I'm departing slightly from my usual topic to blatantly plug two exciting English book-related projects. The first is a new bookshop, Dialogue Berlin, stocking a hand-picked selection of literary fiction (English originals and translations) and offering all sorts of other goodies such as events, a reading group, a blog and a Book Doctor to cure your reading block. I met Sharmaine Reid in the shop before Christmas and rather fell in love - with the place, although Sharmaine was very impressive too. It's at the back of a warm and calm café, the T Room, which is less off-putting than it sounds. If you haven't been there yet, do. I have a feeling it might become a very exciting feature on Berlin's literary landscape.
The second project is SAND: "Berlin's bi-annual English literary journal to showcase the undiscovered, up-and-coming and glamorously established talent of the city." This isn't the first magazine along these lines, but they are actively seeking translations. They say they'll present them side-by-side with the originals - not my favourite form of presentation to be honest, as I find it brings out the worst kind of nit-pickers in all of us. But still, something to look forward to. Deadline for submissions is 15 February.