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TUESDAY, MAY 17 2016, 07:30 PM - 09:00 PM

In her groundbreaking book "Why translation Matters" the renowned translator Edith Grossman refers to the process of translating as a series of creative decisions by the translator, who, acting as a writer, "transmutes" literary texts into a second language. 

What does this mean both for the original work and the translation? How much of a "composer" does a translator have to be? And is it still true that only three percent of all published literature in the US is literature translated from foreign languages?

Join this high-level international panel of publishers, experts, and translators for an exciting evening on translation issues where we will be launching this year's call for the ACFNY Translation Prize and also introduce the 2016 Diversity report. The panel will moderated by acclaimed critic and translator Liesl Schillinger.

Tess Lewis, Rüdiger Wischenbart, Ross Ufberg, and Michael Orthofer

The ACFNY Translation Prize invites translators to submit outstanding sample translations of contemporary Austrian literature into English. Previous recipients of the $5,000 award include Tess Lewis (2015), Damion Searls (2011), David Dollenmayer (2010), as well as Jean M Snook, Uljana Wolf, and Christian Hawkey (2009). Members of the 2016/2017 jury are Tess Lewis, Fatima Naqvi, Daniela Strigl, Rüdiger Wischenbart, Michael Wise and Christian J. Ebner.

The Prize will be awarded for outstanding translations of contemporary Austrian literature (both poetry and prose). Selected texts have to be published in the original German by a living author. A sample translation (10 pages/ approx. 4000 words of both the English translation and the original) must be submitted no later than October 10, 2016.

The successful candidate will be informed by the end of 2016 after which date she/he will be invited to submit a full translation by mid-2017.

Applicants need to demonstrate a credible effort towards a successful publication of their complete work in English by the end of 2017. A formal award ceremony at the ACFNY's New York City landmark building will take place in 2017.

Applications including a cover letter, bio, records illustrating the translator's previous work as well as the proposed sample texts should be submitted to translation@acfny.org by 10 October 2016.

For more information about the prize and the application procedure, please visit: www.acfny.org/about/acf-translation-prize

Liesl Schillinger is a New York–based critic, translator, and moderator. She grew up in Midwestern college towns, studied comparative literature at Yale, worked at The New Yorker for more than a decade and became a regular critic for The New York Times Book Review in 2004. Her articles and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Vogue, Foreign Policy, The London Independent on Sunday, and many other publications. She translates fiction and non-fiction from German, French and Italian; recent novels translated include "Every Day, Every Hour," by Natasa Dragnic (Viking), and "The Lady of the Camellias," by Alexandre Dumas, fils (Penguin Classics). She is the author of the book Wordbirds, an illustrated lexicon of necessary neologisms for the 21st Century (Simon & Schuster). 

Tess Lewis’s translations from French and German include works by Peter Handke, Anselm Kiefer, Philippe Jaccottet, and Jean-Luc Benoziglio. She has been awarded translation grants from PEN USA and PEN UK, an NEA Translation Fellowship, a Max Geilinger Grant, the ACFNY Translation Prize for her translation of the novel Angel of Oblivion by the Austrian writer Maja Haderlap, and most recently a Guggenheim Fellowship to translate the Swiss writer, Ludwig Hohl.  She also serves as an Advisory Editor for The Hudson Review. Her essays and reviews have appeared a number of journals and newspapers including The New Criterion, The Hudson Review, World Literature Today, The Wall Street Journal, The American Scholar, and Bookforum. In 2014 and 2015, Ms. Lewis curated Festival Neue Literature, New York City’s premiere annual festival of German language literature in English.

Michael Orthofer is the founder of the Complete Review (www.complete-review.com) and its Literary Saloon blog, where he has been reviewing books and expounding on the international literary scene since 1999. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle, and has served as a judge for the annual Best Translated Book Award as well as the Austrian Cultural Forum’s ACF Translation Prize. His most recent book is The Complete Review Guide to Contemporary World Fiction (Columbia University Press, 2016).

Ross Ufberg is cofounder of New Vessel Press, which he started with Michael Wise as a publishing house specializing in literature in translation. Ufberg is a writer and translator, working from Russian and Polish.

Rüdiger Wischenbart, born in 1956 in Graz, Austria, is the founder of “Content and Consulting” (since 2005). He directs professional conferences and (co-) authors several reports on global publishing markets, notably the “Global eBook” report, the “Global Publishing Markets” survey for the International Publishers Association (IPA), and the “Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry”, as well as the "Global Market Forum“ at BookExpo America and Publishers‘ Forum in Berlin. 

The Diversity Report 2016 (see www.wischenbart.com/diversity ) will explore how works of literary fiction are being translated, and commercialized across Europe. Building on earlier Diversity Reports in 2008, 2009 and 2010, it will at its core document translations of a sample of 250 authors of most diverse backgrounds in a dozen European markets and languages. The survey will look at which works have been successful at traveling through the required professional networks of gatekeepers (e.g. agents, publishers, media, award juries), and finally were picked up by both corporate and independent publishers, and in the end well received by readers.

The Diversity Report is not an academic bibliography, but a market survey tracking how highly diverse literary authors, and their books, are currently finding audiences in a wide specter of countries and languages. It is published by Verein für kulturelle Transfers (www.culturaltransfers.org) and its authors include Miha Kovac, Rüdiger Wischenbart, Yana Genova, Julia Coufal and Jennifer Krenn.