Webinar: The positive impact of prizes on translation

Webinar: The positive impact of prizes on translation

September 3, 2020

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Literary prizes have the power to dramatically raise the profile of international writing, bringing new attention to foreign authors and translated works. But what impact do literary prizes have on translators, authors and publishers? How do they affect and incentivize the market for translated works? How do prizes help overcome barriers to getting works translated and published?

Join Samantha Schnee (Words Without Borders), Ghassan Fergiani (Darf Publishers) and Nancy Roberts (Translator) for a webinar to discuss the merits and opportunities for translation around literary prizes, focusing in particular on the interchange between Arabic and other languages, and on the issue of translation funding, chaired by award-winning translator Daniel Hahn.

The panel is hosted in partnership with the Sheikh Zayed Book Award Translation Fund.

About the Speakers

Ghassan Fergiani - Managing Director at Darf Publishers

Ghassan Fergiani is the managing director of Darf Publishers, a London based independent publisher with diversity and inclusion at the heart of its work that spans four decades, publishing books of different genres and diverse range of languages into English. Darf Publishers received a Sheikh Zayed translation grant for the translation of ​Hatless​, winner of the Children’s Literature Award in 2017, written by Lateefa Buti and translated into English by Nancy Roberts.

Nancy Roberts - Translator and academic

Nancy Roberts is a freelance Arabic-to-English translator of modern Arabic literature, current affairs, Christian-Muslim relations and Islamic thought and history. She was awarded the 2018 Sheikh Hamad Prize for Translation and International Understanding, and was commended for the 2008 Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize for Translation. She translated Sheikh Zayed Book Award-winning title ​Hatless​ by Lateefa Buti from Arabic to English, which was published by Darf Publishers. She is also a contributing editor of Banipal magazine.

Samantha Schnee - Founding Editor, Words without Borders

Samantha Schnee is the founding editor of Words Without Borders and currently serves as secretary of the American Literary Translators Association. She chaired PEN America’s Heim Translation Grants jury for the past three years and served on the jury of the EBRD Literature Prize in 2019. She is a trustee of English PEN, where she chaired the Writers in Translation committee, sitting on the selection panel for the PEN Translates grants from 2012-2017. Her translation of Carmen Boullosa’s ​The Book of Anna​, will be published by Coffee House Press next month.

Daniel Hahn - Former Director, British Centre for Literary Translation (Chair)

Writer, editor and translator, winner of the International Dublin Literary Award, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award, Hahn has been shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, among others. He is a past chair of the Society of Authors, and on the board of a number of organisations that work with literature and free speech, including Modern Poetry in Translation, English PEN and The Children's Bookshow and the Translators Association.

About the Sheikh Zayed Book Award

The Award does not only recognise major literary and cultural achievements, but also aims to boost the publishing industry.

The Sheikh Zayed Translation Fund was created to help produce more quality Arabic books that are translated, published and distributed outside the Arab World, with a focus on English, German and French languages. Funding is available for translation of all literary and children’s titles that have won the Sheikh Zayed Book Award.

For more details, please visit: ​www.zayedaward.ae/en/features/translation.fund.initiative.aspx