French Voices Awards

Books & Ideas
A man drawn, sitting on a paper plane

© Serge Bloch

Villa Albertine oversees a series of programs that assist American publishers with the translation and publication of French works into English.

The French Voices program was initiated in 2006 with the objective to create a collection of 30 books representing some of the best of French fiction and non-fiction titles over an initial period of three years. Fifteen years later, and thanks to the generous support of the Florence Gould Foundation and the Mellon Foundation, the collection largely surpassed its objective and is now more than 170 titles strong. The collection includes a wide variety of works and genres: a tour de force one-sentence novel by Mathias Enard, Zone; a graphic novel on life in Lebanon by Zeina Abirached, A Game for Swallows; a collection of short stories, Cruel Tales From the Thirteenth Floor, by Luc Lang, whose latest novel was shortlisted for the Goncourt prize; the moving memoir by Alain Mabanckou, The Lights of Pointe-Noire; and the beautiful essay Nostalgy by philosopher Barbara Cassin, among many others. 

Twice a year, a committee of independent professional experts selects works for the French Voices Awards that epitomize the many facets of the vibrant French literary scene. The committee also chooses two Grand Prize Winners announced in a prestigious ceremony.  

These prizes recognize both the original work and the quality of the translation. The $6,000 for the French Voices Awards and $10,000 for the Grand Prize Winners are shared between the publisher and the translator. Each book in the collection is identified by a logo and features a foreword by an American writer. 

Translators, authors, agents, and publishers are allowed to submit their translation projects.  

Contact: Anne-Sophie Hermil, Program Officer, anne-sophie.hermil@villa-albertine.org 

To apply, please visit the following page. Full guidelines for the program are available here.