event will be held at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair on 4th April 2017 showcasing the Honour Titles, with information about all 10 extracts included in a rights guide.

Any UK publisher acquiring rights to publish one of the texts will be given a £1,500 grant per book from BookTrust to promote the author and translator with UK marketing, publicity and touring in the UK.

Diana Gerald, c.e.o. of BookTrust, said: "We are delighted to be launching our new initiative to encourage more UK publishers to acquire foreign fiction for children. We know children benefit enormously from reading widely and from stories set in other cultures, and now more than ever we are looking to diversify the books we offer children. We have had an extremely positive response from publishers and we look forward to being inundated with the very best children’s stories from around the world, and bringing them to a whole new readership."

Emma Langley of Arts Council England, said: "We are pleased to be working with BookTrust and the Bologna Book Fair to encourage and enable more UK publishers to celebrate the best foreign literature. Conversations the team at BookTrust have had with publishers have shown the cost of translation and of promoting overseas authors in the UK are real barriers, and this project seeks to overcome both. BookTrust’s In Other Words is part of our wider programme of events championing books in translation."

Submissions open on 1st September and close on 26th September. Full information about the project can be found at here.

The project is funded by Arts Council England.