TA First Translation Prize

‘So, it’s recognising new talent in the translation profession, but also those editors who take a chance on a debut and then work with them to make them better – a role we all depend on, but don’t acknowledge often enough.’

Daniel Hahn

The TA First Translation Prize is an annual £2,000 prize for a debut literary translation into English published in the UK and Ireland. The Prize is shared between the translator and their editor.

It was established in 2017 and generously endowed by Daniel Hahn, with support from the British Council.

The 2021 TA First Translation Prize Winner and Runner up

Winner:Jackie Smith

for a translation of An Inventory of Losses by Judith Schalansky. (MacLehose Press)

Runner up:Padma Viswanathan

for a translation of São Bernardo by Graciliano Ramos. (New York Review Books)

You can listen and watch a reading of An Inventory of Loss by Jackie Smith Here

With thanks to judges: Daniel Hahn,Vineet Lal and Annie McDermott

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


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

The TA First Translation Prize is now closed.

  1. Publication date in English, in the UK or Ireland (or widely distributed) – between 31 March 2021 and 1 April 2022 
  2. Prize does not accept poetry submissions 
  3. Must be the first solo book-length translation by the translator (co-translators are not eligible) 
  4. No self-published or e-book only titles 

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

2021 (presented in 2022)

Winner:Jackie Smith for a translation of An Inventory of Losses by Judith Schalansky. (MacLehose Press)
Runner Up:Padma Viswanathan for a translation of São Bernardo by Graciliano Ramos. (New York Review Books)
Shortlisted: Jennifer Russell for a translation of Marble by Amalie Smith. (Lolli Editions)
Lucy Rand for a translation of The Phone Box at the Edge of the World by Sophie Orme (Bonnier Books UK Ltd)
Rahul Bery for a translation of Rolling Fields by David Trueba. (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Orion Publishing Group)
Simon Leser for a translation of Tomorrow They Won’t Dare to Murder Us by Joseph Andras. (Verso Books)

2020 (presented in 2021)

Winner: Nicholas Glastonbury and editor Saba Ahmed for a translation of Every Fire You Tend by Sema Kaygusuz (Tilted Axis Press). Translated from Turkish.
Runner-up: Nicholas Royle and editor Tim Shearer for a translation of Pharricide by Vincent de Swarte (Confingo Publishing). Translated from French.
Shortlisted: Laura Francis and editor Ka Bradley for a translation of The Collection by Nina Leger (Granta Books). Translated from French.
Annie McDermott and editor Lizzie Davis for a translation of Empty Words by Mario Levrero (And Other Stories). Translated from Spanish.
Ruth Diver and editor Elise Williams for a translation of The Little Girl on the Ice Floe by Adélaïde Bon (MacLehose Press). Translated from French.
Owen Good and editor Bishan Samaddar for a translation of Pixel by Krisztina Tóth (Seagull Books). Translated from Hungarian.

2019 (presented in 2020)

Winner: Morgan Giles for a translation of Tokyo Ueno Station edited by Saba Ahmed and originally written by Yu Miri in Japanese (Tilted Axis Press)
Runner-up: Charlotte Whittle for a translation of People in the Room edited by Bella Bosworth and originally written by Norah Langé in Spanish (And Other Stories)
Shortlisted: Sarah Booker for a translation of The Iliac Crest edited by Lauren Rosemary Hook and originally written by Cristina Rivera Garza in Spanish (And Other Stories)
Natascha Bruce for a translation of Lonely Face edited by Jeremy Tiang and originally written by Yeng Pway Ngon in Chinese (Balestier Press)
Ellen Jones for a translation of Trout, Belly Up edited by Fionn Petch and Carolina Orloff and originally written by Rodrigo Fuentes in Spanish (Charco Press)
William Spence for a translation of The Promise: Love and Loss in Modern China edited by Tomasz Hoskins and originally written by XinRan in Mandarin (I.B. Tauris)

2018 (presented in 2019)

Winner: Janet Hong for her translation of The Impossible Fairytale edited by Ethan Nosowsky and originally written by Han Yujoo in Korean (Tilted Axis Press)
Shortlistees: 
Gini Alhadeff for her translation of I Am the Brother of XX edited by Barbara Epler and originally written by Fleur Jaeggy in Italian (And Other Stories)
Fionn Petch for his translation of Fireflies edited by Annie McDermott and originally written by Luis Sagasti in Spanish (Charco Press)
Alex Valente for his translation of Can You Hear Me? edited by Federico Andornino and originally written by Elena Varvello in Italian (Two Roads Books)

2017 (presented in 2018)

Winner: Bela Shayevich for her translation of Second-hand Time edited by Jacques Testard and originally written by Svetlana Alexievich in Russian (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
Shortlistees: 
Jeffrey Zuckerman for his translation of Eve Out of Her Ruins, edited by Cécile Menon and Angeline Rothermundt and originally written by Ananda Devi in French (Les Fugitives)
Francesca Barrie for her translation of Notes on a Thesis, edited by Claire Bullock and originally written by Tiphanie Rivière in French (Jonathan Cape)
Eliza Marciniak for her translation of Swallowing Mercury, edited by Max Porter and Ka Bradley and originally written by Wioletta Greg in Polish (Portobello Books)
Mui Poopoksakul for her translation of The Sad Part Was, edited by Deborah Smith and originally written by Prabda Yoon in Thai (Tilted Axis Press)
Elisabeth Jaquette for her translation of The Queue, edited by Sal Robinson and Taylor Sperry and originally written by Basma Abdel Aziz in Arabic (Melville House)