What we can consider
Brow Books is always a publisher of work that can be classified as ‘literary’, and we seek to champion work that pushes boundaries and challenges assumptions.
Like everything we do, our publishing of translated books will largely focus on authors from the margins: people who live and write from demographic margins, and/or writers whose work sits in the literary margins, and/or translators who interpret the translation act in surprising ways or stretch the bounds of what ‘translation’ means: your work might be cross-modal or cross-genre, might include insertions, erasure or collage. Try us.
If you are translating a work from a language that is underrepresented, we want to hear from you. If you are working on a translation of oral texts, ancestral languages, and/or some other project tied up with language and identity, get in touch. You might be translating a contemporary work, or have a case for an older work that never got the attention it deserved in English: either is fine. Self-translations are also welcome.
Below are some translated books that we love – and if your writing/manuscript is close to any of these, then we are definitely interested in hearing from you:
- The Black Flower and Other Zapotec Poems, written in Zapotec and self-translated into Spanish by Natalia Toledo, translated into English by Clare Sullivan;
- Mouth Eats Colour by Sawako Nakayusu with Chika Sagawa from and into Japanese, French and English;
- Indigenous Species by Khairani Barokka, a poetry-braille-art book;
- Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila, translated from the French by Roland Glasser;
- The Story of My Teeth and Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli, translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeny;
- Seibo There Below and Santantango by László Krasznahorkai, translated from the Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet and George Szirtes; and
- Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman;
- Visitation and End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky;
- Ministry of Pain by Dubravka Ugrešić, translated from the Croatian by Michael Henry Heim;
- Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi;
- Ghosts by César Aira, translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews.
Submissions are welcome from translators who identify as Australian. (For now, our focus is on unearthing Australian translators and work – sorry non-Australians!) We particularly encourage people who identify as queer and/or trans and/or intersex and/or are of any colour, religion, or gender, and/or have a disability, to submit. There are of course no age limits.
We currently accept unsolicited submissions in the categories of fiction (including short stories), poetry and non-fiction – but we also encourage works that blend these and any other categories in the one manuscript.
We read all manuscripts carefully but are only able to publish a very small number of those we consider.
What to include
Submissions should include a minimum 7,000-word translation sample alongside the source text, your translator CV, and a bio of the author. It would also be very helpful if you could include a translator’s note or similar to contextualise the work – tell us what it is about, why you are so enthusiastic about it, why it has literary merit, what the reception has been in the source culture and translation challenges you have navigated.
In your cover letter, please include a synopsis of the work, a bio, and also please briefly answer these questions:
- In what category would you place your translated manuscript?
- What three books would you see as the closest comparisons titles to yours?
- Why you are the right person to translate this book?
- Are the English-language rights for the book available?
What happens after you submit
When you send us your submission, you'll receive an automatic email acknowledging receipt.
Should we wish to pursue your project, we will be in contact with you via email hopefully within a month. If you haven't heard from us after a month, feel free to give us a little prod. Please note that if your work is declined, no further correspondence will be entered into, and we will not provide you with reasons for our decision (because we simply do not have the time and/or resources to do so!).
All questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.