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The Times Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation

Download the entry form in a choice of formats
Download the 2013 prize poster as a pdf file

How to enter

Entries may be submitted by post or email. Each entry must comprise the following:
• your translation
• the original poem
• your commentary (see below for guidelines)

Accompanying your entry or entries, we require:
• one entry form
• payment of £5 sterling per entry
(anyone eighteen or under on 24 May 2013 is exempt from this charge)

Before you enter, please read the conditions of entry below.

To post your entry, please print and complete the entry form and send it with your translation(s), the original poem(s), your commentary and UK cheque or international money order for £5 sterling per entry to

The Times Stephen Spender Prize
The Stephen Spender Trust
3 Old Wish Road, Eastbourne
East Sussex
BN21 4JX

To email your entry, please pay your entry fee of £5 sterling per entry via PayPal by completing the payment form below, specifying your name and title of first poem (in English) where prompted.

Payment via PayPal

Entry details
Name of entrant
Title of first poem

Then complete the entry form and send the form, your translation,
the original poem and commentary with a covering email to

Attached documents should be pdf or text files, for example:
  • • Microsoft Word .doc or .docx
  • • rich text format .rtf
  • • plain text .txt
Entries must arrive no later than midnight GMT
on Friday 24 May 2013.

Queries should be emailed to

Conditions of entry


1. Entrants must be British residents or British citizens. (The Stephen Spender Trust encourages submissions from children and adults who are British residents but have roots in other countries.)

Adjudication and prizes

2. There will be three prizes in the Open and 18-and-under categories. The winners of the Open prizes will receive £1000 (first), £750 (second) and £500 (third); the winners of the 18-and-under prizes will win £250 (first), £150 (second) and £100 (third). There will be one prize (£100) awarded in the 14-and-under category.

3. The Prize will be administered by the Stephen Spender Trust and judged by Susan Bassnett, Edith Hall, Patrick McGuinness and George Szirtes. Their decision will be final and the organisers will not enter into any correspondence about the results.

4. The winners will be notified and the results published in The Times and on the Trust's website by 2 November 2013. The winning entries and any others the judges wish to select will be published in a commemorative booklet.


5. Entrants are invited to submit a translation of a published poem from any language, modern or classical, into English, together with a commentary of no more than 300 words (see below for guidelines) and the original poem. The submitted translation should be no more than 60 lines long, so entrants may submit an extract if their chosen poem is longer. Self-translation is not accepted.

6. Each translation must be the original work of the entrant and not a copy or substantial copy of someone else's translation; it must not have been previously published or broadcast.

7. Entries may be posted or emailed and must arrive no later than Friday 24 May 2013. Postal entries, which should be in black type on A4 paper, should be sent to the Stephen Spender Trust, 3 Old Wish Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 4JX.

8. Entries will be judged without the panel of judges knowing the identity of the competitors. The translator’s name must appear only on the entry form, not on the translation, original poem or commentary.

9. Competitors may submit as many entries as they like, so long as each entry is accompanied by an entry fee of £5.00 (pounds sterling). Anyone eighteen or under on 24 May 2013 is exempt from this charge.

10. The entry fee must be paid by PayPal or postal order/crossed cheque drawn on a bank in the United Kingdom, made payable to the Stephen Spender Trust.

11. The worldwide copyright of each prize-winning and commended translation and commentary will remain with the translator but The Times and the Stephen Spender Trust will have the unrestricted right to read the translation on television, radio or the stage, or to publish it in whole or in part in periodical or book form when the winners are announced, or at any time up to twelve months after that date.

12. By entering, all competitors shall be deemed to have read and accepted all the conditions of entry for The Times Stephen Spender Prize.

Guidelines for the commentary

13. The commentary of no more than 300 words should briefly cover such matters as:
  • Your reason for translating this particular poem.
  • Problems encountered in translating between the language of the original and English.
  • Problems encountered in translating the poem you have chosen.
  • Your approach to the poem. For example, if the original is in a particular form — rhyme or a regular metre — have you or have you not attempted to preserve that form in English?

Entry checklist

I am a British resident or British citizen and I have supplied:
  1. Translations, commentaries and original poems entered for the competition (these should be anonymous).
  2. My entry form.
  3. A stamped addressed envelope or a valid email address for acknowledgment of receipt.