The National Translation Award is awarded annually in poetry and in prose to literary translators who have made an outstanding contribution to literature in English by masterfully recreating the artistic force of a book of consummate quality. Established in 1998, the NTA is the only prize for a work of literary translation into English to include an evaluation of the source language text. 2015 was the first year in which the NTA was awarded separately in poetry and prose.
Recent winners include Richard Wilbur (2008), Norman Shapiro (2009), Alex Zucker (2010), Lisa Rose Bradford (2011), Sinan Antoon (2012), Phillip Boehm (2013), Eugene Ostashevsky and Matvei Yankelevich (2014), Pierre Joris (2015 Poetry), William Hutchins (2015 Prose), Hilary Kaplan (2016 Poetry), Elizabeth Harris (2016 Prose), Daniel Borzutzky (2017 Poetry), Esther Allen (2017 Prose), Katrine Øgaard Jensen (2018 Poetry), Charlotte Mandell (2018 Prose), Bill Johnston (2019 Poetry), and Karen Emmerich (2019 Prose). You can find the full list of winners and judges here.
The winning translators and books are featured at the annual conference of the American Literary Translators Association.
Eligibility & Submissions
Submissions are accepted beginning in January each year. The deadline for nominating books published in 2019 was May 4, 2020.
Publishers are invited to submit translated works of poetry or prose published in the previous calendar year. Hybrid works and drama are welcome, and may be submitted to either category as determined appropriate by the publisher.
- ALTA only accepts submissions from publishers for this award
- Book must be translated from any language into English
- Must be a book-length work of literature (poetry, fiction, drama, literary nonfiction, graphic novels, and hybrid works are accepted)
- Must have been published in English translation anywhere in the world in the previous calendar year by a single translator or by a team of up to (but not exceeding) four collaborative translators
For books chosen by the judges as finalists, publishers will be asked to provide the original-language text; any finalist for which no original-language text is provided will be excluded from further consideration.
The NTA is governed by the policies and procedures set forth by the board of ALTA.
How to Submit:
1. Complete the entry form online (now closed), and pay submission fee ($30 per entry for publishers with 10 or fewer titles a year, $50 per entry for publishers with more than 10 titles a year).
2. Send hard copies of the book(s) submitted to the judges requesting them. Upon completion of the submission, publishers will receive instructions for mailing print copies of submitted titles to those judges who request them. The postmark deadline for mailing hard copies is May 4, 2020, but due to the situation around COVID-19 we understand that many publishers are utilizing a remote work model at present. If it is possible to send physical copies to our judges by the postmark deadline publishers are encouraged to do so; if not, as soon after as is possible will be acceptable as well. No publisher will penalized for not being able to send physical copies in 2020. Please do not send hard copies of the book to ALTA directly. Books sent to ALTA will not be considered submitted for the award.
3. If the book is selected to be on the longlist, ALTA will contact the publisher to request a copy of the original language text for review by our expert readers.