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The Stephen Spender Prize 2017 for poetry in translation
in association with the Guardian

You may enter online or by post. Each entry must comprise:
• your translation
• the original poem
• your commentary (see below for guidelines)
Accompanying your entry or entries, we require:
• one entry form
• payment of £7 sterling per translation (anyone eighteen or under on 26 May 2017 is exempt from this charge)

Entries must arrive no later than midnight GMT on Friday 26 May 2017.

Before you enter, please read the conditions of entry below.
Further information can be found on the FAQ page. Any queries not answered there should be emailed to .

 Enter by post

For postal submissions to the address below, download a printable entry form in a choice of formats here and send it with your translation(s), the original poem(s), your commentary or commentaries and (if you are over 18) your UK cheque or international money order for £7 sterling per translation made payable to The Stephen Spender Trust.

The Stephen Spender Prize
Stephen Spender Trust
PO Box 5001
BN11 9AZ

School entries

If you are a school making a batch of multiple submissions (more than 8) please don't use the online submission form. Please email with a full list of participants from the school and for each participant one individual Word document with: participant details, translation, poem translated from, language and critique.

You will need an email confirmation to ensure the entries have been processed.

Only submit this way if you are making a batch of multiple entries from a school/college setting. If you are submitting fewer than eight entries please use the online submission system.

 Enter online

Please submit your entry using the appropriate online entry option below. You will be required to copy and paste the text of each entry into the form where shown.

For each entry you are making, provide the original poem, your translation and your critique (the 'commentary') .

A maximum of 5 entries can be uploaded with each submission but you may make as many submissions as you like. If you are an Open category entrant you will be required to pay the entry fee of £7 sterling per entry as part of the submission.

Complete the appropriate online entry form:

 Conditions of entry


1. Entrants must be UK or Irish citizens or residents. There are three categories: Open (adult); 18-and-under, for entrants still 18 on the closing date; and 14-and-under, for entrants still 14 on the closing date.


2. Entrants are invited to submit an English translation of a published poem from any language, ancient or modern, together with the original poem and a commentary of no more than 300 words (guidelines for the commentary are at (4) below). 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.

3. 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.

4. 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?
5. Entries will be judged without the panel of judges knowing the identity of the competitors so the translator's name must not be on the translation, original poem or commentary, only on the entry form.

6. Entries may be posted or submitted online and must arrive no later than midnight (UK time) on Friday 26 May 2017. Postal entries, which should be in black type on A4 paper, single-sided and not stapled, should be accompanied by an entry form and sent to the Stephen Spender Trust, PO Box 5001, Worthing, BN11 9AZ. Online entries must be submitted via the online entry portal.

7. Competitors may submit as many entries as they like, so long as each entry in the Open category is accompanied by an entry fee of £7.00 (pounds sterling). Anyone eighteen or under on 26 May 2017 is exempt from this charge.

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

9. For acknowledgment of receipt of postal entries please enclose a stamped addressed envelope or give your email address on the entry form. Online entries will trigger an automatic acknowledgment.

Adjudication and prizes

10. The winners of the Open category will receive £1,000 (first), £750 (second) and £500 (third); the winners of the 18-and-under category will receive £250 (first), £150 (second) and £100 (third); There will be one prize (£100) awarded in the 14-and-under category.

11. The Prize will be administered by the Stephen Spender Trust and judged by Margaret Jull Costa, Olivia_McCannon and Sean O'Brien. Their decision will be final and the organisers will not enter into any correspondence about the results.

12. The organisers reserve the right to change the judging panel without notice and not to award prizes if, in the judges' opinion, such an action is justified.

13. The results will be announced on the Stephen Spender Trust website in November 2017. The winners will be notified earlier, by the end of September 2017, and will be invited to a reception in London on Wednesday 15 November 2017.

14. The winning entries and any others the judges wish to select will be published in a booklet. The copyright of each prize-winning and commended translation and commentary will remain with the translator but the Stephen Spender Trust will have the right in perpetuity to publish and/or broadcast the translations and commentaries.