Manchester in Translation - SOLD OUT

21 Feb 2019

Date: 21 February 2019 

Time: 10am–5pm

Venue: Z-Arts, 335 Stretford Road, Hulme, M15 5ZA

Join Comma Press for a special day of free workshops and talks offering advice and insight into the world of translation. Organised in partnership with Multilingual Manchester, it will be an opportunity for budding translators – or those with a passion for working between languages – to develop practical skills for literary translation in particular, learn about the life of the translator and discover ways of getting yourself published! 

Morning Session

TALK: Why Translation Matters with Daniel Hahn

10am–11am, FREE

Award-winning writer, editor and translator Daniel Hahn asks why does translation matter? Exploring the joys and challenges of working as a translator, this talk will be an opportunity to find out more about the art of translation and why translators are at the vanguard of literary change. 

PANEL: Routes into Literary Translation

11am–12pm, FREE

How does a publisher choose a translator? What qualities and experience are most valued? How does an emerging translator get their first contract to translate a book? Join a panel of expert translators and publishers as they discuss what tools you’ll need to break into the industry. 

Speakers: Daniel Hahn, Antonia Lloyd-Jones, Stefan Tobler and Ra Page.

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LUNCH and NETWORKING: 12pm–1pm (Complimentary tea and coffee, cafe within the venue)


Afternoon Session

WORKSHOPS: Literary Translation from Arabic, Chinese and Polish

1pm–5pm, FREE (max. 12 spaces for each workshop, see below)

Pre-Booking required

There are many ways to translate a given sentence, but how do we know which one works best? These language-specific workshops (running simultaneously) will be aimed at would-be translators of fiction from Arabic, Chinese and Polish. Groups will work on collaborative translations of texts across different genres, guided by experienced literary translators. This is a great opportunity to take your translating to the next level, hone your creative writing skills and meet like-minded people.

Workshop 1: Arabic to English with Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp

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Workshop 2: Chinese to English with Helen Wang 

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Workshop 3: Polish to English with Antonia Lloyd-Jones

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All workshops translate into English, therefore it is essential that all participants must have proficiency in the source language (reading proficiency not just spoken) and have English at close to native speaker level. Groups will be limited to a maximum of 12 people to allow for individual attention, and applicants will be asked to answer a few quick questions when booking to determine their suitability for the workshop. This information will be shared with the workshop facilitators who will review before confirming your place.

The deadline for applications to workshops is Sunday 20 January. The organisers reserve the right to cancel a workshop that does not recruit to the required minimum number of participants. Any applicants for these groups will be notified with a minimum of two weeks’ notice.

For more information contact:


Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp is a British literary translator working from German, Russian and Arabic into English. She has translated novels by Fadi Zaghmout, Hanna Winter, Kathrin Rohmann and Yulia Yakovleva. Ruth graduated from the University of Oxford in 2003 and completed an MA in Translation and Interpreting at the University of Bath. She translates contemporary fiction, nonfiction (particularly history, travel and nature) and children's books.

Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator with fifty-something books to his name. His work has won him the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award and the International Dublin Literary Award, among others. He has judged many UK and international book prizes, and also founded the Translators Association’s first translation prize.

Antonia Lloyd-Jones is the 2018 winner of the Transatlantyk Award for the most outstanding promoter of Polish literature abroad. She has translated works by several of Poland’s leading contemporary novelists including Olga Tokarczuk and Paweł Huelle, and reportage authors including Mariusz Szczygieł and Wojciech Tochman, as well as crime fiction by Zygmunt Miłoszewski, poetry by Tadeusz Dąbrowski and children’s books by Janusz Korczak and others. She is a mentor for the Emerging Translators’ Mentorship Programme, and former co-chair of the UK Translators Association.

Ra Page is the founder and CEO of Manchester-based publishing house, Comma Press. He has edited over 20 anthologies including The New Uncanny (winner of the Shirley Jackson Award, 2008) and most recently Protest: Stories of Resistance (2017). He has coordinated a number of publisher development initiatives, including Literature Northwest (2004-2013), and the Northern Fiction Alliance (2016 onwards). He is a former journalist and has also worked as a producer and director on a number of short films.  He read Physics and Philosophy at Balliol College, Oxford and has an MA in English from the University of Manchester.

Born in Belém, Brazil in 1974, Stefan Tobler is the publisher of And Other Stories and a translator from Portuguese and German.  His translations include the 2015 Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize shortlisted Água Viva by Clarice Lispector and the 2016 Man Booker International Prize longlisted and Premio Jabuti-winning (Best Foreign Publication category) A Cup of Rage by Raduan Nassar. Other translations include the poetry collection Silence River by Antônio Moura, Rodrigo de Souza Leão’s All Dogs are Blue and Arno Geiger’s The Old King in His Exile. @stefantobler.

Helen Wang translates contemporary Chinese literature, including novels, picture books and graphic novels for children and young adults. Her translation of Cao Wenxuan’s Bronze and Sunflower won the 2017 Marsh Christian Award for Children’s Literature in Translation Award. She works collaboratively with the China Fiction Book Club, Paper Republic, The Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing and WorldKidLit. In 2016, she co-founded Chinese Books for Young Readers. She is Curator of East Asian Money at the British Museum. For a list of her translations, see


Manchester in Translation is part of a series of events held on International Mother Language Day 2019 celebrating and promoting literature in the community languages of Manchester, UNESCO City of Literature.