The Sofia Literature and Translation House is a program of Next Page Foundation that was started in 2014 as a follow-up of the foundation’s Translation Lab project prepared for the Sofia candidacy for the European Capital of Culture. After many years of various attempts and discussions between cultural organisations in Sofia on the need of literary residencies in the city, the Foundation developed a strategy and found a committed partner in the Sofia Municipality Culture Department. The agreement concerning the socialisation of the property, is the only one of its kind between a municipal and a non-governmental organisation in culture.
Located in the beautiful former residency of the renowned painter Nenko Balkanski (1907-1977) that was entirely renovated and brought back to life, the House is the first ever space in Sofia specially dedicated to international literary communication and to stimulating a new attitude towards literature. It acts as a physical and virtual hub for both Bulgarian and international writers and literary translators.
The Sofia Literature and Translation House
• offers creative residencies to literary translators, writers, editors and other professionals in the book field,
• develops professional qualification programs for Bulgarian literary translators and writers – discussions, seminars, workshops,
• hosts a variety of public events such as book launches, workshops for children and the youth.
The Literature and Translation House offers two types of accommodation facilities to its residents: in individual apartments in the city of Sofia or in an attic room with attached bathroom in the House itself. The House hosts an average of 8 to 15 residents a year, and is opened year long.
The House offers also a joint working space and access to its multilingual library collections – of Bulgarian authors translated into other languages after 1989 and of publications on history/theory of translation.
International residents are introduced to the literary and cultural scene in Sofia, as well as to new professional contacts. The House provides access to artistic and cultural events in Sofia, to libraries and research centres, along with the possibility of specific meetings with key figures and cultural organisations relevant to the work of the resident.
Sofia Literature and Translation House offers short- and long-term artist residency opportunities in Sofia to international translators of fiction, poets and writers, editors, literary agents, publishers, literary managers, journalists and other professionals working in the field of literature and literary communication. Literary translators from Bulgarian, including emerging ones, are our priority.
Sofia Literature and Translation House residents are expected to work on a specific project (translation, writing, research), to host at least two events (workshop, lecture, discussion or a lesson at the nearby high school), to communicate actively with their colleagues. If they wish, participants may get involved in other projects of Next Page and its partners. Applicants are not expected to speak Bulgarian, unless explicitly stated.
The participants in the residency program are selected in two ways: through special invitation and through open calls for proposals. Decisions in both cases are taken by the Program Board of Sofia Literature and Translation House. Applications are submitted year-round and reviewed on a rolling basis, but must be sent not later than three months prior to the residency.
For further conditions and criteria on the different types of residencies, please, visit the website here.