The Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation & Multilingual Texts

View the Current Winners & Finalists

Gabriel “Gabo” Garcia Marquez (Image used with permission from the Dutch National Archives and Spaarnestad Photo)

About the Prize

Lunch Ticket is honored to host The Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation & Multilingual Texts. The Gabo Prize is funded by writers, translators, and Antioch University Los Angeles MFA Alumni Allie Marini and Jennifer McCharen, who launched the prize to support the work of peer translators.

Literary translation is crucial to writers of all cultures. Without a translator, Cervantes’s Don Quixote would never have been read by William Faulkner. Faulkner’s work, in turn, was translated into Spanish and influenced the work of Gabriel García Márquez, whose work has been translated into over a hundred languages, influencing authors far and wide. For that reason, we have named this prize to honor “Gabo”—Gabriel García Márquez—who told us:

“Before reaching the final line, however, he had already understood that he would never leave that room, for it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth.”

― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
(Translated by Gregory Rabassa)

Without literary translation, we are all separate races and cultures, condemned to live out one hundred years of solitude. Our parchments would never be deciphered, and our stories would be unrepeatable forever more. But with translation, we do not have to spend that time alone. Through the voices and stories of those far removed from us, but human just the same as us—we earn our second opportunity on this earth.

How to Submit

Translators and authors of multilingual texts are encouraged to submit their work for The Gabo Prize.

The winner, selected by a guest judge, will receive $200, and the winning piece will be published alongside two semi-finalists in the upcoming issue of Lunch Ticket. The Gabo Prize is awarded twice each year.

To submit, please click on the button called “Submit to Lunch Ticket” above, and choose the category called “The Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation & Multilingual Texts.”

Please indicate whether your translation falls under poetry or prose, and refer to standard Lunch Ticket guidelines for work submitted blind and in our preferred format. Please include the original work along with your translation. Original, bilingual work qualifies for the Gabo Prize: however if this describes your work, please indicate this clearly in your cover letter.

The reading period for the prize is the month of February for the issue that publishes in June, and the month of August for the issue that publishes in December. Please note that previously published work will not be accepted.

All submissions for the award will be considered for publication in other sections of Lunch Ticket.

Note on Translation Rights

Your submission should include the original work along with your translation.

We also require a statement that grants us permission to publish both the original work and the translation online, and that certifies that you have received permission from the original rights holder (either the publisher or the author, as applicable) to grant us such rights.

Code of Ethics

The Gabo Prize is dedicated to upholding the Council of Literary Magazines & Presses code of ethics, defined as such:

CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines—defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.

Additionally: friends, family, and associates of the judges are not eligible for consideration for the award.