2017 Warwick Prize for Women in Translation Announced

Celebratory GIF by Tynan Kogane

I’m almost too excited to work the keyboard right now, because a book I translated, Memoirs of a Polar Bear by the amazing Yoko Tawada, just won the inaugural Warwick Prize for Women in Translation!!! The Warwick Prize for Women in Translation (you have to say its whole name to avoid ambiguity), is the first-ever prize to celebrate work in English translation by women authors, who have traditionally been direly underrepresented in the landscape of literary prizes. Having a prize just for them will help draw attention to all the gorgeous books written by women around the world every year. I’ve wanted for this to happen for ages, so would have been celebrating tonight regardless, but now I’m triply happy (the other 1/3 is because I love this book so much I can’t even tell you). I hope you’ll check out the novel, as well as the other beautiful books from this year’s stellar shortlist. And big gratitude to Chantal Wright and the entire Translation at Warwick and Warwick University team that made this prize a reality – not to mention all the fierce translationistas (see credits at the bottom of the official Warwick Prize website) of the U.K. who lobbied hard for several years to make this happen. I’m so delighted that there’s now a prize out there honoring Women in Translation, and look forward to celebrating many more longlists, shortlists, and prizewinners to come.

P.S. This prize is just for books published in the U.K.; Memoirs of a Polar Bear qualified only because Portobello co-published it with New Directions. We still need a Women in Translation Prize for books published in the U.S. Who’s going to start one?

P.P.S. Here’s Katy Derbyshire’s report on the prize ceremony, including a lot of background on the lobbying that got the prize established in the first place.

Share this!


  1. Sophia says:

    Congratulations on winning the inaugural prize! Everyone loved the translation. There was mention at the ceremony yesterday that the prize might (sometime) be extended to include the U.S. and other English-speaking countries …

  2. Hi Susan, my warmest congratulations. I’ve just bought the book and can’t wait to read it: I love bears. I’m really happy for you. This is a great moment for women writers and translators!


  3. Hal Hopson says:

    Congratulations Susan! Well done!

  4. Deb says:

    Congratulations Susan!!!

  5. Anne whitehouse says:


  6. Rex B. says:

    Sincerest congratulations to you from the United States. I look forward to reading the book.

  7. Deirdre McMahon says:

    Congratulations on winning the inaugural Warwick Translation Prize. I am looking forward to reading your translation.

    Regarding the Stephen Spender Award, the competition has been open to entries from anywhere since 2016 as stated in Robina Pelham-Burn’s introduction to the 2015 prizewinners booklet.

© Susan Bernofsky 2010-2018. All rights reserved. "Translationista" is a registered trademark.