Creative Translators Workshop

Together with De Tank, ELV and Vertalershuis Amsterdam, Read My World organises a series of workshops exploring the many possibilities of Literary Translation in and outside of the book.

Why this Workshop?

An international literature festival such as Read My World presents new voices from different parts of the world and writing in a variety of languages, in a wide range of formats: from published texts (online and offline), to public events (with translations on stage and screen). Not only is the translation of these voices important, but also the way translations are presented to the public, in an accessible way, and following a certain editorial continuity. Per definition, a literature festival is about everything that happens outside of the book, while the starting point for all the voices we invite (writers, journalists, spoken word artists, programmers and more) is always writing.

Translation has a key role throughout the festival, and not only when translating words, but also in the way all this work in translation is managed: which languages do we work with? Which formats would fit which activities best (audio recording? presentation on screen? subtitling? stage/performance?) etc. This workshop tackles all these aspects.

Based on our guests’ preferred languages of expression, for this workshop we are prioritising the following languages: German, French, Swedish, Dutch and English. This means that all translations will be made from one of the guests’ languages into English or/and Dutch.

Important dates:

  • Deadline to send interest is 31 May 2021 (selection communicated 03 June 2021)
  • Workshop dates: Monday 28 June to Friday 02 July 2021 (tbc)
  • Pre-festival work period for written translations: July-August 2021
  • Festival dates: 2, 3 and 4 September 2021 in Amsterdam

Who is this for?

  • Multilingual makers (writers, spoken word artists, poets, editors, digital creatives…) who are active with multiple languages in their daily lives and practice, and want to use their knowledge to expand the possibilities of using multilingualism in an international festival setting
  • Aspiring Literary Translators (students and early career professionals)
  • Experienced Literary Translators who want to expand their experience of Literary Translation outside of the book

Priority is given to people who are not usually visible within the mainstream literature sector. Namely, people whose reality is rooted in multicultural and multilingual experiences, as well as from marginalised communities and with different abilities.

Read My World is an intersectional feminist festival, which means that we understand that it is not enough to just tick one box. We hereby give examples to illustrate what we mean, and this list is not exhaustive: Black people, POC, LGBTQ+ people, refugees, newcomers, migrants, people with invisible and visible disabilities (ASD, chronic illnesses and more), people with low income (minima or people living below the poverty line) etc.


We are joining forces with de Tank in communicating the open call. De Tank’s priority is to work with BIPOC communities and ensure they have equal opportunities to enter the literary industry.

Organising partners are also the Expertise Center for Literary Translation (ELV) and Vertalershuis Amsterdam. The aim of the ELV is to review the expertise of literary translators (into/from Dutch) in order to protect the quality of translations. In addition to housing foreign translators, the Vertalershuis Amsterdam organizes translation workshops and events related to literary translation, such as the annual Literary Translation Days.

The workshop is supported by the Taalunie. The Taalunie develops and promotes policy on Dutch in the Netherlands, Flanders and Suriname, and champions the Dutch language around the world.

Are you interested in joining this series of workshops?

We want to know more about you! We are not interested in a list of achievements but more about your passion, experience and practice of multilingualism. Your response to this call can be a video, an audio recording, a short photo essay, a letter, a traditional CV and cover letter is also good…

What matters is that you answer the following questions:

– Which languages are part of your daily life and practice?

– Have you ever translated anything? Please let us know of any translation activity: from translating at an admin booth for a family member, to songs for someone you love or a book, a poem, an essay, published or unpublished. We are interested in your personal and professional experience with languages and translation.

– Read My World is an intersectional feminist festival tackling themes such as anti-racism, gentrification, gender and sexuality and more. How do you relate to the different themes? Let us know about the books you are reading, the films or series you are watching on these topics, and also, if it is part of your own life and creative practice.

What we offer

– 5 sessions of 4 hours each during the week of 28 June to 02 July 2021, where you will follow masterclasses and guidance on translation work specifically tailored for Read My World, from experts in their fields.

– Once the workshop series is completed, you will have the possibility to become part of the creative translators’ team for the festival. This will be decided at the end of the series when we will divide tasks depending on everyone’s abilities and wishes. Please note participation to the workshop series does not automatically guarantee you will have work during the festival.

– By work, we mean freelance work which includes pre-festival assignments such as written translations or performative translation on stage during the festival.

– Because the sessions will also be given online, it is possible to just follow the workshop series for your own personal development.

The language of the workshop sessions will mostly be in English, it will also include Dutch as a working language (especially where we will focus on translations towards Dutch). We will always make sure that everyone in the group understands and follows all the sessions comfortably.

Interested? Send us your response on