The fourth Austrian Cultural Forum (ACF) Translation Competition, now a biennial event, was launched in May 2022. Once again there were two categories of entry: for professional literary translators (A) and for aspiring translators (B), i.e., those without a translation in print. The texts for translation were chosen from two works of contemporary Austrian literature. The category A translators were given an excerpt from Mareike Fallwickl’s Die Wut, die bleibt (‘The Rage That Remains’, Rowohlt, 2022), while category B were asked to tackle Daniel Wisser’s short story, ‘Silvia’, from his collection Die erfundene Frau (‘The Invented Woman’, Luchterhand, 2022).
Although the number of entries did not reach the great heights of 2020, when the constraints of lockdown led to thirty category A submissions and 120 in category B, this year we had twenty-eight in A and fifty-two in B. The jury of four came up with shortlists in each category from which the eventual winners were chosen. Our category A winner was Jozef van der Voort, who approached the tricky aspects of the text with intelligence and creativity, and produced a highly idiomatic translation overall. Also commended for their entries were Martha Turewicz and Sarah Rimmington. The category B competition was a close-run affair, with Lauren Harris very narrowly beating Esther Rathbone into second place. Lauren’s spirited translation of the short story was given even more brio by her entertaining reading of it at the prize-giving ceremony which was held on 16 November 2022 at the ACF, in the presence of the prize-winners and all four judges: as well as me, fellow translator Ruth Martin, the publisher Geoff Mulligan, and Tina Hartas, co-founder of TripFiction.
Jozef van der Voort’s translation is available to read on our website, and Lauren Harris’s is reprinted here. The next ACF Translation Competition is due to be held in 2024 and will be announced earlier that year.
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