- EBRD’s annual Literature Prize opens for entries
- Competition extended to North American publishers for the first time
- Award celebrates new translated literature from countries where the Bank invests
- Prize money shared equally between author and translator
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is delighted to announce the launch of the EBRD Literature Prize 2024.
The Prize is awarded to a work of fiction originally published in a language of a country where the Bank invests, translated into English and published for the first time in the past year by a European (including UK) or – in a new development for 2024 – North American publisher.
Submissions are invited until 30 November 2023 and will be considered by an independent panel of judges, who will select a shortlist in March 2024, then three finalists. The eventual winner will be announced at an awards ceremony and reception at the Bank’s headquarters in London in June 2024.
Prize money of €20,000 will be awarded to the winning book, divided equally between author and translator. The two other finalists will receive prize money of €4,000, again divided equally between the authors and translators.
The judging panel for 2024 will be chaired by the award-winning writer, critic, cultural journalist and artistic director, Maya Jaggi. Dr Jaggi is a contributing art critic to FT Weekend and was a profile writer and fiction critic for the Guardian Review for a decade, interviewing hundreds of writers on five continents, including 15 Nobel laureates in literature. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2023 and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Open University for “extending the map of international writing”. Dr Jaggi is Critic at Large for Words Without Borders in New York. In 2022, she was Writer in Residence at Writers’ House of Georgia in Tbilisi.
Dr Jaggi will be joined by Philippe Sands, Professor of Public Understanding of Law at University College London, and Samuel and Judith Pisar Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Professor Sands’ book East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity won the 2016 Baillie Gifford Prize for non-fiction and the 2017 Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (France) and has been translated into over 30 languages.
The third judge is American author and academic, Maureen Freely. Professor Freely teaches on the writing programme at the University of Warwick and has translated widely from Turkish, including books by 2006 Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk. Her fourth novel set in Istanbul, My Blue Peninsula, has just been published. She is a former International Booker Prize judge.
The EBRD Literature Prize champions the literary richness of the Bank’s diverse regions of operation across three continents. It also celebrates the role of translators as “bridges” between cultures. Since it was first awarded in 2018, the Prize has helped introduce English-language readers to a broad range of literature from countries such as Albania, Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Morocco, the Slovak Republic, Türkiye, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
The 2023 Prize was awarded to The Lake by Bianca Bellová, translated from Czech into English by Alex Zucker and published by Parthian Books. The runners-up were Mister N by Najwa Barakat, first published in Lebanon, translated from Arabic by Luke Leafgren and published by And Other Stories, and The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk, translated from Polish by Jennifer Croft and published by Fitzcarraldo Editions.
Submissions for the EBRD Literature Prize 2024 may only be made for books translated into English for the first time and published between 15 November 2022 and 14 November 2023 by a European (including UK) or North American publisher with a European or North American ISBN.
Works must consist of literary fiction (including collections of short stories by a single author) originally written in any language, official or minority, of a country in which the Bank is currently investing, by an author who is, or has been, a citizen of an EBRD country of operation.
Works cannot be self-translated or self-published, and both the author and translator must be living at the time the book is submitted.
Entries sent to LiteraturePrize@ebrd.com should be accompanied by a statement giving the date of publication and a contact address and telephone number for the publisher. A brief description of the book and a plot summary should also be included. Entrants must submit six hard copies of each book, which will not be returned.