Translation prizes

International prizes awarded for translations

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Commonwealth Writers

Commonwealth Writers is the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation. It  inspires, develops and connects writers and storytellers in a range of disciplines. It builds communities of less-heard voices and links them to groups which seek to bring about social change. Commonwealth Writers runs projects throughout the Commonwealth. Their website provides a number of useful opportunities and resources.

The Commonwealth Short Story Prize identifies talented writers who will go on to inspire their local communities.  The Prize unearths and promotes the best new writing from across the Commonwealth, developing literary connections worldwide.

The Short Story Prize is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short fiction (2000-5000 words). Authors writing in languages other than English are also able to enter stories translated into English.

English PEN

English PEN is the founding centre of PEN International, the worldwide fellowship of writers promoting free expression. Through its campaigns and programmes, English PEN promotes the freedom to write and the freedom to read. Internationally, English PEN campaigns on behalf of persecuted writers, editors and publishers. In the UK, it campaigns to reform laws that curb free expression, and for greater access to literature. It runs a number of programmes for creative writing and translation and a busy events programme.

Grants from English PEN
PEN Promotes 
(formerly known as Writers in Translation) has been promoting literature in translation since 2005 and is supported by Bloomberg. Each year, a dedicated committee of professionals selects between 8-10 books that are translated into English from a wide variety of foreign languages. English PEN awards grants to UK publishers to help promote, market and champion these titles. Its aim is to celebrate books of outstanding literary value, which show a dedication to free speech and intercultural understanding, and therefore have a clear link to the PEN charter.

PEN Translates! is English PEN’s new grants scheme for translation. Launched in 2012 at the London Book Fair, this unique new fund is open to submissions from all UK-based publishers. Building on the success of English PEN’s Writers in Translation programme, it is committed to supporting works of outstanding literary merit, strong and innovative publishing projects and diverse writing from around the world.

Juvenes Translatores

Juvenes Translatores is the European Commission’s annual translation contest for students.

Rules and instructions are available on the EC website.

Literature Ireland’s Translation Grants

Literature Ireland’s translation grant programme allows international publishers to apply for a contribution towards the cost of the translator of a work of Irish literature from English or Irish into another language, with three application deadlines per year. For guidelines and online application form visit:


Literaturport – resources for translators of German literature

A list of bursaries, stipends, prizes and other funds for translators of German literature can be found at Literaturport.

The Syracuse University Press and University of Arkansas, King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies Translation of Arabic Literature Award

The Syracuse University Press and University of Arkansas, King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies Translation of Arabic Literature Award. For an unpublished manuscript (you need to have the rights free and clear), winner to be published by SUP. Previous winners include Samah Selim’s translation of Tree of Pearls (Jurji Zaidan), Yasmeen Hanoosh’s translation of Scattered Crumbs (Muhsin al-Ramli), and Issa Boullata’s translation of The Square Moon (Ghada Samman). Submission details here .

Academia Rossica

Academia Rossica is a cultural organisation set up in 2000 to promote and strengthen cultural and intellectual ties between Russia and the English-speaking world, pioneering intercultural projects and bringing the best of contemporary Russian culture to the outside world. With offices in London and Moscow, Academia Rossica acts as a bridge between these two thriving cultural capitals.

Academia Rossica runs a programme of cultural events, including the London Russian Film Festival and aims to provide a platform for intellectual exchange between Russia and the UK through the Russian Publishers stand at the London Book Fair. Academia Rossica invites contemporary Russian writers and critics for a programme of seminars and discussions during the SLOVO Festival. There are also two literary translation awards presented by Academia Rossica: The Rossica Prize, for the best literary translation from Russian into English, and the Rossica Young Translators Prize, for anyone under 25.

Academy of American Poets, Raisziss/de Palchi Translation Award

Academy of American Poets, Raisziss/de Palchi Translation Award, 588 Broadway, Suite 604, New York, NY 10012. (212) 274-0343. Award recognizes translations into English of modern Italian poetry; fellowship winner receives $20,000 and a residency at the American Academy in Rome. Submissions in even-numbered years.