Since 1968, the Mildred L. Batchelder Award has garlanded the "children's book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originating in a country other than the United States and in a language other than English and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States during the preceding year."
It is the Newbery for translated children's books.
And the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has adjusted its criteria to recognize translators.
At its meeting in January 2022, the ALSC board approved the following change to the Batchelder Award submission criteria:
"The translator(s) shall be named on all titles submitted for consideration. The translator(s)' name(s) shall appear, at minimum, on the title page along with the author(s)' name(s), and ideally the translator(s)' name(s) shall appear on the cover along with the author(s)' name(s) as well."
This change requires publishers to name the translator on/in children's books submitted for the award—as has been urged for all translated books by (most recently) the #TranslatorsOnTheCover campaign, boosted by SCBWI.
This change is expected to help normalize naming the translator of a book wherever the author is named, as is set forth by the Authors Guild and PEN America. This is the convention in a number of countries already, and US publishers are increasingly observing this standard.
Besides crediting, a range of translator rights have lately been identified as needing attention. Royalties and retention of copyright for the translation stand to help all translators and are musts to make the field more inclusive.
First, however, translators must be named and seen. The ALSC board saw us.
Read the press release about the revised criteria.
Download a list of past Batchelder Award and Honor winners (PDF).
Disclosures: The 2022 Batchelder Award went to the Yonder imprint of Restless Books for Temple Alley Summer by Sachiko Kashiwaba, illustrated by Miho Satake, in my translation. This was a massive, will-always-remember-where-I-was surprise and honor. Restless Books named me in both of the ways mentioned in the revised criteria. / I submitted a stakeholder comment in support of the criteria revision as SCBWI TC. The Batchelder Award selection committee and the ALSC board are distinct entities.
My name is Avery Fischer Udagawa, and I have been honored to blog global reads this month. I serve as SCBWI Translator Coordinator (see Translation in SCBWI) and SCBWI Japan Translator Coordinator (see Ihatov).
Thank you, Avery. Loved learning about this change to honor the creative efforts of translators. What a fantastic perspective you've shared about translations of books for kids and teens, all month! Our SCBWI community is so fortunate to have you serve as SCBWI Translator Coordinator. Gratefully, Lee
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