Co-founded by Pacific Northwest book workers Justin Walls and Spencer Ruchti, the Cercador
Prize recognizes works of literature in translation as selected by a committee of independent
booksellers based across the United States. Ruchti will serve as the inaugural committee chair.
A novel approach to the landscape of literary awards, the Cercador Prize for Literature in
Translation will be awarded annually by a committee of five independent booksellers. During the
initial prize cycle, each committee member will be responsible for nominating two full-length
translations published in the U.S. between January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023. Publishers,
agents, authors, or translators may not submit titles for eligibility. Instead, committee members
rely on organic discovery, discussion, and recommendations to determine their selections.
The ten finalists for the Cercador Prize will be announced no later than October 15, 2023, with
one winner to be announced no later than November 15, 2023. The committee will award the
winning translator(s) a prize of $1,000. Translators based anywhere in the world are eligible for
“The Cercador Prize is about bolstering visibility for translated literature,” says Walls. “It’s also
about drawing an explicit connection between the work of independent booksellers and literary
translators whose contributions to our reading culture are often similarly obscured. Beyond
seeking out the best books currently being published in English-language translation, the
Cercador intends to serve as an act of collective curation across disciplines.”
The inaugural prize’s five committee members include Thu Doan of East Bay Booksellers
(Oakland, CA); Riley Rennhack of Deep Vellum Books (Dallas, TX); Javier Ramirez of Exile in
Bookville (Chicago, IL); Gary Lovely of Prologue Bookshop (Columbus, OH); and Ruchti of
Third Place Books (Seattle, WA).
Details about the prize can be found at https://www.cercadorprize.com/.
Justin Walls is coeditor of Du Mois Monthly, a translation-focused pick-of-the-month series
launched in 2019, and previously served on the 2020 Best Translated Book Award fiction jury.
Spencer Ruchti is the Author Events Manager for Third Place Books in Seattle. He has
previously worked for Tin House Books, Broadway Books in Portland, OR, and was the
Assistant Events Manager for Harvard Book Store. With Walls, he is the coeditor of Du Mois