Pilot Readers' Project launches with world literature focus
Book Trust is delighted to announce a pilot Readers' Project focusing on engagement with world literature, funded by the Free Word Strategic Commissioning Fund and the NALD Futures Fund (administered by Writers' Centre Norwich).
English PEN, the Reading Agency and the British Centre for Literary Translation are partnering on the project with Book Trust, the first two of which are also founding members of the Free Word Centre.
The Readers' Project will consist of three elements:
- 300 Readers will shadow the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize six shortlisted titles.
- The readers will gather together at the Free Word Centre in Farringdon on 18 May 2013 to vote on their favourite title, crowned the Independent Foreign Fiction Readers' Prize (IFFRP) winner, and enjoy a programme of activities, such discussion with a range of the shortlisted authors and translators, a translation duel and a talk from IFFP judge and author Elif Shafak.
- A bespoke piece of research will provide a detailed study of the barriers to readers' engagement with foreign fiction and make recommendations and strategies for the trade to overcome them. The research will be promoted nationally and internationally in the second half of 2013.
The Readers' Project builds on various projects that the involved organisations run, such as International Translation Day, the Literary Translation Centre at London Book Fair, Reading Groups for Everyone, Pen Translates!, Pen Promotes!, the annual Sebald Lecture and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. In recent years, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize has engaged readers through free digital and printed resources, events and competitions - but the Readers' Project goes a step further in talking directly to readers rather than via a mediary. The readers will be supported through their reading and discussions with a resource pack on the books and guidance on how to cover foreign fiction in reading groups; they will be encouraged to analyse their own reading habits and perceptions and, in time, broaden their reading tastes and buying habits.
The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize celebrates an exceptional work of fiction by a living author which has been translated into English from any other language and published in the United Kingdom in 2012. Uniquely, it acknowledges both the author and the translator equally, recognising the importance of the translator in their ability to bridge the gap between languages and cultures.
This year's judges include:
- Jean Boase-Beier, Professor of Literature and Translation at the University of East Anglia
- Novelist and former Lecturer in English at the University of Sussex, Gabriel Josipovici
- Elif Shafak, an award-winning novelist and the most widely read woman writer in Turkey
- Literary translator Frank Wynne
- Boyd Tonkin, Literary Editor of The Independent
The Prize, created by The Independent newspaper in 1990 and supported by it since, is awarded annually for the best work of contemporary fiction in translation. It ran previously between 1990 and 1995 and the Prize was revived with the support of Arts Council England in 2001. The £10,000 Prize money and associated costs are funded by Arts Council England who manage the Prize in partnership with Book Trust. The Prize is also supported by Champagne Taittinger.
For more information on signing up to be a reader or reading group, please visit the Reading Groups website
IFFP Longlist announcement: 2 March 2013 at Independent Bath Literature Festival
IFFP Shortlist announcement: 11 April 2013
Readers Day: 18 May 2013 at the Free Word Centre
IFFP Award Ceremony: 20 May 2013 at RIBA