ALTA First Translation Prize

ALTA First Translation Prize

The ALTA First Translation Prize, inaugurated in 2024, recognizes the work of emerging literary translators and their editors. This annual prize is open to all genres, and awards one debut literary translation from any other language into English published in the previous calendar year. Translators based anywhere in the world and translations published anywhere in the world are eligible. 

The winner will be recognized, alongside the other prizes administered by ALTA, at the Awards Ceremony held at the annual ALTA conference. They will receive a cash prize of $3,000, with $2,000 bestowed to the translator and $1,000 to the editor. 

This prize was initiated by Esther Allen, Susan Bernofsky, and Daniel Hahn, and is generously supported by Esther Allen, Susan Bernofsky, Geoff Brock, Karen Emmerich, Daniel Hahn, Corine Tachtiris, Padma Viswanathan, Natasha Wimmer, and other anonymous ALTA members. If you are interested in contributing to this prize, please contact Communications & Awards Manager Rachael Daum at

Eligibility for the ALTA First Translation Prize: 

  • Submissions may be made by translators OR publishers for this prize. Publishers are expected to have informed translators of their intent to submit to this award
  • Books must be the full-length debut literary translation of the translator (if translator has published other books or sorts of translation in the past, that is acceptable; this prize honors first book-length literary translations)
  • Books of all genres are accepted
  • The book must have been published anywhere in the world in English translation, from any other language, by a single translator based anywhere in the world
  • The book must have been published in the previous calendar year (for example, books published in 2023 are eligible for the 2024 awards cycle)

Please note: Self-published books are not eligible. Chapbooks are not counted as full-length publications for this prize. Co-translations are not eligible; if a translator has previously published a co-translated book, their debut solo translation is eligible for this prize. Translators may have published other shorter literary works previously (such as in journals or anthologies); this prize is to honor a translator’s first book-length work.

There will be no fee charged to submit to this prize. Submissions are accepted exclusively through our Submittable portal from mid-January through mid-March each year.

How to Submit:

  1. Complete the entry form online. 
  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. Please do not send hard copies of the book to ALTA directly. Books sent to ALTA will not be considered submitted for the award.

Submissions for the 2024 awards cycle opened January 16 and will close March 18, 2024.