Writing Chinese


On this page you can find information about our major events; the first Writing Chinese Symposium, in July 2015, and our Children’s Literature Day, in July 2016.

The Writing Chinese Children’s Literature Day

July 2nd, 2016
Parkinson Building 1.08, University of Leeds

To coincide with the awarding of the most recent Hans Christian Andersen Award to Chinese children’s author Cao Wenxuan, we held a special day-long event on children’s fiction in Chinese.

We were delighted to welcome Minjie Chen, expert on Chinese children’s children's lit symposiumliterature, and librarian at Princeton University, to give our key-note speech. And we were also lucky enough to be joined by Helen Wang, Cao Wenxuan’s English translator; Katharine Carruthers, Director of the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) Confucius Institute for Schools; the translator Anna Gustafsson ChenValerie Pellatt, expert on Chinese translation and Chinese children’s poetry and nursery rhymes, and others involved in teaching and translating Chinese fiction.

Please see the menu on the left for more information on our speakers.


 10:15-10:30              Tea/coffee/Introductions (breakfast pastries available too!)

10:30am-11:30am      Keynote: The World of Chinese children’s literature: Past and Present; Dr Chen Minjie

Below are the slides from Minjie’s presentation — apologies that the audio unfortunately is a little quiet but you can just about hear it in a quiet room (or via headphones) with a bit of effort!

11:30-11:45                             Break

11:45 – 12:45             Roundtable Discussion: translating children’s literature
                                   (Initial speakers: Helen Wang and Anna Gustafsson Chen)

  Below if you are a little patient, you can see Helen’s slides and presentation. (There again seems to be a problem with the audio for the last 5 mins)

12:45-1:45                               Lunch and Bookclub

1:45-3:15                    Roundtable Discussion: teaching children’s literature
                                   (Initial speakers: Katharine Carruthers, Valerie Pellatt, with Jun Cai and Stella Schito, and virtual                                         contributions from Theresa Munford (St Gregory’s, Bath), Ruairi Garvey (Oundle School) and Dave Haysom (Beijing World Youth Academy)).

 3:15-3:30                  Concluding thoughts

children's lit symposium dinnerAfter a drinks reception those who could stay then enjoyed our conference dinner at the newly opened Home 家 Restaurant.






The Writing Chinese Symposium was held at the University of Leeds from 2nd – 4th July, 2015 and formed the culmination of the first year of our project.


The symposium structure followed the journey of a story from its origins in the imaginations of authors, through its progress through the publishing world and its translation into English, to its reception by readers, critics and academics. We held a series of roundtable discussions over the 2nd and 3rd of July, featuring our two guest authors, Dorothy Tse (謝曉虹) and Murong Xuecun (慕容雪村) and many other key figures representing the various stages of this journey. For a full list of participants, please see our Speakers page.

The final day of our symposium was a public event of author readings and discussion — you can view the whole day’s activities in our events page.


See Sarah’s blog for some edited highlights of the fantastic discussions, or view the whole series below (we are aware of possible conflicts with some tablets and mobile devices and are sorry about this but we can’t get around it at the moment).

Thurs 2nd July

Venue: University of Leeds Business School, SR G31

Roundtable 1 – 10am-12noon         Writing Chinese: Inspirations and Creativity
Becoming a writer; The writing process; Choosing genres; Writers as public intellectuals; How to teach creative writing; Writers in a globalising world

Roundtable 2 – 1pm-3pm                 Getting it out there: the dissemination process
Literary magazines and journals ; Literary websites and Internet Literature

Roundtable 3 – 3:30pm-5:30pm       Adaptation, Translation and Performance
Translating different genres; performing literature

Fri 3rd July

Roundtable 4 10am-12noon                           Reading Chinese
Who reads new Chinese writing in the UK/Europe? Paper Republic / MyChineseBooks /Spitting Dog / China Fiction Bookclub/ Book reviews; what do these readers look for?

Roundtable 5 1pm-3pm                                  Marketing/publishing/editing
How to edit? How to sell a book? How to package a writer? Legal/copyright issues.
What sells and why? The importance of awards and literary festivals.

Roundtable 6 3:30pm-5pm                            Where next for the project?

Sat 4th July    Public Events


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