Singapore Apprenticeship in Literary Translation (SALT)

Introduction & Overview

The Singapore Apprenticeship in Literary Translation (SALT)  is a capability development programme aimed at training literary translators for the publishing industry. Participants will undergo a rigorous, industry-oriented 12-month training, in which they will:

  • learn the skills and craft of translating a book-length project (Chinese to English or English to Chinese);
  • put together a translation sample and synopsis package for pitching to publishers and agents;
  • gain experience in the best practices of the profession, including understanding the business, legal, and ethical issues involved in their work.

Each translator will work with 4 different established professionals in the field of literary translation. They will work on preparing a sample and synopsis for a book-length project, or the equivalent. Mentors will oversee the translation process and offer guidance.

Each apprentice will produce a translation sample and synopsis package, in cooperation with her/his mentors. This is to include a synopsis of the entire book-length work and a sample translation of about 3 chapters or 5,000 words from the work.

SALT is co-organised by Tender Leaves Translation and the Singapore Book Council. Established translator and writer Shelly Bryant is the programme director who will oversee SALT. For a list of SALT mentors, click here

Application Form

To apply, click here.

Who Can Apply?

SALT is open to all:  Singapore citizens, Permanent Residents and non-Singaporeans. Emerging translators, writers / poets who are transitioning into translation, or established translators who are transitioning into literary translation are all welcome to apply.

Selection will be based on criteria that includes track record, translation samples, potential of the applicant, and interview (where necessary). Participants may choose their language track (either Chinese to English, or English to Chinese).

You can apply here. The application deadline is 10 February 2019.* Only selected apprentices will be notified by 10 March 2019 and provided with the list of excerpts to select for the translation exercise.

*Singaporeans and Permanent Residents: Please note that the deadline for the National Arts Council Capability Development Grant for projects taking place on or between 15 May – 15 August 2019 is 15 February 2019. Your SALT application has to reach us by 10 January 2019 in order for us to assess it and email you the confirmation of acceptance by 24 January 2019 to allow you sufficient time to submit your application for the NAC Capability Grant.

Fee & Payment Terms

S$6,000 for the 12-month programme

Payment of 50% of the course fee / S$3,000 is due upon notification of acceptance into the program, with the final 50% due by 30 April 2019.


Applicants who are Singaporean citizens or permanent residents may apply to funding bodies that support professional training and skills development in literary arts and translation upon confirmation of successful application for SALT.

You can find out more about the requirements and funding cycle of the organisations below:

SALT Schedule 2018

SALT Mentors