Author Archive for Susan Bernofsky

2017 Warwick Prize for Women in Translation Longlist Announced

I was so thrilled to learn of the existence of the Warwick Prize, the long-awaited first-ever prize honoring the work of women in translation – i.e. books written by women and translated by people of any gender – and am even more thrilled to have a book on their first-ever longlist. It’s a juicy list too – look how many great writers and translators are represented! Read More →

Translation on Tap in NYC Sept. 1 – 30, 2017

Welcome back, translation fans! September is traditionally a month rich in translation events, and it looks like this year is no exception. Look at all the offerings awaiting you:

Tuesday, Sept. 12:

La Deliciosa Show Poetry Readings: Translator Karen Emmerich joins four other readers on the High Line in Radamés “Juni” Figueroa’s site-specific installation “La Deliciosa Show.” Free with RSVP, more information here. High Line, 30th St./10th Ave. entrance, 6:30 p.m.

Also Tuesday, Sept. 12:

“Another Way To Say”: Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend event featuring  Martha Cooley, Antonio Romani, and other emerging translators reading their work and discussing their approaches to the art of translation. More information here. A Public Space, 323 Dean St., Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m. Read More →

Nominate Your Hero for the 2018 PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal

Ralph Manheim

Every three years, a literary translator is honored with the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal “whose career has demonstrated a commitment to excellence through the body of their work.” The prize was named for the incredibly prolific Ralph Manheim, who translated from Dutch, Serbo-Croatian, and Polish as well as French and German and brought us the work of many important international authors including Günter Grass, Céline, Aimé Cesaire, and Peter Handke. Recent recipients of the Manheim medal include Michael Henry Heim, Margaret Sayers Peden, and Burton Watson. Its first recipient was Gregory Rabassa in 1982, its first female recipient Edith Grossman in 2006. Nominations for the award are accepted from all current PEN members, and the recipient is then voted on by the PEN Translation Committee. Time is running out to submit your nominations – they will be accepted only until Sept. 15, 2017.

Coincidentally, Sept. 15 is also the deadline for 2018 PEN/Heim Translation Fund applications. Please apply now!

Apply Now for a 2018 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant

PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants (named for Michael Henry Heim, who founded these awards fourteen years ago now with his wife Priscilla) are one of the best ways out there for younger or otherwise emerging translators to draw attention to their work and possibly even find a publisher as well as receiving $2000 – $4000 of financial support. I’ve written about the ins and outs of them before. These grants are explicitly open to those early in their careers – though everyone is welcome to apply. As of last year, this competition comes bundled with the new separately funded PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature (with a purse of $5000). All PEN/Heim applications for Italian-language projects will automatically be considered for it. So if you’re thinking about a book-length project and have a sample translation already in progress, time to sharpen your pencils. You’ll find more information and full application instructions on the PEN America website. Deadline for the receipt of applications is Sept. 15, 2017.

2017 ALTA Mentorships Announced

The Emerging Translator Mentorship Program of the American Literary Translators Association is now entering its third year, and the 2017 cohort of translators selected to be mentored through the program – now expanded to include eight mentorships – has just been announced. Here they are:

  • Madeleine Campbell (Non-Language-Specific Poetry)
  • Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello (Korean Poetry)
  • Reilly Costigan-Humes (Russian Prose)
  • Marlena Gittleman (Catalan)
  • E. J. Koh (Korean Poetry)
  • Joungmin Lee Comfort (Korean Prose)
  • Zoë McLaughlin (Non-Language-Specific Prose)
  • Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler (Russian Prose)

Read More →

2017 Lucien Stryk and IPTA Shortlists Announced

Among ALTA’s (American Literary Translators Association) many activities, it gives out translation prizes at its annual conference – this year to be held in Minneapolis, Oct. 5 – 8, 2017. The shortlists for two of these have just been announced: the Italian Prose in Translation Award (IPTA), and the Lucien Stryk Prize, given for a work translated from an Asian language. Each prize comes with a $5000 purse. The winning translations will be announced at the conference, as well as Twitter (@LitTranslate) and Facebook (

Behold the lists! Read More →

Tips for Beginning Translators

It’s not as if every young and/or aspiring translator is the same as every other one, but I do get a lot of notes asking basically the same thing: If I’m interested in breaking into the field of literary translation, how do I start? How do I get published? Here’s the sort of advice I tend to give out, starting with the question: You do understand that being a literary translator is probably not a way to make a living without a day job, right? If that’s all right with you, keep reading.

For starters, you should be submitting your work to literary magazines. These don’t have to be magazines that specialize in translation; most literary mags are happy to consider translated work, especially if you let them know in your cover letter that you’ve already looked into the rights situation. Read More →