Kurt Beals has won the first ever German Book Office translation competition, giving him a $600 commission to translate the first 15 pages of Nora Bossong’s novel Gesellschaft mit beschraenkter Haftung into English.
The competition, which aimed to bring aspiring German language translators into contact with U.S. editors, asked contestants to translate a 700 word excerpt from Gesellschaft mit beschraenkter Haftung. Submissions were limited to translators who had no more than one translated book published in English and are US based.
The book's German publisher, Hanser Verlag, will send Beals's translation out to U.S. publishing house in the hopes of it getting acquired.
The first round of judging featured a panel of American editors - comprised of Jenna Johnson from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, John Siciliano from Penguin, and Random House’s Lexy Bloom - who narrowed down the nearly sixty submissions to a shortlist of nine.
A panel of three translators - Susan Bernofsky, Burton Pike and Ross Benjamin - then chose from that shortlist the winner and runner up.