ABOUT ME / WORK WITH ME

I am a freelance writer, translator and book editor in the Russian-speaking world. Since finishing a degree in Russian in 2007 I have worked in Russia, Central Asia, the Caucasus and Eastern Europe. I’m now based in Norwich, England.

After living in Russia and Ukraine between 2005 and 2010, I travelled throughout Eurasia from 2015 – 2018, while working in the wine & spirits industry. Each year I visited 11 countries Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey to meet with alcohol companies.

I have spent every spare moment travelling in these places, from little-known cities to remote wildernesses, learning the cultures and histories of each of the former Soviet republics and their neighbours.

WRITING AND OTHER MEDIA

I write about travel and culture in Eurasia for Lonely Planet, Russia Beyond, Bradt Guides and Open Central Asia magazine. My writing has been included in four anthologies: Bradt Guides’ book Kidding Around (a story about a trip to Bulgaria’s Thracian Valley), The Expeditioner’s Guide to the World (a story about a train journey with a Chechen family), and stories about cricket in Uzbekistan and Russia for the 2014 and 2021 Wisden Almanack. In the past I have been a features writer for Made in Georgia magazine, Ukraine International Airlines’ Panorama magazine and The Calvert Journal, among others.

I have also spoken about my travels in interviews with Visit Uzbekistan magazine, the podcast ‘From Samarkand to Issyk-Kul’, and with Russia Beyond. In 2021 I received a certificate of appreciation from the Embassy of Kazakhstan in the United Kingdom, for my reporting about Kazakhstan. 

In 2019 two of my photographs, from Almaty and Tashkent, were displayed at the exhibition ‘Daily Lives in Central Asia’ at the BOZAR Centre in Brussels, which was organised by the European Union’s SEnECA project.

RUSSIAN TRANSLATION AND BOOK EDITING

I began my career as an in-house Russian translator and English language proofreader at law firms in Kiev, Ukraine (2007-2010), then at an event company in London, working on industry conferences in the CIS region (2011-2015).

I now specialise in creative projects independently, and also in partnership with the Eurasian Creative Guild and the East-West Literature Portal. In 2019 I translated the novel A Hundred Years on the Steppe by the Kazakh author Bayangali Alimzhanov, and have since translated several of his short stories and poems. In 2020 I translated the collection of poems I think we should just live by the Russian poet Ekaterina Khlebnikova, published by Hertfordshire Press. More eclectic translations include a song for a music studio in Kiev, and some writing by the ‘Siberian spirit-healer’ Natalya Stepanova.

In 2021 I edited the English translation of Begizhan Akhmedov’s novel The Wanderer – once named Kyrgyzstan’s book of the year. I am currently editing a collection of folk tales from the Yamal Peninsula in the Russian Arctic. 

Away from Eurasia, in 2021 so far I have edited seven other books: three fiction novels, and four books on the topics of positive psychology and mindfulness.

To discuss ways to work together, please write to me at hello@jonathancampion.com.

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