#WITMonth launched in 2014, in response to the lesser attention received by works by women in translation.
The month-long series of investigations and celebrations — held each August — is short for “Women in Translation Month.” From August 1 to 31, it’s a time to read and talk about women writers from around the world who write in languages other than English.
As #WITMonth founder Meytal Radzinski has written:
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.
WITMonth organizers have compiled a few ideas.
While the word “women” is at the center of the “women in translation” project, the core idea is to give voice to those who are often ignored. Thus, #WITMonth has been expanded to include transgender or nonbinary authors in translation.