2nd Annual Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference

2nd Annual Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference
Dates: June 3-9, 2016
Location: Ripton, Vermont
Application Period: November 1-March 15

Rolling admissions
Apply early
Space is limited

Literary translation is, as its name suggests, the translation of a literary work such as a poem, essay, short story, or novel, out of its original language and into a new language, but it is also the creative, complex, and writerly activity of making an equivalent literary text exist (at least in the United States) in English.

The 2nd annual Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference is a week-long event based on the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference model that is designed to provide training and community to beginning as well as experienced translators in the pursuit of translating literary texts into English—or to those aiming to be more sophisticated readers of literary translation and to incorporate it into the classroom. A natural complement to signature Middlebury programs such as the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Language Schools, and the equally-renowned translation and interpretation degree programs at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), this conference aims to strengthen the visibility and access to high quality literary translations in the United States and to acknowledge that translators require the same training and skills as creative writers.


Friday, June 3—Thursday, June 9, 2016. The conference will take place at the Bread Loaf Campus of the Middlebury College in Ripton, Vermont.


The conference will incorporate the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference model of small, focused, genre-based workshops coupled with lectures and classes focusing on the art of literary translation. Workshops will be limited to ten participants so that each manuscript will receive individual attention and careful critique. All participants will also meet individually with their workshop leader to amplify and refine what was said in the workshop itself.

This week-long conference of workshops, classes, lectures, readings, and discussions is for translators who want to improve their literary craft; for students mastering a foreign language and wanting to begin acquiring skills in the art of translation; for teachers interested in bringing the practice of literary translation into their classrooms; and for anyone wanting to learn more about and participate in the ever-growing community of literary translators.


Acclaimed and award-winning translators Esther Allen, Geoffrey Brock, Karen Emmerich, Jennifer Grotz, and David Hinton will constitute the faculty during this second annual session. In addition to their literary accomplishments, each faculty member has been specifically chosen for his or her skill at guiding developing translators in a given genre.

Other guests from the publishing, literary, and translating world will offer panels, discussions, or one-on-one meetings with conference participants.


As a Participant in the Introductory Workshop:

This workshop is ideal for those interested in literary translation but are still acquiring sufficient proficiency in a foreign language, those who do have some language skills but do not yet have a translation sample to submit for critique, students of literature, comparative literature, and creative writing, and teachers who are interested in learning how to incorporate translation into the classroom. The purpose of the workshop will be to acquaint participants with some of the recurring questions, problems, and pleasures of the activity of literary translation. Students will be provided with literary texts from different genres and languages and expected to create translations that will be reviewed in class.

As a Participant in a Translation Manuscript Workshop:

These workshops are intended for students who already have sufficient foreign language skill and are working on translations that are in-progress. Workshops will be genre based: two workshops in prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) and one workshop in poetry will be offered. In addition, there will be the option of a mixed-genre workshop (comprised of translations of either poetry or prose or of texts in hybrid genres). These workshops are ideal for students and translators who are still honing skills and have a translation sample that they would like to submit for critique as well as intermediate or advanced translators who have undertaken a project and are looking for feedback. Manuscripts of up to 4,000 words (for prose) or 8 pages (for poems) will be reviewed in the workshop and in a one-on-one conference with the instructor.

As an Auditor:

Auditors are those who would like to be “a fly on the wall” in a translation manuscript workshop or the introductory workshop but do not feel ready to participate fully. Auditors are encouraged to attend and take part in all aspects of the conference, although no manuscript will be reviewed nor will an individual conference be held with the instructor.


The conference is making available a limited number of $300 grants-in-aid to participants accepted into the program. In addition, there will be at least one full scholarship offered.

Full details and application at Middlebury’s website.

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