EBRD Literature Prize at Hay-on-Wye Festival: Burhan Sönmez and Ümit Hussein

Following its successful launch, the EBRD Literature Prize will travel to the famous Hay Festival of Literature & Arts in Wales next week.

The Turkish author Burhan Sönmez and the translator Ümit Hussein – joint winners of the first EBRD Literature Prize for the novel Istanbul, Istanbul – will join the chair of judges Rosie Goldsmith and the publisher Elizabeth Briggs for an event at 1300 on Tuesday 29 May.

They will be discussing the importance of literature in translation and literary prizes in bringing new voices to international literature.

The EBRD Literature Prize was launched in 2017 by the EBRD in partnership with the British Council and London Book Fair (LBF). It champions the extraordinary richness, depth and variety of culture and history in the countries where the Bank invests. It was also created to underscore the importance of writers in reflecting the aspirations and challenges facing people across these regions.

Worth €20,000, the EBRD Literature Prize is divided between the winning author and translator, celebrating – and recognising – both equally. The EBRD Prize is an award for the year’s best work of literary fiction translated into English and originally written in any language of the EBRD languages. It also awards prizes to two runners-up.

The second round of submissions for the EBRD Literature has already been announced. The deadline for submissions is 1 November 2018. The award ceremony is scheduled for March 2019 at the EBRD headquarters in London.

See all information/announcements of the EBRD Literature Prize.

About the EBRD Literature Prize:

The Prize provides a unique opportunity to reflect the culture and creativity of almost 40 economies where the Bank invests, from Morocco to Mongolia, Estonia to Egypt.  The Prize is awarded to the best work of literary fiction translated from the original language into English and published by a UK publisher in the 18 months prior to 15 November 2018. Divided equally between author and translator, it champions the art of translation as well as the extraordinary richness, depth and variety of arts and history in the countries in the Bank’s region. The EBRD Literature Prize is a project of the Bank’s Community Initiative.

About the EBRD:

The EBRD was set up in 1991 after the fall of the Berlin Wall to meet the challenge of an extraordinary moment in Europe’s history: the collapse of communism.  It is a multilateral bank with almost 70 shareholders which promotes the development of the private sector and entrepreneurial initiatives in 38 economies across three continents.

About the 2018 EBRD Literature Prize judges:

Peter Frankopan is Professor of Global History at Oxford University. His most recent book, The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, was an international number 1 bestseller.

Gabriel Gbadamosi is a poet, playwright, essayist and broadcaster. He was a Judith E. Wilson Fellow for creative writing at Cambridge University. His London novel Vauxhall won the 2011 Tibor Jones Pageturner Prize.

Lucy Hannah is a writer and producer who founded Commonwealth Writers in 2011. She has worked for a range of organisations on communication for development projects, mostly in areas of conflict and post-conflict, including South Sudan, Chechnya and Afghanistan.

Rosie Goldsmith, chair of the judging panel, is an award-winning journalist specialising in arts and current affairs in the UK and abroad, and a champion of international literature. She is Founder and Director of the European Literature Network.

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