This seminar is designed for BIPOC Woman/Queer/Nonbinary writers to take at no charge. If you identify with the above you may register using the code JENNA at checkout to get the amount down to $0 due. Space is limited and based on first-come-first-severed. Please reach out to [email protected] with any questions!
Pitching translation projects, finding new opportunities, and landing a job in publishing can be extremely challenging. What are the useful skills to help us as BIPOC women/queer/nonbinary translators find a home for our projects, and/or find more opportunities in the world of translation? How do we find our communities and support each other? Please note that this class is specifically for translators that identify themselves as BIPOC women/queer/nonbinary.
In this two-day seminar, participants will be encouraged to share their challenges and experiences navigating themselves for better opportunities and finding homes for their translations. The class will be discussing ways to make a stronger pitch in order to bring out the cultural significance of their works, identifying publishers that will potentially be a right fit, and ways to practice translating and pitching various projects. Most important of all, the class will be a place where students are encouraged to form a community to support one another.
Community is one of the best places for translators and writers to grow and approach their eventual publishing goals. We will also be discussing strategies to form a supportive, helpful community and ways to maintain positive and fun energies in the long term.
Class meetings will be held over video chat, using Zoom accessed from your private class page. While you can use Zoom from your browser, we recommend downloading the desktop client so you have access to all platform features.
- Familiarity with resources that will help BIPOC women/queer/nonbinary translators find their way to support their translation projects.
- How to put together and refine our pitches.
- Knowledge of how to protect our rights as translators and the support we could seek in the process of getting published.
- Forming a community with one another for further support and solidarity.
- Learning other emerging/ established translators’ experiences from various translation publications.
- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes
Prior to each class, students are expected to read through 3-4 author/translator’s conversations and articles regarding BIPOC women/queer/nonbinary writers navigating their translation projects in the publishing world. In class, we’ll be discussing the topics addressed in these readings and participants will be encouraged to share their experiences.
Outside of verbal discussions, students should not expect feedback from the instructor or their peers on any written work.
Day 1: Getting started. Introduction to each student, and what each of you have been translating lately. What challenges have you faced pitching your translation, especially as BIPOC/Women/Queer/Nonbinary translators? After the introduction, we’ll delve straight into our readings about the landscape of literary translation in publishing, pitching, and how to best present your translation in your elevator pitch and draft a pitch letter to the publisher. What are the resources you can make use of to hone your pitch? What are some good examples? Students are encouraged to share their experiences to the class.
Prior to the start of the second day, we’ll have volunteers upload their pitch letters for oral peer review in class. For the start of the second class, we’ll start with some in-class exercises for the elevator pitch, talk about elements of a compelling pitch, and events/conferences where we can build relationships with agents, editors, and publishers. After that, we’ll be talking about the volunteer students’ pitch letters. At the end of the class, we’ll be talking about resources about literary translation model contracts (Authors Guild & PEN Translation Committee), along with the importance of community building.
Jenna Tang is a literary translator based in New York. She translates from Chinese and Spanish. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. Her translations are published in Restless Books, Latin American Literature Today, AAWW, McSweeney's, and elsewhere. Her interviews are at World Literature Today and Words Without Borders. She is a selected translator for the 2021 ALTA Emerging Translators Mentorship with a focus on Taiwanese prose.
“Jenna is a thoughtful translator and creative spirit who works from multiple lineages and myriad inspirations, toggling between the minutest of details and big-picture issues in a text with ease. Warm and inquisitive, she's committed to community in all senses and brings passion and energy to every one of her endeavors.”
“As a translator, Jenna is fundamentally a community builder. A bridge-builder on the page and within groups she crafts with sensitivity and nuance, translating not only between languages but complex identities and beliefs. Her work supports shared understanding through a profound respect for cultures and individuals.”
“Jenna Tang works tirelessly and generously to promote literature in translation and to build community within the translation sphere. As a translator from Taiwan now based in the US, she moves fluidly between the cultures she translates from and to, probing the bounds of the English language and seeking out voices who have hitherto not received sufficient attention.”
"Jenna Tang is doing incredible and important work as a translator and writer. She is so generous and always opens the door for others. Her work challenges the status quo and creates a space for resonant stories and writers to find many audiences and communities across languages and borders. She helps us see what is possible in the literary world and how to find our way toward it. I can't think of anyone I'd rather learn from more!"