Best Translated Book Awards 2018: Judges, Dates, and More!
It’s that time again! Listed below are all the details for this year’s Best Translated Book Award juries!
In terms of dates, this is subject to change, but currently we’re planning on announcing the longlists for fiction and poetry on Tuesday, April 10th, the finalists on Tuesday, May 15th, and the winners on Thursday, May 31st.
The Best Translated Book Award was founded in 2007 (making this its eleventh iteration) to draw attention to the best works of translated literature that came out the following year. The award’s emphasis is on the quality of the book and translation, with the argument that you can’t have a great work of literature without both of these aspects working at a very high level.
Starting with the 2009 award (all years given are for the year in which the winners are announced; the books are from the year previous), works of fiction and poetry were awarded separately. And beginning with the 2011 award, each winning author and translator received a $5,000 cash prize thanks to the Amazon Literary Partnership program. Thanks to this program, we have given out $125,000 in prizes to international authors and their translators.
Any work of translation published in English for the first time ever between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 is eligible for the award. A book that existed in English in a previous translation is not eligible, unless more than half of its content is new. (For example, a new collection of poems of which one-third appeared in an early translation would be eligible, but a novel with an extra ten pages added that were previously censored would not.) Books published in the UK are eligible if they are distributed in the U.S. through normal means. Self-published ebooks in translation are eligible if they have an ISBN and are available for purchase through more than one outlet.
To ensure that their books are given full consideration, publishers should send a copy to each of the judges in the appropriate category. Please write “BTBA 2018” on the front of the package. There are nine fiction judges and five poetry, but Open Letter’s offices are included as well for record-keeping purposes. There is no submission fee. Although e-versions are acceptable, they are not encouraged. Every book that’s submitted will be reviewed in full by at least one judge. Unlike past years, all of the 2018 judges are based in the U.S. to save publishers on shipping costs. Send the books now, but make sure you get them all in by December 31, 2017. Thanks!
This year’s poetry committee:
Raluca Albu is the online literature editor for BOMB, and a senior nonfiction editor with Guernica. Her writing about translation, migration, and history has appeared online in The Paris Review, The Village Voice, The Rumpus, The Guardian, and Words without Borders.
Jarrod Annis is a writer and bookseller. He manages Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn, NY. His work has appeared in Coldfront, Greetings, and Poems By Sunday.
Tess Lewis is a writer and translator from French and German and serves as an Advisory Editor for the Hudson Review. Her translations have won a number of awards including the 2015 ACFNY Translation Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Aditi Machado is the author of the poetry collection Some Beheadings (Nightboat Books, 2017) and the translator of Farid Tali’s novella Prosopopoeia (Action Books, 2016). Her poetry, translations, and criticism have appeared or are forthcoming in Western Humanities Review, The Chicago Review, Volt, Jacket2, World Literature Today, and elsewhere. She is the poetry editor of Asymptote, an international journal of translation.
Emma Ramadan is a literary translator based in Providence, Rhode Island, where she will soon open Riffraff, a bookstore and bar. She is the recipient of a PEN/Heim grant, an NEA Translation Fellowship, and a Fulbright in Morocco. Her translations include Anne Garréta’s Sphinx and Not One Day (Deep Vellum), Fouad Laroui’s The Curious Case of Dassoukine’s Trousers (Deep Vellum), Anne Parian’s Monospace (La Presse/Fence Books), and Frédéric Forte’s 33 Flat Sonnets (Mindmade Books). Her forthcoming translations include Virginie Despentes’s Pretty Things (Feminist Press), Delphine Minoui’s I’m Writing You From Tehran (FSG), and Marcus Malte’s The Boy (Restless Books).
This year’s fiction committee:
Caitlin L. Baker is the fiction buyer for University Book Store in Seattle, Washington.
Katarzyna (Kasia) Bartoszyńska is an English professor at Monmouth College, a translator (from Polish to English), most recently of Zygmunt Bauman’s and Stanisław Obirek’s Of God and Man (Polity), and former bookseller at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore in Chicago.
Tara Cheesman-Olmsted is a freelance book critic and National Book Critics Circle member whose recent reviews can be found at The Rumpus, Book Riot, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Quarterly Conversation. Since 2009 she’s written the blog Reader At Large (formerly BookSexy Review).
Lori Feathers is a co-owner of Interabang Books in Dallas, Texas and the store’s book buyer. She writes freelance book reviews and currently sits on the Board of the National Book Critics Circle. @lorifeathers
Mark Haber is the Operations Manager at Brazos Bookstore in Houston, Texas. A book of his short stories, Deathbed Conversions, was published in 2009 and translated into Spanish in a bilingual edition in 2017 by Editorial Argonáutica in 2017.
Adam Hetherington lives and works in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He’s the author of the forthcoming novel Ontogeny Is Beautiful.
Jeremy Keng is an avid reader, writer, artist, and photographer and freelance reviewer. He is interested in film, languages, culture, and history.
Originally from Kansas, Bradley Schmidt is based in Leipzig, Germany and has been translating contemporary German prose and poetry since 2011. Published authors include Berhard Schlink, Anna Kim, and Lutz Seiler. He is currently translating an award-winning novel featuring hooligans, forthcoming in Spring 2018 with Skyhorse.
P.T. Smith is the Creative Director for The Scofield, an Assistant Editor for Asymptote, and from time to time writes reviews.
There you go! Sometime in the next few weeks we’ll start up the BTBA blog again, to go along with our reviews and Two Month Review information.