Debut of a Literary Translation Prize for Ukrainian Students

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Literary Translation Prize “48 & 1”

Coloured photo of students in a bomb shelter writing at the table

On 28 June 2024, the results of the Literary Translation Prize “48 & 1” were announced. This competition invites undergraduate and graduate students from Ukrainian higher education institutions to translate works by Ukrainian writers and poets into English. It is open to students who are in Ukraine during the time of the competition.

The debut of the Literary Translation Prize “48 & 1” took place at the Vynnychenko Central Ukrainian State University. The University became a co-organiser of this year’s competition along with the University of Melbourne (Dr. Maria Tumarkin and Dr. Olga Maxwell) and Sova Books, a publishing house in Australia (Svitlana Yakovenko). Thanks to the organisational efforts of university lecturers Larysa Yarova and Yuliia Vereshchak, it was possible to hold this event during the war in Ukraine. About 30 undergraduate and graduate students participated in the competition. They were offered to translate selected works of prose (Vasyl Gabor, Lviv) and poetry (Vasyl Levytskyi, Kropyvnytskyi). During the translation work, an air raid alert began, and the students had to finish their works in a bomb shelter.

The Story Behind…

The name “48 & 1” has symbolic significance. Among the Ukrainians who have perished in the current war are illustrious wordsmiths – writers, translators, and poets. Some were just beginning their creative journeys, others were already well-known, but all were nurturers of the Ukrainian language. When the competition’s name was being chosen, several media sources listed 48 names of the murdered Ukrainian authors and translators. Understanding that there could be more, and indeed there probably are more, the second part of the name includes “& 1” — a symbolic representation of an unknown author who, like these 48 artists, has joined the ranks of such distinguished figures as Maik Yohansen, Geo Shkurupiy, Vasyl Stus, Mykola Kulish, Liudmyla Starytska-Chernyakhivska, and many others who were so cruelly, cowardly, and fanatically destroyed by the Russian regime.

The Prize Winners

The results of the competition are impressive. Here are the winners of the competition:

  • 1st place – Maryna Shykhmatova
  • 2nd place – Daria Litvinchuk
  • 3rd place – Bohdan Budko, Oleksandra Stratulat, and Mykola Shevchenko
  • Special commendation – Serhiy Pidkhlibnyi, Angelina Litvinchuk, and Vasyl Verbytskyi

Furthermore, students whose translations made it to the shortlist will have the opportunity to participate in two workshops:

  • “Developing your voice and style in creative nonfiction” by Dr. Maria Tumarkin, Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne
  • “Spoken English for Different Contexts: Developing your Language Repertoire” by Dr. Olga Maxwell, Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne

The total prize money amounts to approximately US$850.00.

Coloured photo of five students holding Literary Prize Certificates

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The Prize honours the memory of the authors and translators murdered by the Russian invaders. It also aims to inspire a new generation of students to create, preserve, and disseminate Ukrainian culture worldwide.

We hope that other higher education institutions in Ukraine will be able to join the Prize next year. Look for an announcement at the beginning of next year on the News & Blog section of the Sova Books website.

Please also see:
Voices Silenced: Remembering the Lost Ukrainian Authors and Translators
Charting New Realms: Vasyl Gabor’s Literary Expedition From Lviv to the World
Gothic Elements of the Ukrainian Legend “The Living Grave”
Gothic Tales from Stalin’s Enemies in Ukraine
To the Author of “The Journey of the Learned Doctor Leonardo…”
Book Reviews of Our First Two Gothic Publications