The Write Stuff with Ros Schwartz

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Event description
An online workshop to change translators' mindset from humble servant to competent writer, with concrete strategies to build confidence.

About this Event

Good prose stems from having confidence in your writing skills. Translators often see themselves as “humble servants” of the original rather than as confident, proactive and competent writers.

This workshop aims to change that mindset and empower translators to use all the resources of the English language to develop their target-language writing skills. It is designed for translators into English working in different fields.

  • Drawing on the literary translator’s toolkit
  • Developing a vocabulary for analysing a translation stylistically and identifying ways to improve style and flow
  • Offering concrete strategies and tips to build confidence
  • Exploring opportunities for translators offering an end-to-end service through teaming up with editors and proof-readers


  • Improved confidence in writing skills
  • Higher-quality translations
  • Breaking into premium markets


The day is divided into four parts:

1) “Translations that sing”: PowerPoint presentation by Ros Schwartz giving concrete strategies for improving writing style

2) Analysis of a “clunky” translation and the editing techniques used to remedy it

3) Group work: each person will be asked to provide a short piece of work which they are not entirely satisfied with. Participants will work in groups of 4 or 5, and each group will work on 2 or 3 of these translations to provide constructive feedback and suggestions for improvement.

4) Plenary: each participant will have received all the texts. The groups will provide feedback on the texts they’ve worked on to the entire group, and the translators of each text will be able to take away the feedback and suggestions offered by those who have worked on their text.

Dates and times:

• Sat 20 June, 12:00-14:00: Presentation, Q&A and hands-on exercise

• Mid-week, 2 hours: Meet in groups of four to analyse three to four texts (half an hour per text), applying knowledge gained from the presentation. The group members can agree between themselves when to do this. Ros will attend these group meetings for approximately 30 minutes. Each group will appoint a rapporteur who will feed back key points to the subsequent plenary.

• Sat 27 June, 12:00-14:00: Feedback on group work, plenary and Q&A

About Ros:

Ros Schwartz is an award-winning translator from French. Acclaimed for her new version of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince (The Collectors Library, 2010), she has over 80 fiction and non-fiction titles to her name.

Ros started out as a literary translator but soon became aware that her writing skills would serve her well in other fields of translation where good writing was important. She positioned herself at the quality end of the market and built up a small translation company specialising in stylistically demanding work and coaching the freelancers she worked with.

For the past two decades, Ros has been energetically involved in translator training. She gives masterclasses worldwide, always with the emphasis on developing attendees’ writing confidence. Co-founder of a literary translation summer school at Birkbeck in 2011 (later at City University and now at Warwick), Ros is dedicated to nurturing translators and guiding them to becoming better writers. She and Chris Durban co-created ‘Style Matters’, a writing development module much in demand internationally.

Ros contributed a chapter to the academic publication The Translator as Writer (Continuum, 2007), and regularly writes for professional journals such as In Other Words, published jointly by the Translators Association and the National Centre for Writing.

The French government made Ros a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2009, and in 2017 she was awarded ITI’s John Sykes Memorial Prize for Excellence.

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