header login

PEN Translation Prize ($3,000)

The $3,000 PEN Translation Prize invites submissions of book-length translations from any language into English published during the current calendar year. 

Past winners: Archibald Colquhoun, Ralph Manheim, Joseph Barnes, Geoffrey Skelton and Adrian Mitchell, Harriet de Onis, Vladimir Markov and Merrill Sparks, W.S. Merwin, Sidney Alexander, Max Hayward, Clara and Richard Winston, J.P. McCullough, Hardie St. Martin and Leonard Mades, Helen R. Lane, Richard Howard, Gregory Rabassa, Adrienne Foulke, Charles Wright, Charles Simic, John E. Woods, Hiroaki sato and Burton Watson, Richard Wilbur, William Weaver, Helen R. Lane, Seamus Heaney, Barbara Bray, Dennis Tedlock, John E. Woods, Madeline Levine and Francine Prose, Matthew Ward, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, David Rosenberg, Thomas Hoisington, Bill Zavatsky and Zack Rogow, Burton Watson, Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh, Arnold Pomerans, Peter Constantine, Michael Hofmann, Richard Sieberth, Tiina Nunnally, R.W. Flint, Margaret Sayers Peden, Tim Wilkinson, Philip Gabriel, Sandra Smith, Margaret Jull Costa, Natasha Wimmer, Michael Henry Heim, Ibrahim Muhawi, Bill Johnston, Donald O. White, Joanne Turnbull and Nikolai Formozov, and Denise Newman.

Eligibility and Submissions for the 2016 Awards

Submissions closed on August 15, 2015. This award will be offered again during the 2017 PEN Awards cycle, for which submissions will open in mid-2016.

Who is eligible

  • PEN will only accept submissions from publishers or literary agents.
  • Authors may not submit their own book for this award.
  • Eligible titles must be original book-length literary and translations published between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2015, by a U.S. trade publisher.
  • Poetry is not accepted; to submit a work of poetry in translation, please see the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.
  • Self-published books and reprints are not eligible.
  • Retranslations are not eligible, unless the work can be said to provide a significant revision of the original translation.
  • Although all eligible books must have been published in the United States, translators may be of any nationality; U.S. residency or citizenship is not required.
  • There are no restrictions on the subject matter of translated works, although eligible titles should be of a literary character; technical, scientific, or bibliographical translations will not be considered.
  • Books with more than two translators are not eligible. 

If you submit a book for this award, you may not submit it for any additional PEN American Center awards. Please note that the PEN/Faulkner and PEN/Hemingway Awards are not considered PEN American Center awards.

How to apply

1. Please download the award's Declaration of Eligibility here. Complete all fields and have a company executive sign in order to confirm the book's eligibility. If eligible, please mail this form along with one copy of the book to PEN's office (see step 3).

2. Complete the awards online submission form. Each submission is $50.* If you would like to pay by check, please enter CHECK in the coupon code field at checkout. Checks should be made out to PEN American Center. Be sure to print your receipt. Please also submit a verified email address on the submission form; your order cannot be processed without an email address, as this info will be used to later contact you regarding the shipments of your submission. Please note that submission fees are not refundable.

3. Mail one copy of the candidate's book to the address below during the open submission period. Please note that we also accept galleys.

PEN Translation Prize
PEN American Center
588 Broadway, Suite 303 
New York, NY 10012

4. Once the submitted book is received and reviewed for eligibility by PEN, you will be contacted by [email protected] by the end of the year and asked to ship one copy of the book to each of our three awards judges. Please add [email protected] to your safe sender list.

* Submission fees may be waived for publishers whose annual net sales are less than $4 million. In order to have your fees waived, please have a company official write a letter on company letterhead stating that your press's annual net sales are less than $4 million. Please send this letter as an attachment (.doc or .pdf) to [email protected]. Once received, you will be provided with a coupon code to use at checkout in order to have your submission fees waived. One fee waiver may be used for all 2016 PEN Awards; you do not need to submit a separate fee waiver for each award.