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Harvill Secker Announces Winner Of 2013 Prize For Young Translators


Harvill Secker is delighted to announce Lucy Greaves as the winner of the 2013 Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize. Lucy was awarded her prize at The Times Cheltenham Literary Festival on 8th October 2013, following a special translation duel event between judges Margaret Jull Costa and Ángel Gurría-Quintana.

As part of her prize Lucy receives £1,000, a selection of Harvill Secker titles, and will participate in the British Centre for Literary Translation’s 6-month mentorship scheme with judge and translator Margaret Jull Costa, and in The Chronicles programme which brings together young authors and young translators at Crossing Border festival. Lucy has lived and worked in Colombia, Peru, Chile and Switzerland, and holds an MA in Literary Translation from the University of East Anglia. She works as a freelance translator from Spanish, Portuguese and French, and she is based in Bristol, UK.

Receiving her award from Harvill Secker editor Ellie Steel, Lucy said: ‘I’m shocked and delighted to have been awarded the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize. This was my first ever piece of literary translation from Portuguese, and I never imagined I’d win! I feel very fortunate to have this incredible opportunity to develop as a translator and I’m really looking forward to working with Margaret Jull Costa on the BCLT mentorship scheme.’

Now in its fourth year, the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize aims to recognise and celebrate the achievements of young translators at the start of their careers. The prize is open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 34, with no restriction on country of residence. It was launched in 2010 as part of Harvill Secker’s centenary celebrations, and is an annual prize, which focuses on a different language each year. This year’s chosen language is Portuguese, and entrants were asked to translate into English ‘O sucesso’, a short story by the Brazilian author Adriana Lisboa. Lucy’s winning translation is published online by Granta: click here to read it.
The judges commented: ‘The field was very strong, and we were impressed by the imagination applied by all our entrants, and the variety of interesting ways in which they dealt with the mood and humour of the piece. Adriana’s wonderful story appears simple, but it presents various challenges which must be handled deftly by a translator. We chose Lucy’s translation for its elegant sentences and her perceptive capturing of the story’s youthful energy and coming-of-age spirit.’

Our runner-up was Annie McDermott, and there were a total of 92 entries from 9 countries: Brazil, Bulgaria, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, UK and USA.

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