On the 15th of each month we publish a major professional review (anything up to 1000, even 1500 words) of a new and significant translated book of fiction, literary essays or poetry, which I commission and pay for. Additionally I invite you – or you approach me – to write shorter (unpaid – sorry) reviews of other topical translated books. This can be a review of approx. 500-700 words, or to keep it short and sweet, it can be a Twitter-length or Facebook-style Review. This might also be an opportunity for literature students wanting to try their hand.
I aim to make our Review section #RivetingReviews @eurolitnet simply that: riveting! Our reviews should be professional and independent, as in the best newspaper or magazine, in order to guarantee quality and integrity. No PR puffs please but I definitely favour strong views and honest critique. Initially the ‘big reviews’ of ‘big names in foreign literature’ will be aimed at drawing attention to the site as somewhere ‘different’. ‘Different’ here means genuinely and freely critical; negative, if that’s how you feel. I believe reviews are becoming too formulaic, impersonal and often dry. So more reviews please on the ‘Nick Lezard opinion-lines’! Read examples of our #RivetingReviews here: Elena Ferrante, ‘Stieg Larson’.
To make our Review section even more riveting I’d also like to include a visual element. You can contribute ‘something creative’ with your review, maybe your own photo/illustration/graphic design, but I would definitely like all reviewers please to submit a photograph taken of them reading the book they are reviewing. If you are modest or shy it can even be stylized – see our photos online from the summer. Another guarantee from us, with each review we publish from you, is that it will be promoted via social media – and with links to other websites, even re-publication on your own website with credits. We will share our reviews with our Partners (see out list here online), any media organisation keen to collaborate and other like-minded organisations (such as ELIT Austria).
As well as supplying an image (drawing, photo…) we’d also like to ask each reviewer to supply a short 2-line biography and their professional website link (if any).
We will publish reviews mid-month, on the 15th (roughly!). The delivery deadline will be 5 days before (roughly on the 10th and dependent on the days of the week). I/Rosie will specify the exact deadlines each month when I commission you. As I am editing this section alone and ‘in my free time’, although with the invaluable support of my colleague Anna Blasiak, I am asking everyone to please submit valid, quality reviews that should not need much editing. Please submit via this website or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
As editor I have the final word. All reviews must be accompanied with full and correct title, translation and publication details and dates. If any organisation ‘out there’ would like to support us, or collaborate, please contact us via the website. I really believe #RivetingReviews can contribute to filling the review gap in English and to raising the profile of international literature in the UK.