Swedish – Bernard Shaw Prize

The Bernard Shaw Prize is a biennial award for translations into English of full length Swedish language works of literary merit and general interest. The winner is awarded £3,000 and a runner-up is awarded £1,000.

Named after the author and dramatist, whose Nobel Prize went towards a foundation for ‘the promotion and diffusion of knowledge and appreciation of the literature and art of Sweden in the British Islands’, the prize was  established in 1991 and is generously sponsored by the Anglo-Swedish Literary Foundation and the Embassy of Sweden in London.

The 2021 Bernard Shaw Prize Winner and Runners Up

Winner: Sarah Death for a translation of Letters from Tove by Tove Jansson. (Norvik Press)

Runners up: Amanda Doxtater for a translation of Crisis by Karin Boye. (Norvik Press)
Sarah Death for a translation of Chitambo (Sort of Books)

You can watch and listen to a reading of Letters from Tove by Sarah Death Here

The Bernard Shaw Prize will close for submissions on 31 March 2023

  • The deadline for submissions is 31 March 2023
  • Entries must be translations from Swedish into English
  • Entries must have been in published in the UK between 2021 and 2022 (inclusive)
  • Full Terms and Conditions will be listed at the start of the entry form.
  • Presented at a ceremony in 2024.

For any queries relating to the prize please contact [email protected]

2021 (Presented in 2022) 

Winner: Sarah Death for a translation of Letters from Tove by Tove Jansson ed. by Boel Westin and Helen Svensson. (Sort of Books)

Runner up: Sarah Death for a translation of Chitambo by Hagar Olsson. (Norvik Press)

Runner up: Amanda Doxtater for a translation of Crisis by Karin Boye. (Norvik Press)

Shortlisted:Neil Smith for a translation of Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. (Penguin Michael Joseph)

Deborah Bragan-Turner for a translation of To Cook A Bear by Mikael Niemi. (MacLehose Press)

Nichola Smalley for a translation of Wretchedness by Andrzej Tichý. (And Other Stories)

2018 (presented 2019)

Winner: Frank Perry for his translation of Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs by Lina Wolff (And Other Stories)

Runner-up: Deborah Bragan-Turner for her translation of The Parable Book by Per Olov Enquist (MacLehose Press/Quercus)

Shortlistees: Sarah Death for her translation of Wilful Disregard be Lena Andersson (Picador, Pan Macmillan)

John Irons for his translation of Selected Poems by Lars Gustafsson (Bloodaxe Books)

2015 (presented 2016)

Winner: Thomas Teal for his translation of The Listener by Tove Jansson (Sort of Books)

Commended: Sarah Death for her translation of A Brief Stop on the Road From Auschwitz by Goran Rosenberg (Granta). 


Winner: Robin Fulton for his translation of Chickweed Wintergreen (pictured far right) by Harry Martinson (Bloodaxe Books)

Commended: Peter Graves for his translation of The Beauty and the Sorrow by Peter Englund (Profile)


Winner: Thomas Teal for Fair Play by Tove Jansson (Sort Of Books)

Runner up: Tiina Nunnally for The Story of Blanche and Marie by Per Olov Enquist (Harvill Secker)


Winner: Sarah Death for Snow by Ellen Mattson ( Jonathan Cape)

Runner up: Tom Geddes for Hash by Torgny Lindgren (Duckworth)


Winner: Sarah Death for The Angel House by Kerstin Ekman (Norvik Press)

Runner up: Tom Geddes for Sweetness by Torgny Lindgren (Harvill)


Winner: Anna Paterson for The Forest of Hours by Kerstin Ekman (Chatto & Windus)

Highly Commended: Sarah Death for Money by Victoria Benedictsson (Norvik Press)


Winner: Michael Robinson for August Strindberg Selected Essays by August Strindberg (CUP)


Winner: David McDuff for A Valley in the Midst of Violence by Gösta Agren (Bloodaxe)


Winner:Tom Geddes The Way of a Serpent by Torgny Lindgren (Harvill)