The American Literary Translators Association Announces a New Prize for Translation in Conjunction with the Spain-USA Foundation

January 11, 2022—The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) is delighted to announce, in conjunction with the Spain-USA Foundation, the inception of a new award for translation: The Spain-USA Foundation Translation Award (SUFTA)!

The award, which will be judged and conferred annually, will recognize translations into English of literary prose works written originally by authors of Spanish (Spain) nationality. The source language of the original text may be Spanish, Catalan, Basque, or Galician. The author need not be living for the work to be eligible for the prize. In keeping with the other book awards administered by ALTA, the SUFTA will consider books of prose literature published the previous calendar year.

The winner of the SUFTA will be recognized, alongside the other prizes administered by ALTA, at the Awards Ceremony held at the annual ALTA conference, and will be awarded a $5,000 prize.

Eligibility for the SUFTA:

  • Submissions may be made by publishers OR translators for this prize
  • The book must be a translation from Spanish, Catalan, Basque, or Galician into English, and by an author of Spanish (Spain) nationality
  • The book may be translated by a translator based anywhere in the world, individually or in a team of up to, but not exceeding, four (4) co-translators
  • The book must have been published in the United States in the previous calendar year (for example, to be eligible for the 2022 awards cycle, the book must have been published in 2021)
  • Only prose books (literary fiction and nonfiction) are eligible

Submissions for the Spain-USA Foundation Translation Award will open mid-January and remain open through mid-April on ALTA’s Submittable page. There will be no fee charged to submit to this prize.

ALTA is excited to partner with the Spain-USA Foundation in establishing this new award to recognize excellence in translation.

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Registration Open for Global South Translation Symposium: Theory and Practice

On December 4 at 11:00am ET, tune in for the first Institute for Comparative Modernities’ Global South Translation Symposium: Theory and Practice, which will feature the inaugural cohort of translators from the ICM Global South Translation Fellowships, including ALTA member Wendy Call and mentor David McKay, among others.

The event will also include remarks by translation theorist Naoki Sakai and commentary by Brett DeBary and Jan Steyn.

Featuring translations from Isthmus Zapotec, Spanish, Dutch, Sinhala, and Vietnamese, it’s sure to be a fascinating time!\\ Please note that advance registration is required.

And be sure to apply to the Global South Translation Awards by December 1:

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ICM Global South Translation Awards Open for Applications

The Institute for Comparative Modernities at Cornell University is accepting applications from translators for a grant of up to $5,000 for translations of works from the Global South (Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean) into English.

The awards will range from $1000 to $5000, depending on the scope of the project. Selected works may be retranslations of old, classic texts, or previously untranslated works, collections of poetry, prose, or critical theory. The project may be a work-in-process, or a new project manageable within the scope of the award. This is a non-resident, remote fellowship designed to allow the recipient to complete the work outside of Cornell University.  

Find out more here about how to submit, and apply by December 1!

And check out the Institute for Comparative Modernities’ first Global South Translation Symposium: Theory and Practice. It’s a virtual event, so you can tune in wherever you are on December 4 (be sure to register in advance!):

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Malinda A. Markham Translation Prize Open for Submissions

Deadline extended to November 7!

Are you sitting on a manuscript of poetry in translation? This could be your chance! The Malinda A. Markham Translation Prize from Saturnalia Books is considering manuscripts translated by female-identifying translators of female-identifying poets.

This translation prize honors the life and work of award-winning poet and translator Malinda A. Markham. 

The prize includes $2,000 and publication! The manuscript must be a length of 48-120 pages of translated poems (not including foreword material).

See the full guidelines and submit by November 7 here:

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ALTA Statement on Translators’ Names on the Cover

As a response to the ongoing conversation around translators’ names appearing on book covers, ALTA urges all publishers to provide front cover credits for translators and encourages members to sign onto the #TranslatorsOnTheCover letter from the UK’s Society of Authors.

Translators work to capture the tone, voice, rhythm, sounds, cadence, images, dramatic structure, themes, rhetoric, and the historical and cultural context of a work of literature in order to introduce it to new readers in a different language. They have extensive knowledge of the two or more cultures and languages involved and apply it to create a new work of art in its own right. As such, in our view, they should be acknowledged for their literary contributions and artistry by receiving proper front cover credit as a matter of course. This practice of foregrounding a book as a work of translation also offers more visibility for translators and more transparency for the reader.

Visibility for translators is only the first step toward achieving more equitable work conditions in our field. All translators should also receive proper payment, royalties, and a share of subsidiary rights, and be able to retain the copyright to their own translations. Translators of color, heritage speakers, and others of diverse backgrounds also need to be considered and contracted more often, especially as they bring unique perspectives to a manuscript but continue to be underrepresented.

Here is a list of resources for translators:

ALTA is committed to fair and sustainable working conditions for translators, and to equity and diversity in our field. We urge publishers to recognize translators’ labor and vital literary contributions and applaud those that already do.


ALTA’s Board of Directors and Staff

Ellen Elias-Bursac, Anne Fisher, Patrick Blaine, Samantha Schnee, Aron Aji, Sean Gasper Bye, Nancy Naomi Carlson, Bonnie Chau, Bruna Dantas Lobato, Chenxin Jiang, Aviya Kushner, Colleen Lucey, Margo Pave, Aaron Robertson, Corine Tachtiris, Elisabeth Jaquette, Kelsi Vanada, Rachael Daum, Jessica Sue Vocatura, Sally McCallum

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