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Tools for Translators


The PEN America Translation Committee advocates on behalf of literary translators, working to foster a wider understanding of their art and offering professional resources for translators, publishers, critics, bloggers, and others with an interest in international literature. The committee is currently cochaired by Margaret Carson and Alex Zucker. Contact us at pen.translation at gmail.com. 

Translation Resources

Directory of Working Translators
A listing of PEN members working as translators in more than 25 different languages.

Model Contract for Literary Translations
A template of a standard publishing contract for a literary work in translation, covering copyright and reversion of rights, royalties, publicity, and other basics.

Translation FAQs
Answers to common questions regarding literary translation and publishing.

PEN/Heim Translation Fund
Grants to support the translation of book-length works of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, or drama.

PEN Translation Prize
Awarded each year to honor a book-length translation from any language into English.

PEN Award for Poetry in Translation
Presented each year to recognize a book-length translation of poetry from any language into English.

PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation
Awarded every third year to a translator whose career has demonstrated a commitment to excellence through the body of his or her work.

A selection of literary journals seeking works in translation.

A list of presses, large and small, that publish works in translation.

Grants / Awards / Residencies
Opportunities for translation funding and support.

Recommended Readings on Translation
An annotated list by PEN member Sandra Smith, translator of Irène Némirovsky and Albert Camus.

The best source for literary translation events in the NYC area is Susan Bernofsky’s blog, Translationista.

Translators, Rates, Money, and Unions”: Translation Committee cochair Alex Zucker, on the Three Percent podcast, talks about the business of literary translation.

News and Updates

Congratulations to Denise Newman, winner of the PEN Translation Prize (for prose), and to Eliza Griswold, winner of the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. Together with Burton Watson, winner of the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation, they were honored June 8 at the 2015 PEN literary awards, held at The New School in New York City. Submissions are now open for the 2016 awards.

Featured Translations

The “essay film” is Marker’s invention and natural element, its best...

The Impossible Fairy Tale is the first novel by one of South Korea’s most...

Gozo Yoshimasu, an aurally and visually stunning poet known for his...

"The poems are incredibly powerful and, in performance, even magisterial;...

In a major rediscovery, Burnett brings us the work of Urzidil, a writer...

"Urzidil’s world is still very much an enchanted one, with an underlying,...

In both its stylistic pyrotechnics and psychological intensity, The Game...

"What really keeps me turning the pages is rich language, language like...

With this translation, Beals introduces English-language readers to a sui...

"Rilke would continue to champion Ullmann’s work until his death, along...

Manhattan Tropics is the first novel of the Puerto Rican mass-migration to...

"I decided to translate Manhattan Tropics when I came to grasp its...