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13 Awards in India for Translations

Introduction to Translations

The world of literature is extremely vast. Every country, language, and culture has its own literature. Each of these comes with its own genres, its own brilliant writers, and its own insights. This is why translations are so important.

The importance of translators and their work can sometimes be underestimated. As it is, they provide bridges to different worldviews and, indeed, worlds. They can give any work a larger audience, and give that audience a different perspective.

About Awards in India for Translations

There are awards in India and abroad, that honour translators. Winning these awards generally includes prize money. It also brings the attention of publishers and readers, not only to the translator’s work but the literature that they represent. To make it easier to learn about these awards in India, we compiled them into a list!

If you are a self-published author, you can check our list of awards in India for self-published authors.

How to submit your work/s to awards in India for translations?

Most of these awards require the publisher to submit the works. Authors cannot directly submit their words. However, a few of them do accept direct submissions. Do check out the submission guidelines on their individual websites to know the respective process for each award in India for translated literature.

Why should you submit your work/s to awards in India for transaltions?

In order to understand why these awards are so important, however, it is also crucial to understand what they can mean for an author. 

  • To start with, most awards come with a monetary prize. As anyone who has tried to make a living out of writing knows, it is not a financially secure profession. Especially for authors who are not well known, finances can be a struggle. Winning an award with a monetary prize offers immediate income. 

  • Apart from that, awards generally generate a certain amount of publicity. This helps in selling more copies of the work, and in boosting the author’s income. In the industry, an author’s branding and name are of utmost importance. Awards are greatly beneficial to both of these and have a significant impact not just on income, but on the level of fame. There have been instances where winning a prestigious award has resulted in overnight fame for authors.

  • Apart from commercial interests, however, awards have another crucial function. They boost the confidence of a writer enormously. They represent an acknowledgment that can have a profound positive effect on the writers. 

If you are a translator who is just starting their journey and looking to get published, do check out our post on 22 Publishers of Translations in India.

List of Awards in India for Translations

JCB Prize for Literature

The JCB prize for literature is one of the most prestigious Indian awards for literature. It has become a platform for some of the best contemporary Indian writing.

The prize is not for short stories or fiction. The work of fiction being entered must be over twenty-five thousand words. For complete guidelines, refer to the link below.

  • Remuneration: Shortlisted authors receive 1 Lakh, and their translators receive Rs. 50,000. The winning author wins
  • Previous winners: In 2018, the winner was ‘Jasmine Days’ by Benyamin, translated from Malayalam by Shahnaz Habib. 
  • Category: Indian

Vani Foundation Distinguished Translator Award JLF

This prize is awarded by Vani Prakashan and Teamworks. This award favours translators who have produced a significant body of work. This generally means translators who have already enjoyed a long career. 

Translators are nominated.

  • Remuneration: One lakh rupees.
  • Previous winners: Rakshanda Jalil won a distinguished translator award for her translations from Urdu. 
  • Category: Indian
  • Link : N.A.

New India Foundation Translation Fellowship

The New India Foundation is a Bangalore-based group. They offer a translation fellowship. This aims to promote quality translations of non-fiction work in Indian languages.

Applications open in August, and all submissions must be made before December. The foundation sends out an open call in August every year.

  • Remuneration: Each fellow receives a grant of INR Six lakh.
  • Previous winners: Rahul Sarwate won the fellowship to translate Sharad Patil’s Marxvad: Phule Ambedkarvaad from Marathi 
  • Category: Indian
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Sahitya Akademi Award for Translation

The Sahitya Akademi prize is one of the most prestigious literary prizes in India. The Akademi recognizes not just original writing, but also translations. The Sahitya Akademi Award for Translation was instituted in 1989.

The translation submitted must be a full and unabridged translation. Find the full eligibility criteria by clicking on the link below.

  • Remuneration: The prize for translation is INR 50,000
  • Previous winners:  Aniruddhan Vasudevan won in 2016 for ‘One Part Woman’ a Tamil novel by Perumal Murugan.
  • Category: Indian

National Translation Awards

The National Translation Award (NTA) is an American award for literary translation. It recognizes translated book-length pieces of work from any language into English. It is hosted by the American Literary Translators Association. It has been open for translators around the world since 2019. Only publishers can submit works for consideration for this award.

  • Remuneration: No financial remuneration
  • Previous winners: Sinan Antoon won in 2012 for his translation of Mahmoud Darwish’s In the Presence of Absence from Arabic
  • Category: International

If you are a novelist, you can also check the awards in India for literary works.

PEN America Translation Awards

PEN America is a well-known foundation in literary circles.  It has three separate awards reserved for translators. These are-

the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, PEN Translation Prize, and PEN/Ralph Manheim Award for Translation. While the latter can only be won by PEN America members, the first two are open to translators across the world.

  • Remuneration: The PEN Award for Poetry in Translation and the PEN Translation Prize offer $3000 to winners.
  • Previous winners: Allison Markin Powell won in 2020 for translating The Ten Loves of Nishino by Hiromi Kawakami, from Japanese. 
  • Category: International

Crossword Book Awards

Crossword Book Awards are hosted every year and honour different professions in the industry. There is a dedicated award for translated fiction from Indian languages.

  • Remuneration: N.A.
  • Previous winners: Reema Anand and Meenakshi Swami won in 2005, for  The Heart Has Its Reasons, written by Krishna Sobti
  • Category: Indian
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Willis Barnstone Translation Prize

The Willis Barnstone Translation prize is an initiative by the University of Evansville. It is offered for the translation of a poem into any language to English. There is a submission fee of ten dollars for the first poem and five dollars for subsequent ones. The final judge is the poet Willis Barnstone.

  • Remuneration: $1000
  • Previous winners: Robert Schechter and Edward Tick were the 2019 winners
  • Category: International

Dublin Literary Award

The Dublin Literary Award is a unique award for books written in or translated into English. The nominations are submitted by libraries in major cities all around the world. This also means world literature from different countries gets an international platform.

  • Remuneration: The winning writer gets 75000 pounds, while the translator gets 25000 pounds.
  • Previous winners: The Art of Losing, written by Alice Zeniter and translated by Frank Wynne, won in 2022.
  • Category: International

International Booker Prize

The International Booker Prize is one of the most illustrious awards for writers and translators in the world.

  • Remuneration: If the winning work is translated the $50,000 prize money is divided equally between the writer and the translator. Apart from this, the shortlisted authors and translators receive $2500 each.
  • Previous winners: Daisy Rockwell and Geetanjali Shree won the 2022 International Booker Prize for Tomb of Sand
  • Category: International

If you are a short story writer and are looking for contests and awards to submit your short stories, you can check out 15 Contests and Awards for Short Stories in India

John Dryden Translation Competition

The John Dryden Translation Competition is sponsored by the British Comparative Literature Association. It offers prizes to the top three candidates. It is for any unpublished literary translation.

  • Remuneration: First Prize- 350 pounds, Second Prize- 200 pounds, Third Prize, 100 pounds.
  • Previous winners: Ailsa Wood Azzaro won the 2021 competition for her translation of The Beatrice Monologues from Stefano Benni’s original Italian. 
  • Category: International

The Hindu Prize 

Instituted in 2010, The Hindu Prize for Literature is one of India’s best-known literary prizes. Originally only for Indian writing in English, it now recognizes translated work as well. 

  • Remuneration: The writer and translator equally divide the prize money of Rs 500000
  • Previous winners: Interrogating my Chandal Life: An Autobiography of a Dalit written by Manoranjan Byapari and translated by Sipra Mukherjee. It won the Hindu Prize in 2018. 
  • Category: Indian

Conclusion

These are some of the awards that recognize translators and translated works. Submission guidelines are available in greater detail on the respective websites. Internationally as well as within the country, there is a growing recognition of translated work. All the very best in your translating endeavours, and we hope to see your name on a shortlist soon!

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