ASF Translation Competition 2021

  • September 01, 2021
  • American Scandinavian Foundation - New York


Deadline September 1, 2021

New York, NY—The American-Scandinavian Foundation has announced the opening of its 41st annual Translation Competition for outstanding translations of poetry, fiction, drama, or literary prose written by a Nordic author born after 1900. Three prizes will be awarded this year: the Nadia Christensen Prize, which recognizes an outstanding translation of a literary text from a Nordic language into English and includes a $2,500 award; the Leif and Inger Sjöberg Prize, which recognizes distinguished effort by an individual whose literary translations from a Nordic language have not previously been published and includes a $2,000 award; and the Wigeland Prize, which recognizes the best translation by a resident of Norway and includes a $2,000 award. All three prize recipients will also have an excerpt of their translations published in Scandinavian Review (ASF’s illustrated journal) and will receive a commemorative bronze medallion.

The 2021 Translation Prize is open through Wednesday, September 1, 2021. To read guidelines and submit an application, please click here.

The 2020 Nadia Christensen Prize was awarded to Jennifer Russell and Sophia Hersi Smith for their co-translation of Alle Himlens Fugle (All the Birds in the Sky) by Danish author Rakel Haslund-Gjerrild (b. 1988). The jury found that Russell and Hersi Smith’s musical translation vividly evokes the strange beauty and tactility of the novel’s post-apocalyptic setting while also conveying the quiet longing of its observant young narrator with subtle sensitivity. They noted that this is “a translation that elegantly captures the flow and flavor of the original and which keeps the reader's attention from opening to finish.   Ms. Russell has an MA in Critical Theory & Creative Research from Pacific Northwest College of Art and Ms. Hersi Smith has an MA in Ethnography and Ms. Russell has an MA in Critical Theory & Creative Research from Pacific Northwest College of Art and Ms. Hersi Smith has an MA in Ethnography and Documentary Filmmaking from University College London. Both Ms. Russell and Ms. Hersi Smith are currently Copenhagen-based translators.

The American-Scandinavian Foundation is a publicly supported American nonprofit organization that promotes firsthand intellectual and creative exchange between the United States and the five Nordic countries.

Contact: Monica Hidalgo, Program Associate Email:

Entire News Release January 26, 2021

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