International Literature Prizes

A selection of international literary prizes awarded to international writing in and out of translation


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Jan Michalski Foundation

The Jan Michalski Prize for Literature is attributed each year by the Jan Michalski Foundation (based in Switzerland) to a work of world literature. An original feature of the prize is its multicultural nature. It is open to authors from the world over and is intended to contribute to their international recognition. The prize will be awarded for works of fiction or non fiction, irrespective of the language in which they are written. The winner will receive an amount of CHF 50,000, offering the possibility of greater dedication to his or her art. The authors of short-listed works will be invited for a three-month period of residence at the Maison de l’Ecriture.

The Foundation also promotes and supports literary projects, particularly through the granting of financial support. Find out more at:

Swedish Arts Council

The Swedish Arts Council (Kulturrådet) is responsible for the allocation of state cultural funding in Sweden.

It runs a support scheme for publishers wishing to publish Swedish literature in translation. It also publishes the magazine New Swedish Books which provides details in English of some of the most interesting recent titles published in Sweden.

The Swedish Arts Council can provide limited funding for international cultural exchange initiatives. Grants are awarded for travel expenses, or, for example, when international artists make guest appearances in Sweden, for hotel and travel expenses within Sweden. Visit the council’s website to find out more.

The council also administers the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, an international prize for children’s literature.

FT/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices Awards

FT/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices Awards aims to recognise extraordinary artistic talent in three categories – fiction literature, film-making and art across more than 100 emerging market nations. Includes an award for writers in Africa and the Middle East for works of fiction published in English:

Bologna Children’s Book Fair

Since 1964 the Bologna Children’s Book Fair is the most important international get-together for professionals involved in children’s publishing.

With a distinguished focus on copyright exchange, each year publishers, literary agents, authors, illustrators, editors, translators, librarians, booksellers meet in Bologna to enjoy the best in children’s books and digital products, thus making the Bologna Fair the hub of the cultural debate. The Fair also issues prizes for the best children’s literature from around the world.

Books Magazine (France)

Books offers a profound vision of the news, culture and international issues, from high-quality articles on global editorial production.

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). Regional winners will receive £2,500 and the Overall Winner will receive £5,000. Authors writing in languages other than English are also able to enter stories translated into English. Translators will receive additional prize money.

The 2015 Short Story Prize will open for entry 15 September and will close on 15 November 2014.

Go to the Commonwealth Writers website for more information. 

Euro Crime

Euro Crime is a website dedicated to crime fiction, both in English and in translation from other languages. It reviews the latest books to be published in English; other features of the website include a summary of upcoming titles, details of events, links to book reviews, crime fiction prize results and the occasional competition.

Euro Crime is also available as a blog:

Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

The Independent Foreign Prize honours the best work of fiction by a living author, which has been translated into English from any other language and published in the United Kingdom. Uniquely, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize gives the winning author and translator equal status: each receives £5,000.

Maison des Écrivains Étrangers et des Traducteurs – MEET (France)

MEET is a writers’ and translators’ house overlooking the docks and the shipyards of Saint Nazaire Harbour on the Loire River estuary. MEET welcomes one writer or translator at a time for four to eight week residencies. It also organises regular meetings with writers and translators and awards three different literary prizes including ‘Prix Laure-Bataillon’ awarded each year in a different Latin American country.

The Crime Writers’ Association International Dagger

A category of the Crime Writers’ Association Daggers (which have been awarded to quality crime writing annually since 1955), the International Dagger is a prize for crime novels (including thrillers, suspense novels and espionage) written in an original language other then English and translated into English for publication in the UK during the judging period. For the 2015 Dagger, publishers may enter books published between 1st June 2014 and 31st May 2015.

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