Publishers! Are you eligible to apply for the EBRD Literature Prize?

| by Daisy Leitch

British Council is pleased to be supporting an exciting new prize to recognise and promote the importance of literature in translation. Read on to find out how you can apply for the first EBRD Literature Prize.


The EBRD Literature Prize is meant to recognise and promote the extraordinary richness, depth and variety of culture and history in the countries in which the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development invests. The Prize sets out to underscore the importance of the writer in reflecting the aspirations and challenges facing people across this varied region. No less important, the Prize is meant to acknowledge the talent and vital role played by the translator in making the stories from these countries accessible to the English-speaking public.

The Prize

The EBRD Literature Prize will acknowledge a translated work of literary fiction written originally in any language from an EBRD country of operations and published by a UK publisher. The first prize of €20,000 will be equally divided between the winning author and translator. Two runners-up and their translators will receive a prize of €1,000 each. All three finalists and their translators will be invited to London to participate in an award ceremony and discussion at EBRD headquarters in April 2018. 


The British Council is working with the EBRD in partnership in organising the competition and award ceremony at the Bank in the spring of 2018.

Judging Panel has been selected and will announce a shortlist of five books in early 2018 before publicising the names of the three finalists. All three finalists and their translators will be invited to London to participate in an awards ceremony and discussion at the EBRD Headquarters in April 2018 and an event at The London Book Fair.

Four judges have been selected:

    • Rosie Goldsmith (Chair of the Judging Panel): is an award-winning journalist specializing in arts and foreign affairs. In twenty years at the BBC, she travelled the world and presented several flagship programmes. Rosie is a linguist and has lived in Europe, Africa and the USA. Today she combines journalism with chairing and curating literary events and festivals for leading cultural organisations.  Known as a champion of international literature, translation and language learning, she promotes them whenever she can. She is Founder and Director of the European Literature Network
    • Peter Frankopan: Professor of Global History at Oxford University. His most recent book is The Silk Roads: A New History of the World.
    • Gabriel Gbadamosi is a poet, playwright, essayist and broadcaster. He was AHRC Creative and Performing Arts Fellow at the Pinter Centre, Goldsmiths, a Judith E. Wilson Fellow for Creative Writing at Cambridge University and Royal Literary Fund Fellow. His London novel Vauxhall (2013) won the Tibor Jones Pageturner Prize.
    • Lucy Hannah: is a writer, producer and digital content creator. She works with writers and dramatists in countries such as, Afghanistan, Yemen, Sudan and Chechnya. In 2011, she founded and established Commonwealth Writers, which works across art forms to bring transformative stories to global audiences.


Eligibility Criteria for the EBRD Literature Prize

Works of literature for consideration must consist of literary fiction written originally in any language, whether official or minority, from an EBRD country of operations and translated into English.  The works may only be submitted by UK-based publishers with a UK ISBN.  Works may not be self-translated or self-published. The works must have been published in the UK in translation for the first time between 1 October 2016 and 30 September 2017. 

  1. The works must not be self-translated and/or self-published.
  2. Any individual publisher cannot submit more than one book per EBRD country of operations.
  3. The author and the translator of the work must be living at the time it is submitted. 
  4. Entries should be accompanied by a statement giving the date of publication, a contact address and telephone number of the publisher.  The following must also be included:
  • A brief description of the book and plot summary
  • Biographic details of the author and translator
  • A brief statement as to why the book merits consideration
  1. Five copies of each work must be submitted, which will not be returned.
  2. The publisher shall agree to sell any work short-listed for the prize at a discount of 50% of the recommended retail price to EBRD staff. 
  3. If shortlisted, the author must agree to come to London for the award ceremony

Please note that the deadline for submission to the competition is 31 October 2017

Full details are available via the EBRD.

Fill in UK publisher’s submission form for the competition on the EBRD website



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