June 6, 2011
The Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize: Arabic to English

The Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize: Arabic to English

The Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize was launched in 2010 as part of Harvill Secker’s centenary celebrations. It is an annual prize, which focuses on a different language each year, with the aim of recognising the achievements of young translators at the start of their careers.
For the 2011 prize Harvill Secker has teamed up with Foyles, and the prize is kindly supported by Banipal. This year’s chosen language is Arabic, and the prize will centre on the short story ‘Layl Qouti’ by Mansoura Ez Eldin (for more on this prize and on translating from Arabic to English, read Al Masr al yom’s article).

Deadline for entries: Friday 29th July 2011
You must be between 18 and 34 years of age on the submission deadline. For further details, see the form on the prize‘s website.


Anthony Calderbank (translator)
Anthony Calderbank has been a translator of Arabic literature since the early nineties. He has translated a number of Egyptian novels including Rhadopis of Nubia by Najib Mahfouz, Zaat by Sonallah Ibrahim, and The Tent, Blue Aubergine and Gazelle Tracks by Miral Al-Tahawy, and two novels by Saudi author Yousef Al-Mohaimeed, Wolves of the Crescent Moon and Munira’s Bottle.

He has spoken on translation and translation theory at international conferences and cultural gatherings and has conducted translation workshops for the British Council and the Emirates Airline International Festival of Literature. His translation of Yousef Al-Mohaimeed’s novel Wolves of the Crescent Moon was shortlisted for the 2010 Jan Michalski Prize. He has lived in the Middle East for many years and is currently based in Riyadh Saudi Arabia where he is Deputy Director of the British Council.

Maya Jaggi (journalist)
Maya Jaggi is an award-winning cultural journalist and an influential critic on international literature. Her arts profiles in the Guardian Review over a decade are credited with enhancing understanding of world writers, from Günter Grass, Umberto Eco and Jose Saramago to Chinua Achebe, Toni Morrison and Mario Vargas Llosa – as well as British figures such as Jeanette Winterson and Sir Tom Stoppard. The late critic Professor Edward Said described her interview with him as ‘in a class of its own’.

She has interviewed 12 Nobel prizewinners in literature – as well as Arab writers including Mahmoud Darwish, Hanan al-Shaykh, Elias Khoury, Alaa al-Aswany, Tahar Ben Jelloun and Amin Maalouf. She has been a judge of literary awards including the Orange prize, the David Cohen, the Caine, the Commonwealth Writers prize and the Saif Ghobash-Banipal prize for Arabic literary translation.

Penelope Lively (author)
Penelope Lively was born in Cairo, Egypt and spent her childhood there. She came to England at the age of twelve, in 1945, and went to boarding school in Sussex. She subsequently read Modern History at St. Anne’s College, Oxford. In 1957 she married Jack Lively (who died in 1998). They had two children, Josephine and Adam. Jack Lively’s academic career took the family from Swansea to Sussex and Oxford, and eventually to Warwick University, where he was Professor of Politics. Penelope Lively now has six grandchildren and lives in London.

Briony Everroad (editor)
Briony Everroad is an editor at Harvill Secker, where she publishes authors Jo Nesbø, Karin Fossum, and Andrey Kurkov, among others. She studied English literature at University College London and in 2002 began working at Random House. Always keen to explore new languages, she spent a term studying French at the Sorbonne in 2006 and is currently learning Spanish. In 2010 she founded the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize.