Dutch – Vondel Prize

The Vondel Prize is a biennial award of €5000 for translation into English of full length Dutch language works of literary merit and general interest.

Named after the most prominent Dutch poet and playwright of the 17th century, Joost van den Vondel, the prize was first awarded in 1996 and is sponsored by the Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature.

The 2021 Vondel Translation Prize Winner and Runner-up

Winner: David Doherty

for a translation of Summer Brother by Jaap Robben. (World Editions)

Runner up: David McKay

for a translation of Adrift in the Middle Kingdom by J. Slauerhoff (Handheld Press)

With thanks to judges: Jane Draycott, Michele Hutchison and Susan Massotty.

If you are interested in any of the books here please visit: Blackwells and Bookshop


  • No unsolicited submissions are accepted.
  • Awards are given once every two years.
  • The next prize will run in 2023 and will be presented in 2024.
  • Entries must be translations from the Dutch into English.

For any queries relating to the prize please contact prizes@societyofauthors.org

2021 (presented in 2022)

Winner: David Doherty for a translation of Summer Brother by Jaap Robben. (World Editions)
Runner up: David McKay for a translation of Adrift in the Middle Kingdom by J. Slauerhoff (Handheld Press)
Short listed: David Colmer for a translation of Will by Jeroen Olyslaegers. (Pushkin Press)
Jane Hedley-Prole for a translation of The Republic by Joost de Vries. (Other  Press)
Laura Watkinson for a translation of Lampie by Annet Schaap. (Pushkin Children’s)

2019 (presented in 2020)

Winner: Michele Hutchison for a translation of Stage Four by Sander Kollaard (Amazon Crossing)
Runner-up: David Doherty for a translation of Monte Carlo by Peter Terrin (MacLehose Press)
Shortlisted: Antoinette Fawcett for a translation of Bird Cottage by Eva Meijer (Pushkin Press)
Nancy Forest-Flier for a translation of The Story of Shit by Midas Dekkers (Text Publishing)

2017 (presented 2018)

Winner: David McKay for his translation of War and Turpentine by Stefan Hertmans (Harvill Secker).
Commended: David Doherty for his translations of The Dutch Maiden by Marente de Moor and You Have To Love by Jaap Robben (World Editions).

2015 (presented 2016)

Winners: Donald Gardner for his translation of In Those Days by Remco Campert (Shoestring Press) and Laura Watkinson for her translation of The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt (Pushkin Press). 
Commended: Sam Garrett for his translation of Tirza by Arnon Grunber (Open Letter). 

2013 (presented 2014)

Winner: David Colmer for The Misfortunates by Dimitri Verhulst (Portobello) 
Commended: Ina Rilke for The Black Lake by Hella S. Haasse (Portobello)
Commended: Johanna W. Prins and Johanna H. Prins for Mother Number Zero by Marjolijn Hof (House of Anansi)

2011 (presented 2012)

Winner: Paul Vincent for My Little War by Louis Paul Boon (Dalkey Archive Press)
Runner-up: David Colmer for The Portrait by Willem Jan Otten (Scribe Publications)

2009 (presented 2010)

Winner: Sam Garrett for Ararat: In Search of the Mythical Mountain by Frank Westerman (Harvill Secker)
Runner Up: Francis Jones for What It Is: Selected Poems by Esther Jansma (Bloodaxe Books)

2007 (presented 2008)

Winner: Susan Massotty for My Father’s Notebook by Kader Abdolah (Canongate)
Runner-up: Sherry Marx-Macdonald for Daalder’s Chocolates by Philibert Schogt (Thunder’s Mouth Press)

2005 (presented 2006)

Winner: Diane Webb for Colors Demonic & Devine: Shades of Meaning in the Middle Ages & After by Herman Pleij (Columbia University Press)

2003 (presented 2004)

Winner: Sam Garrett for The Rider by Tim Krabbe (Bloomsbury)
Runner up: Susan Massotty for All Souls’ Day by Cees Nooteboom (Picador)

2001 (presented 2002)

Winner: Hester Velmans for A Heart of Stone by Renate Dorrestein (Doubleday)
Highly commended: Paul Vincent for Metaphors of Memory by Douwe Draaisma (Cambridge University Press)
Highly commended: Stacey Knecht for Desire by Hugo Claus (Viking)
Highly commended: Sherry Marx-Macdonald for Darwin’s Dreampond by Tijs Goldschmidt (MIT Press)

1999 (presented 2000)

Winner: Ina Rilke for Roads to Santiago by Cees Noteboom (Harvill/Harcourt Brace) and The Virtuosoby Margriet de Moor (Picador)
Highly commended: Sam Garrett for The Gates of Damascus by Lieve Joris (Lonely Planet) and Mali Blues by Lieve Joris (Lonely Planet)

1996 (presented 1997)

Winner: Stacey Knecht for The Great Longing by Marcel Möring (Flamingo)
Highly commended: Noel Clark for Lucifer by Joost van den Vondel (Absolute Press)
 

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