German – Goethe-Institut Award

The Society of Authors and the Goethe-Institut, London biennial Goethe-Institut Award for New Translation.

Following on from the German Embassy Award for Translators, which was first presented in 2010 with the support of the German Embassy in London, the award is open to British translators of literature who translate from German into the English language, including translators who have been resident in the UK for the past three years.

The 2019 Goethe-Institut Award for New Translation went to Kay McBurney for a translation of an excerpt from Die Fahrt by Sibylle Berg. 

The winner is awarded €1,000 and will be invited to attend the 2020 Leipzing Book Fair (12-15 March 2020), which will include a place at the International Translators’ meeting organised by the Literary Colloquium Berlin .(If travel to Leipzig is not possible due to the pandemic, a suitable alternative prize will be sought.)

This year’s prize is awarded for the best translation of an excerpt from Schwitters by Ulrike Draesner, published with permission of Penguin Verlag.

The 2021 Goethe-Institut Prize winner was Sharon Howe.

Read her translation here.

Published with permission from Sharon Howe

You can also watch and listen to a reading of Schwitters given by Sharon Howe, here

Entry to the 2021 Prize (awarded in 2022) is now closed.

  • The deadline for entries is Monday 11 November, 5PM (GMT)
  • Open to emerging British translators of literature who translate from German into the English language. 
  • For further information please contact the Prizes department via email at Prizes@societyofauthors.org

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

2020 

Kay McBurney for a translation of an extract from Die Fahrt by Sibylle Berg. 

The winner received an award of €1,000 and will attend the 2020 Leipzig Book Fair as well as a place at the International Translators’ meeting organised by the Literary Colloquium Berlin.

2018

 Mandy Wight for a translation of an extract from Unterleuten by Juli Zeh. 

The winner received an award of €1,000 and will attend the 2018 Leipzig Book Fair as well as a place at the International Translators’ meeting organised by the Literary Colloquium Berlin.

2016 

Imogen Taylor for a translation of an extract from Momente der Klarheit by Jackie Thomae (Hanser Berlin).

Taylor received €1,000 and a place at the 2016 Leipzig Book Fair between 17 and 20 March, including the International Translators’ meeting on 13 March. 

2014

 Caroline Waight for a translation of an extract from Fliehkräfte by Stephan Thome (Suhrkamp). 

Waight received €1,000, and a place at the International Translator’s seminar including a visit to the Leipzig Book Fair, with a four-week working stay at the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin following the Leipzig Book Fair. 

2012 

Katy Derbyshire for a translation of an extract from the novel Das Geschenk by Wolf Wondratschek (Hanser 2011). 

The runner-up for the 2012 award was Helen MacCormac.

2010

 Samuel Pakucs Willcocks for a translation of an extract from the novel Du bist zu schnell by Zoran Drvenkar (Klett-Cotta, 2003). 

The runner-up for the 2010 award was Jamie Lee Searle.

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