The Banff International Literary Translation Centre (BILTC) offers student, emerging, and professional literary translators a period of uninterrupted work on a current project. Participants will work in a trilingual environment with consulting translators and peers, resulting in a mutually beneficial learning experience.
Participants will work individually and as a group with a faculty of accomplished translators of French, English, and Spanish. Participants will also have an opportunity to consult with the author whose work they are translating.
What does the program offer?
The BILTC program offers individual work sessions with consulting translators and the program director. Accepted translators can expect to present their work-in-progress at round table sessions held three times a week and moderated by the program director and guest faculty. The round table sessions will include a broader group discussion of issues and challenges faced in the practice of literary translation.
A guest publisher will share experiences on translation in an informal talk, and translators will have the opportunity to read from their works-in-progress at an open reading event. Readings and presentations of experiences related to writing and translating may be shared at additional informal sessions.
Who should apply?
BILTC welcomes applications from translators at various career stages including student, emerging, and professional translators. Participants seeking time to focus on a current literary project and an opportunity to connect with literary translators from around the world will benefit greatly from this program.
All applicants must be translators from the Americas translating literature from anywhere in the world, or translators from anywhere in the world translating literature from the Americas.
Eligible projects include translations of works of fiction, literary non-fiction, poetry, children’s literature, oral tradition, and drama. We especially welcome projects involving Indigenous languages of the Americas. Translator applicants’ program applications should be filled out in the same language that they plan to translate work into.
The BILTC program is generously supported by:
Birks Family Foundation and Power Corporation of Canada.
Your program fee includes a single bedroom on Banff Centre campus for the duration of your program.
Get connected with other artists on campus and focus on your projects in a creative environment while we take care of the day-to-day essentials.
Using a credit-based system to dine on campus, our flexible meal plans allow you to select meals according to your own needs during your stay.
The Regular Flex meal plan includes $30 credit per day, equivalent to lunch and dinner in Vistas Dining Room.
This program offers opportunities to showcase your work-in-progress in one of our performance venues.
Access a wide range of publications, books, music and films in the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives, open six days a week.
Enjoy special artist rates for ticketed performances or complimentary access to events.
Fees & Financial Assistance
Application fee: $65
*Financial Aid up to 100% is available for this program.
If you would like to be considered, please complete the Financial Aid section when uploading your supporting materials to SlideRoom.
Travel awards to partially offset travel costs may also be available, up to $500 CAD per participant. Please indicate if you wish to be considered for a travel award in your application. (Please note that applicants from the USA and Mexico are encouraged to seek financial support from their institutions).
How to Apply
Emerging applicants (three spots available) and student applicants (three spots available)
Clearly indicate on the application form if you wish to apply as a student or emerging applicant. Student and emerging applicants do not need to have published a book-length literary translation or equivalent, nor provide a publishing contract or a letter of intent.
Student applicants enrolled in institutions in the United States and Mexico may apply directly to the program. Student applicants enrolled in institutions in Canada must apply through their universities and should include a letter of financial support from their academic institution.
Student or emerging applicants should have already published or staged some work and should be living in Canada, Mexico, or the United States.
Professional applicants must have published at least one book-length literary translation or have one produced drama translation. Priority is given to projects that have signed publishing contracts, or in the case of plays, promises of production. Exceptions are sometimes granted to poetry projects.
Provide a publishing contract or letter of intent from the publisher or theatre producer where applicable. (If none of these are available, please include a statement of permission from the author to undertake the translation). Please note, student and emerging applicants are exempt from this requirement.
Participants will be selected on the basis of their submitted material by the BILTC Advisory Council, composed of the program director and literary translators representing associations from Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
Applicants will be notified of their status as soon as adjudication is complete, approximately three to five weeks following the application deadline.
Applicants must have published at least one book-length literary translation or the equivalent thereof. Eligible projects include translations of works of fiction, literary non-fiction, poetry, children’s literature, oral tradition, and drama. We give special priority to projects involving an Indigenous language of the Americas.
Priority is given to projects that have signed publishing contracts, or in the case of plays, promises of production. Exceptions to this are most often granted to poetry projects. Although preference is usually given to new applicants, BILTC alumni are encouraged to re-apply, provided that several years have passed since their last residency.
Specific information for emerging translator applicants:
Emerging translators are in the first stage of their careers who have not published a book in translation nor are enrolled in a higher education institution. Emerging translators do not need to fulfill the requirement of having published a book-length translation or its equivalent, nor are they expected to have a publishing contract or letter of intent for their current project. Please indicate if you are applying as an emerging translator applicant in the SlideRoom portal.
Specific information for student applicants:
Each year, BILTC accepts one student applicant enrolled in a higher education institution in each of the following countries: Canada, the United States, and Mexico. These three student applicants do not need to fulfill the requirement of having published a book-length translation or its equivalent, nor are they expected to have a publishing contract or letter of intent for their current project. Please indicate if you are applying as a student applicant in the SlideRoom portal.
- Student applicants enrolled in institutions in the United States and Mexico may apply directly to the program.
- Student applicants enrolled in institutions in Canada must apply through their universities. Their institution will be required to provide a letter of recommendation and confirmation of financial support for one-half the program fees. These documents must be submitted along with the online application.
Students who do have a previous book-length publication also have the option to apply as a regular participant instead of a student applicant.
Advisory Council 2019:
- Paula Abramo - Asociación Mexicana de Traductores Literarios (AMETLI)
- Argel Corpus - AMETLI
- Ellen Elias-Bursać - The American Literary Translation Association (ALTA)
- Elizabeth Harris - ALTA
- Sonya Malaborza - Literary Translators' Association of Canada (LTAC / ATTLC)
- Rachel Martinez - Literary Translators' Association of Canada (LTAC / ATTLC)
All programs, faculty, dates, fees, and offers of financial assistance are subject to change. Program fee is subject to applicable taxes. Non-refundable fees and deposits will be retained upon cancellation. Any other fees are refunded at the discretion of the Banff Centre. The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.