From Pushkin to Pelevin, Dostoevsky to Shishkin, Mayakovsky to Bykov - literature has always been Russia’s calling card. And writers have been its most important ambassadors! Their stories, their insights into human nature, their philosophical musings and debates continue to engage and inspire readers all over the world. And when speaking about the relationship between Britain and Russia, it is certainly the literary links that have been the strongest ties between the two countries.
It is no surprise then, that the only festival of Russian literature outside Russia was established in London! Launched in 2008, SLOVO festival celebrates the best in contemporary Russian fiction, explores the vibrant world of new Russian poetry and represents the breadth of Russian non-fiction. The festival brings the most acclaimed contemporary Russian authors to the UK to discuss and debate the most current literary and social issues with UK writers and readers. Now in its fourth year, the festival builds stronger cultural and intellectual links between Russia and Britain.
The Rossica Translation Prize is the only prize in the world awarded to a new English translation of a literary work written in Russian. Since 2005 the Rossica Translation Prize has shone a spotlight on Russian literature in translation and honoured the talent and dedication of the translators and publishers who give Russia an English voice. The value of the prize is £5,000, to be split between the translator and the publisher at the Judges’ discretion. It aims to raise the international profile of translators and the art of literary translation, as well as that of contemporary Russian literature. We accept new translations of any work of prose, poetry, drama, biography or history, including multi-author anthologies and short story collections.
The 2012 Rossica Prize's winner was John Elsworth for his translation of Andrei Bely’s Petersburg, while previous winners include Oliver Ready, Joanne Turnbull and Amanda Love Darragh. We invite publishers to submit books published in 2011, 2012 and 2013 for the next Rossica Prize, which will be awarded in 2014.
Passionate and talented translators are essential for the future health of Russian literature, so we are determined to unearth and nurture a new generation of translators to share the wealth of Russian literature around the world. The Rossica Young Translators Award (RYTA), set up in 2009 as the younger sister of the Rossica Prize, is designed to encourage, inspire and reward these young translators and bring to their attention some of the best of contemporary Russian prose. Previous winners and shortlisted translators have now established themselves as professional translators and editors.
The Prize now has a global reach, with over 180 entries last year from the UK, America, Russia and even further afield. The quantity and quality of these entries promise a bright future for translation from Russian and raise expectations of an even better competition this year. The deadline for entries for the 2013 Rossica Young Translators Prize is 10 March, and the winner will be announced in a special ceremony as part of the 4th SLOVO Russian Literature Festival.