Women in Translation

Resources Women in Translation Month, August 2017

What is WITMonth?

WITMonth stands for “Women in Translation Month,” and it’s a month in which we promote women writers from around the world who write in languages other than English.

When is WITMonth?

WITMonth is held every August.

Where does WITMonth take place?

WITMonth takes place anywhere and everywhere: bookshops, your library, your personal blog, your Tumblr, your Facebook,  your Goodreads groups, your book club, and more. Please comment with additional suggestions.

Where did WITMonth come from?

WITMonth was founded on this blog (biblibio.blogspot.com) by Meytal Radzinski. It was inspired by a fellow book blogger and started in August 2014.

Is there a WITMonth logo?

This year’s WITMonth official logo is:

Why do we need this separation? Why focus on women in translation?

Approximately 30% of new translations into English are of books by women writers. Given how few books are translated into English to begin with, this means that women are a minority within a minority. The problem then filters down to how books by women writers in translation are reviewed/covered in the media, recognized by award committees, promoted in bookstores, sent out to reviews, and ultimately reach readers themselves.

While imperfect, WITMonth gives many publishers the chance to promote their existing titles written by women in translation, while also giving readers an organized means of finding the books that already exist. WITMonth ultimately serves to help readers find excellent books.

What are things I can do?

Here are some ideas:
  1. Booksellers and librarians: Make a #WITMonth table and promote your favorite books by women writers in translation, alongside newer releases. If someone is looking for some different recommendations, help guide them to some of the brilliant women in translation out there.
  2. Bloggers and journalists: Talk about the issue! Look at your own stats and ratios, question your reading biases. Address the issue and help raise awareness.
  3. Reviewers: Review new and backlog titles by women writers in translation, from all languages and from all over the world. Help bring these books to the public’s notice.
  4. Publishers: Release your existing ratios and acknowledge any imbalances you might have. Try to find more of the brilliant women writers we all know are writing in all sorts of languages, all over the world. If you’re struggling, see the lists compiled by women critics and translators for LitHub.
  5. Readers: Read, discuss, and share. Please use the #WITMonth tag as much as you can.

Does WITMonth take into account trans/nonbinary authors?

Yes. While the word “women” is at the center of the “women in translation” project, the core idea here is to give voice to those who are often ignored. In this regard, WITMonth has been expanded to include transgender or nonbinary authors in translation.

How long will you be hosting WITMonth?

WITMonth will continue as long as the huge imbalance in publishing women in translation persists.