Pen Samples Translation Pitch: New Literary Voices – Call For Entries

The event will take place as part of the the 2016 European Literature Night (ELN) in London.


The European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) are looking for translators who would like to pitch an exciting work with international potential by a European author for The ELN PEN Samples Translation Pitch. The ELN PEN Samples Translation Pitch is open to all translators living in the UK, or in mainland Europe, who have an author whose work they are proposing to translate into English and develop for publication.

The proposals will be shortlisted by a panel of judges, and the top six translators will then compete for the Best Pitch by presenting their project live to an audience and a jury of publishing professionals chaired by Granta Books senior editor Max Porter, who will vote to determine the winner. The winning translator will be offered promotion from English PEN and Free Word. All six shortlisted proposals will be awarded a PEN Samples grant of £250, to be used to prepare a sample translation and reader’s report for publication on English PEN’s website.

The aim of The PEN Samples ELN Translation Pitch is to support and promote the work of European writers who have not yet had a complete work published in English, while providing an opportunity for emerging translators to actively champion the work of their favourite writers in front of UK publishers and literary agents.

Please submit your pitch by completing the form and send it together with your sample translation as two word documents to, by Monday 7 December 2015.

Terms and conditions for the nomination &  selection process
  • Translators must be resident in the UK or mainland Europe
  • The proposed European writer must not yet have had a complete work published in English (extracts published in anthologies and magazines are acceptable)
  • The proposed extract should not be published prior to The ELN PEN Samples Translation Pitch event
  • The submitted proposal must not have been entered for The ELN Translation Pitch 2014
  • The translator must check that the English translations rights are available and seek permission from the rights holder to pitch the book at this event
  • The original publication date of the proposed work must be later than 31 December 2000
  • A sample translation of a maximum of 1500 words in Word format must be submitted together with an application form
  • Nominations will be considered by a panel of judges who will select the best six proposals based on the literary quality and strength of the project. Submissions from languages that are translated and published less often into English are strongly encouraged.
  • Translators must be available to pitch at live event on 9 June (TBC) at the Free Word Centre in London. The six selected finalists will be provided with pitch guidance prior to the event. Each pitch will include the reading of an extract by a professional actor.

For queries about ELN or the nominations, contact

The ELN PEN Samples Translation Pitch is organized by the Czech Centre London and English PEN in partnership with Free Word, the Translators Association and the Emerging Translators Network.