French focus for Harvill Secker prize

News - Prizes Friday, 17 May 2019

Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize 2019 now open for entries; translations from Senegalese author Mohamed Mbougar Sarr required

Entrants will need to translate an excerpt from the novel De purs hommes by Senegalese author Mohamed Mbougar Sarr (pictured).

Now in its tenth year, the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize 'aims to recognise the achievements of young translators at the start of their careers and to encourage and support the next generation of literary translators. It is an annual prize, which focuses on a different language each year and is open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 34, with no more than one full-length translation published. There is no restriction on country of residence.'

The winning translator will take part in a National Centre for Writing Emerging Translator Mentorship with translator Sarah Ardizzone as mentor, presented in association with Beyond Words Festival and the Institut français du Royaume-Uni. As well as the mentorship, the winning translator receives £1,000 and a selection of Harvill Secker books.

Chris Gribble, chief executive of the National Centre for Writing, said: "We are delighted to work with Harvill Secker on our Emerging Literary Translator Mentorships. Each year we seek to support a new cohort of emerging translators – with a particular focus on languages whose literature is under-represented in English translation. Readers are hungry for diversity and new voices – from wherever they may emerge."

The formal announcement opening the prize for entry was made last night at the launch of Beyond Words Festival at the Institut français du Royaume-Uni, following a French Translation Special panel event with Harvill Secker senior editor Ellie Steel and leading translators Sarah Ardizzone and Danny Hahn.

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