New grants announced for translators
17th April 2001 - Jonathan Ruppin
English PEN, the charity promoting the freedom to write, is launching a major new fund for literary translation.
The fund responds to concerns that less than 3% of British books published are in translation from another language. At a time when more than 300 languages are spoken in British schools, the charity believes that this social diversity should be reflected by literary diversity. The new fund, backed by Arts Council England, was launched the London Book Fair.
Gillian Slovo, President of English PEN, said: 'British readers today are being deprived of the next generation of great international writers. This new fund should help to correct that imbalance.'
The fund, called PEN TRANSLATES!, will distribute £120,000 per year to translators and publishers. The initiative will support up to 20 works of outstanding literary merit translated from any world language. Applications are open to all literary genres including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays.