As part of Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture, the United Kingdom was Guest of Honour at the 24th Doha International Book Fair in December 2013. The British Council arranged a wide range of activities at the British Pavilion, from specialist events for translators, to family storytelling sessions.
Literary Translation Summit
The British Council and Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing, in partnership with the British Centre for Literary Translation, hosted the Literary Translation Summit, bringing together 36 writers and translators for an intensive week of workshops and panel discussions. It included a panel discussion on life as a literary translator and resources for translation.
Five UK editors travelled to Qatar to support the event including:
- Sophie Buchan, Commissioning Editor, Orion Books
- Lynn Gaspard, Publisher, Saqi Books
- Emma House, Director of Publisher Relations, UK Publishers Association
- Judy Pearsall, Editorial Director, Oxford University Press
- Rona Selby, Editorial Director, Andersen Press (Random House imprint)
Walking Cities: Doha and Derry
Walking Cities was a project which paired two writers together, with each one taking turns to visit the other’s native city. In this edition, award-winning poet Colette Bryce from Derry, Northern Ireland, was hosted in Doha by poet Maryam Al Subaiey, who then made the return trip to Derry. They gave readings and discussed their findings from their explorations in both cities.
Shakespeare and translation
A panel discussion on Shakespeare and translation was another highlight of the book fair. It was delivered by Patrick Spottiswoode, Director of Education at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, and Niels Brunse, translator and writer.
Throughout the book fair the British Council held LearnEnglish Kids and Maktaba Storytelling Time sessions, both in English and Arabic, for families with young children to enjoy.