Something else happened at the BCLT Summer School last month, but I was waiting until the official start date to share it, difficult though that was! Last year, the Translators Association and the BCLT co-founded a mentoring scheme to partner up-and-coming literary translators with mentors for six months. On the last day, I found out I’d been selected for the German mentorship scheme (supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum), and that my mentor will be Dr Lyn Marven, translator and lecturer at the University of Liverpool.
Lyn and I already well-acquainted, having met on a Goethe Institut translators’ trip last March, and we later worked together when I translated an extract from Vladimir Vertlib’s Das besondere Gedächtnis der Rosa Masur for the soon to be published volume Emerging German-Language Novelists of the Twenty-First Century, which she edited along with Stuart Taberner. I’m thrilled to have the chance to share ideas and discuss aspects of my translation work with Lyn over the next six months.
It’s an excellent initiative – many people developing freelance careers in the world of literary translation turn to others for advice, be it practical questions regarding contracts and negotiating or more theoretical musings – but this enables the process to be more structured, mutually beneficial and, above all, takes away the fear that you’re ‘bothering’ someone. Aside from the one-to-one mentoring, all of those involved in the scheme (comprising Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Dutch, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian and Spanish language pairs) will also be brought together for an Industry Day at the Free Word Centre, which looks set to be packed with useful advice. More information on the participants and scheme will soon be up on the BCLT website.
So, here’s to an exciting six months! Lyn and I will be getting together for a long chat when she comes down for International Translation Day at the Free Word Centre at the end of September – another great date for the translation diary.