Il Premio Letterario EWWA 2017/ The EWWA Literary Prize 2017

Hai mai notato quanti concorsi per la scrittura e premi di letteratura ci sono in Italia? (SCROLL DOWN FOR ENGLISH) Chi non è del mestiere potrebbe pensare che sono un esagerazione, ma per i scrittori non sono mai troppi.

La partecipazione ad un concorso è un’opportunità per la crescita, se vinci o no. L’atto di scrivere o adattare un lavoro già fatto a dei criteri ti porta ad analizzare il proprio lavoro; ti spinge a lavorare al meglio; ti stimola a finire un testo rispettando una scadenza; ti offre la possibilità di confrontarti con gli altri; e ti amplifica le tue esperienze come persona e come scrittore. E nel caso che vinci o vieni scelto come finalista, avrai maggiore visibilità e considerazione per qualsiasi cosa che produci.

I premi sono di tutti i tipi: quelli ad alto profilo e quelli piccoli; quelli con tantissime regole e quelli che lasciano molto libertà; quelli che richiedono una quota per partecipare e quelli gratis. Il trucco sta nel trovare il concorso fatto per te e il tuo modo di scrivere.

Recentemente EWWA (European Writing Women Association), con il Patrocinio della Regione Lazio e la collaborazione di Amazon Publishing, ha annunciato un nuovo premio aperto a tutti (uomini e donne), senza preclusioni per quanto riguarda il genere letterario. Il tema è Storie di rinascita. Le sfide e le cadute, gli ostacoli e i traguardi nella vita di una donna. E il premio è molto interessante: il primo romanzo classificato verrà pubblicato sia in formato cartaceo sia in formato digitale da Amazon Publishing.  (Per il regolamento clicca qui.)

Amazon Publishing è la casa editrice di Amazon e produce dei libri belli, con delle copertine d’impatto, e un editing veramente professionale. L’opportunità di avere il proprio libro pubblicato da loro non va sprecato!

Have you ever noticed how many writing competitions there are? In Italy there are an incredible number. In the eyes of non-writers, it could seem that there are too many, but for writers there are never enough literary prizes.

Participation in a writing competition is an opportunity for growth, whether you win or not. The act of writing or adapting a piece in progress to specific guidelines helps you analyze your own work; it pushes you to do your best; it stimulates you to complete a piece within a set period of time; it offers you the chance to compare your work to that of others; and it adds to your experiences, as a person and as a writer. If you win or are chosen as a finalist, you will have greater visibility and be more highly regarded in the future, no matter what you write.

Literary prizes come in all shapes and sizes: high profile and virtually unknown, competitions full of rules and others that allow the writer incredible freedom, ones that require a fee and others that are free of charge. The trick is to find the competition that’s right for you and your way of writing.

Recently EWWA (European Writing Women Association), together with patronage from the Region of Lazio and in collaboration with the Italian branch of Amazon Publishing, announced a new literary competition open to all writers of Italian (whether they are male or female) and with no limitations regarding genre. As for the theme, the committee has chosen: Storie di rinascita. Le sfide e le cadute, gli ostacoli e i traguardi nella vita di una donna (Stories of rebirth. Challenges, disappointments, obstacles and accomplishments in the life of a woman.) And the prize on offer is very interesting: the first place novel will be published in both paperback and digital format by Amazon Publishing. (To read the rules, available only in Italian, click here.)

Amazon Publishing—the full-service publishing arm of Amazon—produces beautiful books, with impactful covers, and top-notch professional editing. Don’t waste your chance to have them publish your novel!

Riassunto del 2016 / 2016 in Review

Al momento che scrivo queste parole, mancano pochi giorni alla fine del 2016: un buono momento per riflettere sugli ultimi dodici mesi e considerare cos’ è in arrivo. (Scroll down for English.)

In questo anno, sono stata molto impegnata con i vari progetti di traduzione e tre delle mie traduzioni sono attualmente disponibile sulle piattaforme online. Angelica: A Made in Italy Romance, The Lustful Youth of Rodrigo Borgia, Rodrigo Borgia’s Rose. La promozione continua ad essere la sfida principale e autori indipendenti intelligenti si affidano il lavoro ad un professionista, specialmente quando il libro è in traduzione.

Un progetto misto—ghostwriting, editing, e traduzione—per Chef Bruno Serato è stata un’altra impresa durante l’anno. Attraverso la sua associazione Caterina’s Club, Chef Bruno offre a bambini svantaggiati nel Orange County California una cena calda a base di pastasciutta ogni giorno (attualmente circa 2000 ogni sera!), sostiene le famiglie in difficoltà per trovare un appartamento dignitoso, e insegna a degli adolescenti come lavorare nella ristorazione. Per me è stato un grande onore aiutare Chef Bruno raccontare la sua storia: suo libro ‘The Power of Pasta’ sarà presto disponibile.

Attualmente ho due progetti sulla mia scrivania: la traduzione di un bestseller su Amazon, che è stato sottoposto ad un maggiore editing prima di concludere con la versione in inglese; e il mio progetto personale, la traduzione di un’autrice italiana del ‘800 che non è mai stata tradotta in inglese. Entrambi i progetti offrono delle belle sfide e delle opportunità—non vedo l’ora di continuare il lavoro nel anno d’avvenire.

Una traduttrice può trasformarsi in una specie di eremita che batte sulla tastiera del computer, immersa nell’isolamento, mentre rielabora e perfeziona ogni rigo finche o sia soddisfatta o arriva la scadenza, dipende quale arrivi per primo. Ormai da tempo, ho la mia strategia per affrontare questo rischio. Prima di tutto, mi impegno nel frequentare alcuni gruppi di scrittori. A Firenze siamo fortunati ad avere una comunità letteraria molto vivace in lingue inglese e la mia interazione quasi tutte le settimane con i scrittori—che hanno molto in comune con i traduttori, forse più di quanto uno può immaginare—mi aiuta ad essere concentrata e di fare il mio meglio. Inoltre, sono socia e (dal novembre) parte del consiglio direttivo di EWWA (European Writing Women Association), una rete in crescita che offre sostegno creativo e professionale alle donne che girono intorno alla parola scritta. I contatti e gli stimoli che derivano da EWWA sono inestimabile.

Nel complesso, aspetto di continuare sulla stessa strada nel 2017, e spero che i libri che sono passati fra le mie mani possano trovare successo e che le mie interazioni—di persona o online—con altri traduttori, scrittori, e lettori offrano incoraggiamento, sostegno e magari anche nuove visioni.

I miei migliori auguri a tutti per un anno nuovo prosperoso e significativo.

new-year-countdown-wallpaper

As I write this, there are only a few more days until the end of 2016: a proper moment to reflect on the last twelve months and consider what’s coming next.

My translation projects this year have kept me busy and three of them are now available on online stores: Angelica: A Made in Italy Romance, The Lustful Youth of Rodrigo Borgia, Rodrigo Borgia’s Rose. Promotion continues to be a challenge and wise indie authors entrust it to a professional, especially when it’s a question of promoting a book in translation.

Another endeavor in 2016 was a mixed project—ghostwriting, editing, and translating—for Chef Bruno Serato who, through the non-profit association Caterina’s Club, provides needy children in the Orange County California area with hot pasta meals every day (approx. 2000 each evening!), support for families in difficulty to move into adequate housing, and restaurant-hospitality training for teens. It has been an honor to help Chef Bruno tell his story in the form of the soon to be published ‘The Power of Pasta’.

I’ve got two projects on my desk at the moment: translation of an Amazon bestseller in its category, on hold until some additional editing is complete; and my pet project, translation of a 19th-century Italian author who’s never appeared in English. Both offer interesting challenges and opportunities and I look forward to continuing the work in the new year.

A translator can become a sort of hermit, pounding on her keyboard in total isolation, reworking and refining every line of a text until she’s satisfied or faced with a deadline, whichever comes first. For some time, I have my own well-defined strategy to combat this. First, I am committed to participating in writers groups. We are fortunate in Florence to have a very active English-language literary community and regular interaction with writers—who have more in common with translators than you might imagine—helps keep me focused and turning out my best work. In addition, I’m a member and (since November) on the board of directors of EWWA (the European Writing Women Association). This growing network provides creative and professional support for women who revolve around the written word. The contacts and stimulation that come from EWWA are priceless.

Overall, I look forward to continuing on much the same path in 2017, hoping that the book projects I’m involved in find success and that my interaction in person or online with other translators, writers, and readers offers encouragement, support, and if possible new insight.

Best wishes for a meaningful and prosperous new year!

Intervista con amore

Grazie a Amneris Di Cesare per l’intervista! (Translation in English below.)

http://babettebrown.it/amneris-di-cesare-e-lori-hetherington-traduttrice/FOTO_Lori Hetherington

Lori Hetherington: come traduco la parola “amore”

Today we have the opportunity to meet Lori Hetherington, a familiar figure at EWWA events and the Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera. Amneris Di Cesare conducts the interview.

  1. How did you become a translator? When did you decide to enter this profession? I got started more than twenty years ago when I began doing linguistic revision of scientific articles for some professors from the University of Florence and, a short time later, other professors asked if I could translate their works for publication in international journals. For many years I worked primarily in the scientific field, but I almost never got a chance to use interesting adjectives! My parents were both journalists and I have always loved writing and reading almost anything I can get my hands on. After many—I think probably thousands—of pages about scientific discoveries and experiments, I began to approach fiction and creative nonfiction translation and now the majority of my work is of this type.
  2. Do you work for a particular publisher? No, my translations are from Italian to English and I work mostly with independent authors who want to reach English language readers.
  3. What sort of qualities does a person need to be a translator? Is it necessary to have a university degree or special qualifications? I’d say there are two essential qualities: you need to be able to write your native language well and you need to read a lot. A university degree or other professional certificates may be requested by a publisher or editor or can help you have greater knowledge about the tools used in the profession, but they’re not mandatory in order to translate well.
  4. What kind of books do you translate? Do you focus on one particular genre? I like to translate the genres that I love to read, in other words women’s and literary fiction, historical novels, creative nonfiction, and a bit of romance.
  5. Is there a standard method for translation or does each translator develop their own personal approach? How do you approach a translation? Each translator has their own. It’s the final result that counts! When I’m presented with a new project, I first read the text several times from various points of view in order to enter into a sort of synergy with the voice of the author. Then I create an initial draft of the translated text, staying as close to the original as possible, giving very little attention to the structure of the sentences. In this way I transfer the original author’s precise words into English. And finally, I turn my attention to revision, working in layers until I’m satisfied with the new English version.
  6. Who was the first author you translated? In the beginning I translated authors’ proposals for publishers or literary agents—the standard “first three chapters plus synopsis” requested by most of them for submission. It was a great way to understand better what works (or doesn’t) in the English-language market.
  7. What translation project have you enjoyed the most? That’s like asking a parent which of their children they love the most! I have loved every project in a different way. If I didn’t feel close to them, I wouldn’t take them on in the first place.
  8. In order to translate a literary work, does a translator need to have the skills of a writer? The job of the translator is to rewrite the book in another language: the original author creates the story, the characters, and the setting but only in one language. The translator is driven by the author, but the translator has to choose what path to take.
  9. What elements come into play in determining the quality of a translation? The translated text needs to seem as if it were “born” in that language but the original author needs to be able to recognize it as his or her own child, at least in theory since the author is not always proficient in the language of the translation. The reader should be unaware of the hand of the translator.
  10. Is it more important for a professional translator to know the source language or the target language? One of the rules of the profession is that you translate toward your mother tongue. In other words, you translate a foreign text into your own language. I may be able to write more or less correctly in Italian but, even though I’ve lived in Italy for thirty years, I will never have the fluency that I have in English. In addition, by living in the country where my target language is spoken, that language is an integral part of my being on a daily basis, which helps my understanding of the nuances runs deep.
  11. When you are faced with a text to translate that is lacking in quality, what do you do? Have you ever refused a work for this reason? A good translator refuses a project that they feel they’re unable to do well. It may be because it’s a genre for which they don’t have affinity, a project that requires more skill than they have, or a text or author they don’t completely believe in. The quality of the source text is important because translation brings every tiny defect in a manuscript to the surface. The translation phase is not the most suitable moment to do major editing.
  12. Is it possible to make a living as a translator in Italy? Most of the translators I know translate a wide range of texts: websites, publicity or technical texts, magazine articles, books. A person can make a living in this profession by diversifying the types of texts they work on but, at the same time, creating specialization in terms of areas of expertise.
  13. Do you have interaction with the authors you translate? Do you ever ask an author to clarify aspects of his or her text? That’s when I do my best work! I like to work as part of a team and so when I consider taking on a project one of the questions I ask myself is whether I’d be able to work well with the author. For some translators the act of translation is solitary and they do their best work mostly on their own. I prefer it to be a collaboration.
  14. What book are you translating now? As usual I’m working on several projects, although each one is in a different phase. I’m working on the final production phase of a self-published book with authors Elena and Michela Martignoni entitled ‘The Lustful Youth of Rodrigo Borgia’. I’m nearly finished with the first draft of the first title in a romance series by Elisabetta Flumeri & Gabriella Giacometti, and I’m about to start on a project with an Italian chef who lives in the USA and has started a foundation to help disadvantaged children and families. This latter project is quite unique as it will require me to do translating, editing, and ghostwriting.
  15. Are there specific things an aspiring translator should do if they want to break into the field? What advice would you give them? I would advise them, first of all, to consider themselves an entrepreneur and to jump in with both feet. Attend workshops, book presentations, go to libraries and bookshops, enroll and actively participate in associations, such as EWWA, travel abroad. Practice every day like an athlete who’s training for a competition. Read constantly, join authors’, translators’ and/or readers’ groups on Facebook. When you have a passion—and to be a good translator you have to be passionate about your work—everything you do is linked, in some way, to that passion.
  16. With the advent of self-publishing, amateur or “do it yourself” translation is becoming more widespread. What do you think of translation platforms such as Babelcube and nonprofessional translations? Self-publishing does not necessarily mean “do it yourself”. It’s important to make one thing clear. With the tools available, anyone can self-publish any text and if the final product satisfies them, great. However, professional self-publishing of professional writers means engaging other professionals in order to offer a high quality product. There are extremely few authors (in other words, practically none) who are able to do everything—editing, cover design, formatting, promotion—themselves and in a professional way. Most indie authors identify where they are weakest and invest their resources appropriately since the help of professionals can be expensive. An I’ll-do-it-all-myself approach generally doesn’t give optimal results. With regard to platforms such as Babelcube, I think they can satisfy the needs of the first group of people I mention above.
  17. Thanks to both ebooks and self-publishing, increasing numbers of readers in Italy are looking to get their hands on foreign titles translated into Italian. Many small Italian publishing houses are, as a result, forced to turn to translators to get published novels onto the market as quickly as possible. However, it’s a costly endeavor and sometimes the smaller houses can’t afford it. What do you think about the increasing number of amateur and/or part-time translators who work with small publishers for quick translations? And, in your opinion, how will this phenomenon evolve over time? You’ve pushed one of my buttons! I know experienced translators who have been approached by publishers offering shameful contracts. Translators do not live on air alone and they have to pay their bills and buy diapers for their children just like everyone else. I believe that if a publishing house wants to give readers a quality product, they have to recognize the professionalism of translators: in economic terms including a percentage of royalties when appropriate, with adequate recognition and attribution, and by providing sufficient time to do a good job. Furthermore, if readers find translated texts that are poorly executed and/or the translator’s name does not appear on the title page, in my opinion they should stop buying that publisher’s books. I understand the difficulties faced by small publishers but the entire industry is undergoing great evolution and I think they need to be willing to make changes if they want to survive.

Thank you, Lori. Thank you for your stimulating questions. I hope that I have offered your readers a new way of seeing my profession.

Riassunto del 2015 / 2015 in review

 

Secondo il report del fine anno, mandatami dal WordPress, “Un trolley a San Francisco può contenere circa 60 passeggeri. Suo blog è stato visto circa 1500 volte nel 2015. Se il blog fosse un trolley, ci vorrebbero 25 viaggi per trasportare tutti.” (Per leggere tutto il report, vede il link in fondo del post.)

Ringrazio tutti che hanno dimostrato interesse alle miei attività nel 2015. Nel complessivo, l’anno è stato positivo e sono soddisfatta per quello che sono riuscita a fare. Ecco un riassunto:

  • Ho tradotto tre libri
  • Sono andata al Women’s Fiction Festival di Matera dove ho incontrato editori, agenti, e autori. Il Festival è un’opportunità eccezionale per conoscere degli esperti nel settore, confrontarsi in termini di esperienze e aspettative, e parlare di e trovare nuovi progetti.
  • Ho partecipato a cinque workshop di EWWA e, come la referente EWWA per la regione toscana, ho aiutato ad organizzare l’assemblea annuale di EWWA a Le Murate a Firenze. Al workshop sul auto-pubblicazione tenuto a Roma, sono intervenuta sul tema della traduzione.
  • Sono stata la moderatrice di una serata sulla poesia in traduzione, con la partecipazione di Elisa Biagini, Brenda Porster, e Andrea Sirotti al St. Mark’s Cultural Association a Firenze.
  • Ho revisionato circa 500 pagine di articoli scientifici per pubblicazione in riviste di alto livello, scritti da autori che non sono di madrelingua inglese.
  • Sono stata la consulente linguistica per l’organizzazione e durante i giorni di convegno del 53° TIAFT Meeting a Firenze.
  • Ho letto estratti delle mie traduzioni letterarie durante sei serate di ‘Open Mic’ a Tasso Hostel a Firenze.
  • Quasi ogni settimana, ho partecipato ad un gruppo di scrittori per affinare le mie capacità e ho dato sostengo agli altri scrittori del gruppo che vogliono fare lo stesso.
  • E in fine, ho trascorso tante, tante ore piacevoli a leggere manoscritti e libri sia in italiano che inglese.

Guardo avanti a 2016 con la speranza di altri 12 mesi di lavoro stimolante, e faccio i miei auguri che tutti possano godere pace, salute, e prosperità.

According to the year-end report sent to me by WordPress, “A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 25 trips to carry that many people.”

Thanks to all of you who showed in interest in my services in 2015. Overall, it was a good year and I’m satisfied for what I’ve achieved. Here’s a summary:

  • I translated three books
  • I attended the Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera Italy where I met with publishers, agents, and authors. The Festival offers exceptional opportunities to connect with experts in the field, compare experiences and expectations, and discuss and find upcoming projects.
  • I participated in five EWWA workshops and, as the Tuscan organizer for EWWA, helped organize the annual EWWA assembly at Le Murate in Florence. At the workshop in Rome on self-publishing, I spoke about translation.
  • I moderated a panel discussion between Elisa Biagini, Brenda Porster, and Andrea Sirotti on the translation of poetry, hosted by St. Mark’s Cultural Association in Florence.
  • I revised approximately 500 pages of scientific texts written by non-English speaking authors for publication in top-level journals.
  • I acted as linguistic consultant during the organization phase and duration of the 53rd annual TIAFT meeting held in Florence.
  • I participated in six ‘Open Mic’ events at Tasso Hostel in Florence, reading extracts from my translated works.
  • I participated, almost every week, in a writer’s group to hone my skills and help other writers do the same.
  • And finally, I spent many, many pleasurable hours reading manuscripts and books in both Italian and English.

I look forward to another stimulating year and wish everyone peace, good health, and prosperity. 

Click here to see the complete report.

INTERVISTA: KOBO WRITING LIFE / KOBO WRITING LIFE: AN INTERVIEW

Sembra che le possibilità per auto pubblicarsi crescono da giorno in giorno, ma uno dei punti fermi e di qualità rimane sempre quello di Kobo Writing Life e recentemente ho avuto il piacere di intervistare per EWWA Camille Mofidi, il Manager Europeo per questa piattaforma.

Ho conosciuto Camille al Women’s Fiction Festival a Matera nel 2014 e sono contenta che ci sarà di nuovo all’edizione 2015. La sua esperienza nel settore e la sua disponibilità sono eccezionali: Camille è, secondo me, un esempio molto positivo della nuova generazione di esperti che sono al servizio degli autori indipendenti.

Di nuovo, grazie Camille e buona lettura a tutti.

Camille Mofidi, European Manager Kobo Writing Life

Camille Mofidi, European Manager Kobo Writing Life

 

It sometimes seems as if the opportunities for self-publishing grow day by day, but one of the quality reference points continues to be Kobo Writing Life. Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Camille Mofidi, the European Manager for the platform, for the EWWA  website.

I met Camille at the 2014 edition of the Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera and I am very pleased to see that she will again be present at this year’s event. She is exceptional in terms of her experience in the field and her availability and, in my opinion, she is a positive example of the new generation of experts working to support independent authors.

Thank you again, Camille, and I hope my readers find the interview of interest.

Intervista con un’autrice bestseller / Interview with a bestselling author

Recentemente ho avuto il piacere di intervistare l’autrice bestseller Tina Folsom per il sito di EWWA. Tina è stata molto disponibile nel rispondere alle mie domande e ha rivelato che la sua serie ‘Phoenix Code’ scritto insieme a Lara Adrian sarà presto in italiano.

Per chi non conosce Tina Folsom, è una buon’esempio di un autrice indipendente che sa utilizzare gli strumenti disponibile al suo favore, e in modo internazionale. Per ora, ha pubblicato indipendentemente (cioè in auto-pubblicazione) più di venticinque libri in quattro lingue e molti titoli anche in forma audiolibro.

Personalmente, trovo la sua storia di grande interesse perché ha avuto il coraggio di tentare cose nuove e di avventurarsi nei mercati in altre lingue. Sicuramente non è stato facile, ma ci credeva e perseverava, e ora è una dei big nel genere ‘romance’.

 

Tina Folsom

Tina Folsom

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing bestselling author Tina Folsom for the EWWA website. Tina graciously answered my questions and also revealed that her ‘Phoenix Code’ series, written together with Lara Adrian, will soon be available in Italian.

For those who are unfamiliar with Tina Folsom, she is an exceptional example of an independent writer who knows how to use the tools available and apply them internationally. For now, she has independently published more than twenty-five books in four languages and she has a number of titles in audiobook format as well.

Personally, I find her story incredibly interesting because she has been courageous in trying new things and venturing into markets in other languages. Without a doubt it has not been easy for Tina, but she has believed in what she is doing and persevered, and she has become one of the major authors in the romance genre.

EWWA – Roma 30/11/2013

Ben arrivata EWWA! Una nuova associazione (European Writing Women Association) che ha come suo scopo principale la solidarietà professionale tra donne che scrivono e/o girano intorno alla scrittura (traduttrici, sceneggiatrici, grafiche, agenti, ecc.).

L’incontro di EWWA a Roma è stato  come una bottiglia di acqua gassata appena aperta. Ma non una di quelle che dopo cinque minuti è già sgassata… no! Questa acqua continua ad essere fresca e effervescente e le bollicine ti fanno sorridere. Ti lascia con la sensazione di essere rigenerata e pronta ad affrontare qualsiasi prova perché dopo la fatica, c’è una bottiglia di quell’acqua che ti aspetta.

Le organizzatrici del evento – Elisabetta Fulmeri, Gabriella Giacometti e Terri Casella – sono state bravissime nel dare un impostazione di “inclusione” dal primo momento. Infatti, questo è, secondo me, uno delle cose più belle di EWWA: non è una strada senso unico; è uno scambio di energie, idee, speranze e impegni. E’ così che si costruisce una cosa grande.

Complimenti a tutte le partecipanti e alla prossima!

 

 

Here comes EWWA! A new association (European Writing Women Association) that aims to focus on solidarity among women who write and/or gravitate around the profession of writing (translators, cover artists, agents, etc.).

The EWWA meeting in Rome was like a just-opened bottle of sparkling water. And not that type that goes flat after five minutes, oh no! This water is cool and fizzy and the bubbles tickle your nose and make you smile. You come away feeling rejuvenated and ready to face any challenge, knowing that after all the effort a bottle of that water is waiting for you.

The event organizers – Elisabetta Fulmeri, Gabriella Giacometti e Terri Casella – did a wonderful job creating a sense of inclusion from the very beginning. In my opinion, this is one of the great things about EWWA: it’s not a one-way street but rather a place to exchange energy, ideas, hopes and commitment, and this is how to building something great.

Good job to all, and I’m looking forward to the next event!