Help Support Open Letter!

If you’re friends with us on Facebook (either me personally, or the press itself), or visit the Twitter on a regular basis, you’re hopefully aware that Open Letter just launched an annual fundraising campaign to support our 10-year anniversary. And if you’re not already familiar with this, that’s fine!, that’s exactly what this post is for.

Open Letter is a nonprofit literary organization dedicated to producing and promoting international literature in translation. It’s always been our belief that a publisher needs to do more than simply print books. A publisher needs to create a community around books and literature, while helping foster an appreciation and understanding of the literary arts. And in the case of Open Letter and our dedication to international literature, we take this one step further and work toward increasing the appreciation of translators as well—an essential part of this community.

To accomplish our mission, we use a three-pronged approach: we disseminate great works of literature that would otherwise be unavailable to English readers due to language barriers and/or the marketplace; we connect members of the international literary community, including writers, readers, translators, and booksellers; and, we educate readers to the art and craft of translation, while helping expand their literary horizons.

The only way to do all of this is with your help. Open Letter does receive some funding from the University of Rochester, but to balance our budget and accomplish all of the activities listed below, we have to raise a significant amount of money (almost two-thirds of our total budget) from sales, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and some international literary centers, and with the support of individuals like you.

Your contribution helps us do the following:

* Bring ten works of international fiction into English every year. In 2018, we will publish books by Dubravka Ugresic, Rodrigo Fresán, Madame Nielsen, Xiao Hong, Bragi Ólafsson, Mercè Rodoreda, Asta Olivia Nordenhof, Oliverio Girondo, and more.

* Summer internships for students from around the world. We host between four and six students every summer—some undergrads, some who are much more advanced—who are interested in learning the ins-and-outs of literary publishing and translations. They are given the opportunity to write reader’s reports, do sample translations, craft jacket copy, promote books to booksellers and reviewers, get involved with Three Percent, and other publishing activities to ultimately help get their start in the publishing world and become future ambassadors for world literature.

* Maintain the Three Percent website, which includes the Three Percent and Two Month Review podcasts, the Translation Database, the Best Translated Book Awards, dozens of book reviews from up-and-coming reviewers, articles about the international literary world, and a variety of other features.

* The Reading the World Conversation Series allows for authors and translators to discuss their work in front of audiences who rarely have the opportunity to meet with internationally beloved authors. This series also enables us to bring a number of our authors to various cities across the U.S., introducing their works and viewpoints to as wide an audience as possible.

There are subsets within subsets for each one of these major categories. And over the next three weeks, I’ll write some additional posts about what we’re trying to accomplish with all the various parts of Open Letter, what we’d like to do (and continue to do) in the future, how we could expand, and more.

But for now, I want to ask once more for you to consider joining our campaign. Gifts of every size are welcome and appreciated, and fully tax-deductible.

Since our first book was published on September 26, 2008 (Nobody’s Home by the incredible Dubravka Ugresic), we’re treating 2018 as our 10-year anniversary. We have a lot of exciting things in store for next year, but we really need your help in order to be able to implement these plans as effectively as possible.

Thanks again for your time and support!

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