Announcing the Cercador Prize for Literature in Translation

According to Shelf Awareness, Spencer Ruchti and Justin Walls are launching the Cercador Prize for Literature in Translation, which will be the only literary prize for translation led entirely by a committee of independent booksellers. The winning translator will receive a prize of $1,000, an amount the group hopes to expand in the future.

Quoting from the Cercador Prize website:

"Now in its inaugural year, the Cercador Prize recognizes works of literature in translation as selected by a commitee of independent booksellers based across the United States. Situated within an ever-narrowing literary landscape, the Cercador committee relentlessly pursues the promise of a more abundant, expansive future -- for booksellers, translators, and readers alike -- somewhere on the horizon."

The prize will be awarded annually by a committee of five independent booksellers. This year's committee members are Thu Doan of East Bay Booksellers, Oakland, CA; Riley Rennhack of Deep Vellum Books, Dallas, TX; Javier Ramirez of Exile in Bookville, Chicago, IL; Gary Lovely of Prologue Bookshop, Columbus, OH; and Ruchti, who is author events manager of Third Place Books, Seattle, WA, who will serve as the committee chair.

There is no formal submissions process for this prize, buteach committee member will be responsible for nominating two full-length translations published in the U.S. during 2023.The 10 finalists for the first Cercador Prize will be announced no later than October 15, with one winner to be announced no later than November 15.

"The Cercador Prize is about bolstering visibility for translated literature," said Walls, who is co-editor with Ruchti of Du Mois Monthly, a translation-focused pick-of-the-month reading series launched in 2019, and previously served on the 2020 Best Translated Book Award fiction jury. "It's also about drawing an explicit connection between the work of independent booksellers and literary translators whose contributions to our reading culture are often similarly obscured. Beyond seeking out the best books currently being published in English-language translation, the Cercador intends to serve as an act of collective curation across disciplines."