About the Prize
The Warwick Prize for Women in Translation will be awarded annually to the best eligible work of fiction, poetry, literary non-fiction, work of fiction for children or young adults, graphic novel, or play text, written by a woman, translated into English by a translator (or translators) of any gender, and published by a UK or Irish publisher. The £1,000 prize is divided between the writer and her translator(s), with each contributor receiving an equal share. In cases where the writer is no longer living, the translator will receive all of the prize money.
The prize launched in 2017 with the aim of addressing the gender imbalance in translated literature and increasing the number of international women’s voices accessible to a British and Irish readership. A report by Nielsen Book shows 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 Maureen Freely, current President of English PEN and Professor of Creative Writing at Warwick: "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."
In 2020 and 2021 we were extremely grateful for the financial support of the British Comparative Literature Association and the British Centre for Literary Translation.
Rules and How to Enter
The Prize is open to any novel, novella, collection of short stories, collection of poetry, graphic novel, play text, book-length work of literary non-fiction or book-length work of fiction for children or young adults originally written in any language other than English by a woman of any nationality and translated into English by a person of any gender, provided that the translation in question was published for the first time in print form in the United Kingdom and/or Ireland between 1 April, 2021 and 31 March, 2022.
Only translations published in the UK and/or Ireland are eligible for entry. In order to prove that the translation complies with this rule, it will need to have a UK or Ireland ISBN and be distributed in the UK and/or Ireland; furthermore, its publisher must have a registered office in the UK and/or Ireland.
The submission period for 2022 will begin in Spring 2022. Further details will be announced nearer the time.
Any queries can be addressed to Tom Frew in the university press office at A.T.Frew@warwick.ac.uk or to Chantal Wright and Holly Langstaff, who coordinate the prize, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Women in Translation News
We are pleased to publish the list of eligible entries to the 2021 prize, for use by translators, publishers, bookshops, cultural organisations and researchers, and in order to promote the cause of women in translation more generally. The 2021 prize has received 115 entries from 28 languages. For previous submissions to the prize, see lists of eligible titles submitted in 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Women in Translation Events and Publications
‘Women in World(-)Literature’ conference
University of Warwick
The conference is provisionally scheduled for 17th/18th June 2022.
CFP and details about how to submit a proposal are here.
Abstract deadline: 23 January 2022. Email to email@example.com
Do you have a women in translation event or news item to publicise? If so, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the News
Here are some of the articles and blog posts that have drawn attention to the gender imbalance in literature translated into English over the last few years:
10 female translators on the work that inspires them. Interviews by Alison Flood.
Where are the women in translation? by Alison Anderson
Briefing notes: Where are the women in translation? by Sophie Mayer
A women's prize for translated books by Katy Derbyshire
Why we need a prize for women in translation by Susan Bernofsky
And the prize for women in Arabic translation goes to ... no one? by Elisabeth Jaquette
Women in translation, part I: Fourteen countries by Chad Post
And a few words of thanks ...
The literary translation community were instrumental in raising awareness of the gender imbalance in translated literature and in arguing the case for this prize. The prize committee would like to offer its particular thanks to Meytal Radzinski, who created Women in Translation month, and Joanna Walsh, Katy Derbyshire and Rachel McNicholl, without whom this prize would not have come into being. And Alison Anderson kick-started it all with a Words Without Borders article which you can read here. VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and Chad Post at Three Percent are owed a debt of gratitude for the practical work of awareness-raising. Thanks also go to Arianna Autieri, Alex Corcos, Nick Cherryman, Lúcia Collischonn, Holly Langstaff, Caroline Parker and Jami Rogers for their administrative support, and to Simon Gilson, former Chair of the Arts Faculty at Warwick, and Alison Ribeiro de Menezes, former Head of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Warwick, who understood the importance of this initiative. In 2020 and 2021 we were very grateful for the financial support of the British Comparative Literature Association and the British Centre for Literary Translation. And last but not least, we would like to thank our judges: Amanda Hopkinson, Boyd Tonkin and Susan Bassnett.
This prize is a rallying call to translators and publishers everywhere. There are dozens of fine women writers waiting to be translated - so let's see more of them in our bookshops.
Susan Bassnett, Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature