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English PEN & ALR - call for entries






PEN Presents... East and South-east Asia

English PEN in partnership with the Asia Literary Review


1 September 2016

Submissions are now open for PEN Presents… East and South-east Asia.




This opportunity is open to literary translators ABLE TO ATTEND IN PERSON OR ONLINE an event in June 2017 who have an author from East or South-east Asia whose work they are proposing to translate into English and develop for publication.


Works of any genre may be submitted. The submissions, which take the form of an application and a translated extract, will be shortlisted by a panel of judges. The top six books and their translators will be presented in a dedicated catalogue at the 2017 London Book Fair and featured in the Asia Literary Review. All six translators will then compete for the Best Pitch by presenting their books live to an audience and a jury of publishing professionals chaired by Tilted Axis Press publisher Deborah Smith. All six translators will win a PEN Presents award of £250.


PEN Presents, an initiative from the writers’ organization English PEN, aims to help publishers discover – and publish – the most exciting books from around the world, whilst supporting emerging translators in their development as advocates for international literature. Each year the initiative presents six exciting books by contemporary authors, recommended by literary translators, which have not yet been acquired for English-language publication. Each round of PEN Presents focuses on a different region of the world.


English PEN is delighted to be collaborating with the Asia Literary Review. The ALR is a leading literary magazine published three to four times a year, focussed on exceptional writing from and about Asia. Over the past twelve years, the ALR has featured writing from both established and emerging talent.


How to submit


Please download and complete the application form and send it together with your translated extract (as two separate Word documents) to the ALR by Monday 5 December 2016 - EXTENDED TO 12 JANUARY 2017.


Submission guidelines and further information


♦ PEN Presents accepts submissions only from translators

♦ Translators must be resident in the UK, able to get themselves to the UK for an event in June 2017, OR BE ABLE TO TAKE PART VIA SKYPE

♦ The proposed East or South-east Asian writer must not yet have had a complete work published in English (extracts published in anthologies and magazines are acceptable)

♦ The translator must check that English translation rights are available and seek permission from the rights holder to submit the book to PEN Presents

♦ The original publication date of the proposed work must be later than 31 December 2000

♦ A translated extract of a maximum of 5000 words (or 20 poems) in Word format must be submitted together with an application form

♦ The extract must be available exclusively to English PEN and the Asia Literary Review until June 2017

♦ Submissions will be considered by a panel of judges who will select the top six based on the literary quality, contribution to literary diversity and viability for an English-language audience

♦ Translators must be available to attend, IN PERSON OR ONLINE, the live event on Thursday 8 June 2017 at the Free Word Centre in London

♦ The six shortlisted translators will be provided with detailed guidance prior to the event

♦ Eligible East and South-east Asian countries: China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Mongolia, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Brunei, Timor-Leste

For queries about PEN Presents, please contact Rebekah Murrell at English PEN.

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