Young Translators' Prize


This year's prize is for translation from German to English

Now in its fifth year, the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize aims to recognise the achievements of young translators at the start of their careers. The prize is open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 34, with no restriction on country of residence. It was launched in 2010 as part of Harvill Secker’s centenary celebrations, and is an annual prize, which focuses on a different language each year. This year’s chosen language is German, and the prize will centre on the short story ‘Der Hausfreund’ by German author Julia Franck.

Harvill Secker is delighted to be continuing its partnership with the British Centre for Literary Translation, and to announce a new partnership with the Goethe-Institut London. The winner will participate in the BCLT’s mentorship scheme, working alongside renowned translator Shaun Whiteside. The winning translator will also be invited to participate in Crossing Border festival in November 2014.

About Julia Franck

Julia Franck was born in Berlin in 1970. Her novel The Blind Side of the Heart won the German Book Prize and sold over a million copies in Germany alone. It was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Literary Prize, and was named one of the best books of the year by the Guardian and US magazine Kirkus Reviews. Back to Back is her second novel to be translated into English and was longlisted for the 2014 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. She lives in Berlin.

How to Enter

Please note the deadline for entries has passed. We’ll be announcing our winner on 4th October at 1.30pm at The Translation Duel! at the Cheltenham Literary Festival. Please check this page for details of our winner and how you can read the winning translation.

The winning translator will receive £1000 and a selection of Harvill Secker titles. The winner will also participate in the BCLT mentorship scheme and in Crossing Border festival

If you have any queries, please contact us at:

The Judges

Shaun Whiteside (translator)

Shaun WhitesideShaun Whiteside has translated over 50 books from German, French, Italian and Dutch, including novels by Amélie Nothomb, Wu Ming, Bernhard Schlink, Marcel Möring and Tiziano Scarpa and, with Jamie Lee Searle, 1913 by Florian Illies. His translations of Freud, Musil, Schnitzler and Nietzsche are published by Penguin Classics, and his translation of Magdalena the Sinner by Lilian Faschinger won the 1996 Schlegel-Tieck Prize. A former chair of the Translators Association, he sits on the editorial board of New Books in German, the Advisory Panel of the British Centre for Literary Translation and the PEN Writers in Translation Committee, and is on the board of CEATL, the European Council of Literary Translators’ Associations. He takes regular translation workshops for the London Review of Books and at Birkbeck College’s Translation Summer School, Use Your Language, Use Your English. (Photo: Jane Chilvers)

Sally-Ann Spencer (translator)

Sally-Ann Spencer is a translator, editor and literary curator. She recently returned from New Zealand, where she organized a year-long festival of translation events and translated authors including Juli Zeh. A former editor of New Books in German, she has served as a judge for the Schlegel-Tieck Prize and is an executive member of the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation. She is currently completing a PhD on German literature in translation and has published on the role of prizes in the circulation of translated fiction.



Ellie Steel (editor)

Ellie Steel is an editor at Harvill Secker. Her authors include Manuel Rivas, Enrique Vila-Matas, Karin Fossum, Geert Mak and Andrey Kurkov. Ellie is the coordinator of the annual Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize, and the editor of the ‘A View from This Bridge’ blog here.

Click here to find our more about previous competitions.

BCLT  goethe Crossing Border fest