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Mission

Mission Mosaic

Words Without Borders is the premier destination for a global literary conversation. Founded in 2003, our mission is to cultivate global awareness by expanding access to international writing and creating a bridge between readers, writers, and translators. 

Our digital magazine offers unparalleled access to the world’s literary voices. These include writers like Elena Ferrante, Olga Tokarczuk, and Han Kang, all published on WWB before they became international sensations, as well as hundreds of new and rising talents. We are committed to centering writers in indigenous, endangered, and other world languages that are too often marginalized.

Our education program, WWB Campus, brings global literature into hundreds of classrooms, offering free access to stories from around the world; multimedia curricular resources that bring literature to life; and professional support for educators.

Each year, WWB organizes free virtual and in-person events with international authors, translators, and critics, providing a space for readers to engage directly with the perspectives we publish. 


Impact

4,300 writers and translators
141 countries 
133 languages, from Amharic to Zamboangueño Chavacano 
750,000 annual readers worldwide
40,000 students and teachers learning with international literature


Awards and Recognition 

Winner, 2018 Whiting Foundation Literary Magazine Prize

Honorable Mention, 2018 National Book Foundation Innovations in Reading Prize

Winner, 2016 London Book Fair International Excellence Award for a Translation Initiative

Shortlisted, 2020 London Book Fair Learning Resources Award


Praise for WWB

Words Without Borders has single-handedly expanded the breadth of the contemporary literary conversation. This is writing that places you inside a culture. 

—Judges’ citation, Whiting Literary Magazine Prize 

All hail to Words Without Borders, which, with its monthly magazine and publishing partnerships, brings to us, both online and in book form, treasures from around the world. From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and everywhere in between, this extraordinary journal celebrates new voices and international masters alike. In our world, provincial and atomized as we are in spite of globalization, there’s no more important literary enterprise.  

—Claire Messud

A handbook for understanding the world. 

—Reza Aslan

For all things translation, WWB remains the gold standard. 

—Stephen Snyder, Dean of Language Schools, Middlebury College 

Thank you for the great literature selections with the relevant and relatable videos with additional paired resources. WWB Campus is a resource I will return to again and again!  

Christine Woods, Past president, Virginia Association of Teachers of English, Virginia Western Community College


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