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About the Southeast Asian Translation Mentorship

Deadline: 30 September 2023

Projects: Bio

In conjunction with Ethos Books, the seams are proud to introduce the first Southeast Asian Translation Mentorship. One emerging translator of Southeast Asian literature into English will receive mentoring from members of the seams, one of whom will serve as the primary mentor. The mentorship will hone the mentee’s literary translation skills, equip them with useful knowledge about the ins and outs of the literary translation industry, expand their networks in the SEA literary translation and publishing sector, and support them in seeing their proposed translation project through to publication. 


By the end of the mentorship, the mentee will have a complete translation sample and proposal for them to send out to publishers. The mentee will receive 3000 SGD, graciously provided by Ethos Books, to help support them through the mentorship period, which will last from 1 December 2023 to 31 August 2024.

Eligibility: 


The mentorship is open to emerging translators who are applying to translate a book-length work by a Southeast Asian author into English. There are no restrictions regarding form or genre of the proposed translation project: all literary forms will be considered.  


Applicants should self-identify as an emerging translator.

Application Process:


Applicants should submit the following: 

  1. a CV

  2. a sample of their translation work from their proposed translation project. (Word count for prose, prose poetry, and plays, approximately 2000 words. Word count for poetry: a suite of 5 to 7 poems)

  3. a copy of the corresponding text in the original language

  4. a document containing responses to the following 4 questions:

  • Do you know if the English-language rights to the proposed work are available, and have you contacted the rights-holder (e.g. the author, the author’s estate, or the original publisher)? (1-2 sentences)

  • What does this project mean to you? Or to put it another way, why do you feel drawn to translate this particular work? 150 words max.

  • Could you tell us more about the historical, cultural, and/or literary significance of this work and its author? 150 words max. 

  • Tell us more about your journey as a translator so far. 150 words max.     

The above documents in Microsoft Word or pdf format should be sent to theseams@googlegroups.com. Please include the words Southeast Asian Translation Mentorship in your email subject line.


The deadline for receiving applications is: 30 September 2023 (which is International Translation Day!)


A decision will be announced by: 31 October 2023

Projects: Text
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