Hooray! There are three different competitions for British translators to enter (or UK residents). First off, if you're very quick indeed, is the New Books in German Emerging Translators Programme. You have to be a "translator of German into English who has not yet published (or
been contracted to publish) a book-length literary translation, and who has not yet taken part in
the NBG Emerging Translators Programme". And you have to download and translate an extract by tomorrow.
This is such a fantastic initiative, as the winners attend a translation workshop with "leading
translator Shaun Whiteside". They work on samples from new books for German publishers, so that it's not only them who reap the benefit but also the publishing world at large. If you can't make the deadline you can always enter next time around in the autumn.
Next up is the German Embassy Award for Translators. Again, you download an extract and translate it, in this case by 31 January. I'm so pleased they're running this competition again, because any UK citizen or resident (of three years) can enter and the prize is humongous - a month's residency at the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin and a trip to the Leipzig Book Fair and €1000.
Lastly for now is the Stephen Spender Prize for poetry translation. Again, it's British residents or citizens only, but you can translate any poem from any language into English. There are cash prizes and a publication and the deadline allows for plenty of time to tinker: 1 June 2012.
Update: Ruth Martin kindly pointed out in the comments section that I'd forgotten one! The British Centre for Literary Translation's John Dryden Translation Competition is open to anyone at all, for any literary text at all (as long as your translation is unpublished) and the deadline is 15 February.