Women in Translation

Waiting on the Warwick: First-ever Shortlist for Women-in-translation Prize Coming in October

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The Warwick Prize for Women in Translation, announced this spring, will be awarded for the first time in November 2017:

But you don’t have to wait until then to hear from the new prize, which aims to address the gender imbalance in translated literature, and to increase the number of international women’s voices accessible by Anglophone readerships. The first-ever shortlist will be released in October.

Eligible for the £1,000 prize — divided between author and translator(s) — are fiction, poetry or literary non-fiction, or work of fiction for children or young adults, written by a woman and translated into English by a female or male translator. If you have a book that might be eligible, the prize rules are available online, and submissions are welcome until July 3.

In their inaugural news release, prize organizers wrote:

A recent report by Nielsen Book showed that translated literary fiction makes up only 3.5% of the literary fiction titles published in the UK, but accounts for 7% of the volume of sales. If translated literature as a whole is underrepresented on the British book market, then women’s voices in translation are even more peripheral. The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, for example, was awarded 21 times, but was won by a woman only twice.

In the words of English PEN president Maureen Freely: “We’ve come a long way with the championing of world literature over the past decade, welcoming in a multiplicity of voices which have gone on to enrich us all. In the same period, however, we’ve noticed that it is markedly more difficult for women to make it into English translation. This prize offers us an opportunity to welcome in the voices and perspectives we’ve missed thus far.”

Are there titles you’d like to see on the first-ever Warwick shortlist?