Inspired by the network of international literary translation centres in Europe, the Banff International Literary Translation Centre (BILTC) is the only one of its kind in North America. Since the inaugural program in 2003, BILTC has hosted translators from approximately 30 countries translating work involving more than 40 languages.
This program offers working and professional literary translators a period of uninterrupted work on a current project.
Our participants find that the most enriching and lasting rewards of the program are the deep personal and professional connections made with their international colleagues.
What does the program offer?
The Banff International Literary Translation Centre hosts one student/emerging translator from each of the founding countries—Canada, Mexico, and the United States—and 15 literary translators, either from the Americas translating literature from anywhere in the world, or translators from anywhere in the world translating literature from the Americas.
Individual work sessions with the consulting translators serving in residence, as well as with the program director, are provided to participants. As part of the program participants give presentations of their work at meetings of the entire group held three times weekly, at which time broader issues in the practice of literary translation are also discussed.
Who should apply?
This program welcomes applications from translators at various stages of their careers including emerging, and seasoned translators, as well as students. Participants looking for 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.
Those accepted also have the opportunity to request a one-week joint residency with the author they are translating. Please see the eligibility section for specific requirements for students and translators.
The BILTC program is generously supported by:
Amazon, Power Corporation of Canada, and the Birks Family Foundation
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 $29 credit per day, equivalent to lunch and dinner in Vistas Dining Room.
A series of outstanding guest artists will give a public talks and themselves available for informal discussions.
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.
How to Apply
You must indicate clearly on the application form if you wish to apply as a “student applicant.” As explained, student applicants do not need to have published a book-length literary translation or equivalent, nor demonstrate that they have a publishing contract or a letter of intent.
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 at least one year has passed since they participated in the residency.
Emerging Translator Eligibility:
This year we will be accepting three applicants in the first stage of their careers who have not published a book in translation nor are enrolled in a higher education institution in each of the following countries: Canada, the United States, and Mexico. 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 2018 to be announced.
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.