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Breaking into Literary Translation 4-Week Zoom Workshop with Jenna Tang, Starts Monday, April 1st, 2024
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Breaking into Literary Translation 4-Week Zoom Workshop with Jenna Tang, Starts Monday, April 1st, 2024

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Class Starts Monday, April 1st, 2024

The class will meet weekly via Zoom (Mondays, 7:00PM ET - 9:00PM ET).

**Please note this class will skip the week of April 8th and conclude on May 6th.

Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.

Led by Jenna Tang, a Taiwanese writer, educator, and translator who translates between Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French, and English. She is a board member and chair of the Equity Advocates Committee at the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA). Her translations and essays are published in McSweeney’s, Latin American Literature Today, World Literature Today, Catapult, AAWW, Words Without Borders, and elsewhere. Her forthcoming translations include prose from Lin Yi-Han (The Paris Review) and Lin Yi-Han’s novel, Fang Si-Chi’s First Love Paradise (HarperVia, HarperCollins).

Read an Interview with Jenna on Breaking into Literary Translation and get to know her in our Meet the Teaching Artist series.

You don't have to have a translated project in hand to join this class, although that would be ideal. This class is meant to help you establish your entry to the world of translation and for you to form a new community with fellow emerging translators.

Literary translation has become more and more popular for writers and those who are seeking their own genres in the literary world. Literary translation is about reading literature from around the world, sometimes in non-English languages, but how do we get more involved in the world of literary translation?

Literary Translation has been long overlooked in the literary world––however, literary translation means reading world literature, the labor of understanding various languages in order to bring voices, narratives, poems, and more to the English-speaking world and beyond. There are books we love in a designated language, but how do we bring it to another world through literary translation? How do we become literary translators?

In this four-week translation workshop, we'll walk our emerging translators through the process of reading with an eye for translation, approaching language rights, building relationships with authors, publishers, and the community as a whole; we'll also get into the nits and grits of publishing world with the objective of understanding how to pitch shorter translations to literary magazines, apply for fellowships, conferences as a literary translator, and how we can eventually approach pitching a book-length literary translation project to various publishers.

The participants will walk away with their translation samples and a clear understanding of what to prepare to get more involved in the world of literary translation and at the same time, be introduced to the literary translators' community if they wish.

This is a workshop for those who are looking to delve deeper into literary translation but so far lack the resources to bring themselves further to their projects in full shape.


Week 1 (April 1st): Introduction to Literary Translation

**Skip the Week of April 8th**

Week 2 (April 15th): Authors, Translators, Agents, Rights

Week 3 (April 22nd): Getting into the Craft of Literary Translation

Week 4 (May 6th): How do we prepare our pitch as translators?


  • Make it Make Sense by Jeremy Tiang
  • The Art of Literary Translation by Jeremy Tiang
  • Against the "Good" Translation: The Power of Disobedience By Gitanjali Patel & Jessie Spivey (Words Without Borders)
  • A Brief Exploration of the Use of the e in the Spanish Language as a Means of Combating Sexism Regardless of the Opinions of the Academy by Ana Ojeda (tr. Kit Maude)
  • A Slice of Writing by Nikkei and Tusán Peruvian Writers by Jennifer Shyue (Words Without Borders)
  • ALTA's panel: How to Pitch Publishers


  • Familiarity with the process of pitching as literary translators.
  • Having a foundation in knowing how to kickstart and find your own translation projects.
  • Knowledge about useful resources and job opportunities as a literary translator.
  • Having connections with your language or region communities as an artist.


Jenna made each one of us feel valued and comfortable during class. She was a fantastic teacher, genuinely enthusiastic about the subject. Her thoughtfully prepared class discussions were directly applicable to my translation practice, and I am now a better translator because of it.

"Jenna is a fantastic instructor! Her workshop was so engaging. She expertly mixed questions of languages, poetic, inspiration, and translation. That’s something I had been looking for a long time in a workshop. I learned new tools to write about languages. Jenna’s constructive feedback encouraged me to keep writing about languages and exploring migration in organic ways. The discussions resonated throughout my week outside the online meeting: I kept feeling engaged, researching, and writing."

"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!"- K-Ming Chang

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.


This class meets weekly via Zoom. Come prepared for a super fun class with live interaction on Zoom each week and plenty of writing, reading, and talking!

You can pay for the course in full or use Affirm to pay over time with equal Monthly Payments. Both options are available at checkout.
  • Instructor: Jenna Tang
  • Class Starts Monday, April 1st, 2024 The class will meet weekly via Zoom (Mondays, 7:00PM ET - 9:00PM ET).
  • Please note this class will skip the week of April 8th and conclude on May 6th.
  • This class is limited to 12 writers.