I’m Jamie Lee Searle, a literary translator, writer and mentor. I translate fiction and non-fiction from German and Portuguese into English, and also work as a consultant for publishers and organisations such as New Books in German. My recent publications include Kalmann by Joachim B. Schmidt and Twelve Nights by Urs Faes. I have held translation and writing residencies in New York and Vienna, and am a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at UWE in Bristol.

Creative Practice

After an early career as a translator for Reuters, and as a bookseller, I discovered literary translation. It allows me to combine two of the activities I love most: learning about other cultures, and being playful with language.

I have a BA in German from the University of Exeter and an MA in Anglo-German Cultural Relations from Queen Mary University of London, where I taught language and literary translation courses.

Along with Anna Holmwood and Rosalind Harvey, I am a co-founder of the Emerging Translators Network. As an advocate for bringing international voices to English-language audiences, I regularly speak at industry events, including the London Book Fair.

My work and life have taken me around the world, including five years on Florianópolis, an island off the coast of Brazil. These experiences have given me a nuanced understanding of the linguistic cultures I engage with through my work, as well as a fascination with stories of migration and the meaning of home.

& Awards

  1. 2022
  2. 2018
  3. 2018
    Translation residency at the Austrian Society for Literature, Vienna
  4. 2017
  5. 2010
    TA/BCLT Emerging Translator Mentorship
  6. 2010
    Runner-up in German Embassy Award for Translators


Rates are available upon request and depend upon the turnaround time, length and complexity of the project in question. Please contact me for more information.


Idiomatic translations of German- and Portuguese-language texts into English, from literary fiction to nonfiction. My special areas of interest include: art, history, popular psychology; and mind, body and spirit. Translation samples for international publishers and agents.

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Copyediting & Proofreading

Line-editing, copy-editing and proof-reading of English-language texts, as well as side-by-side editing of translations from German and Portuguese.

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Mentoring sessions for early- and mid-career literary translators, both language specific (German & Portuguese) and non-language specific. I offer one-to-one mentoring privately, and also mentor in collaboration with organisations such as the National Centre for Writing.

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Reader Reports

Reader reports on German-, Portuguese- and English-language titles for publishers and literary agents internationally. With my background in bookselling and in-depth knowledge of the publishing industry, I can provide thoughtful evaluations of the potential audience for a wide range of titles.

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