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Polish Spotlight Prize

Entry is via the Submittable platform, for which you can register here. The prize opens for entries on 29 March and closes on 12 July 2019.

Each entry must comprise:

• your translation
• the original poem
• your commentary (see below for guidelines)
Please note that entrants to the 10-and-under category do not need to submit a commentary with their translation.

Entries must arrive no later than midnight UK time on Friday 12 July 2019.

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 online


 Conditions of entry


1. Entrants must be UK or Irish citizens or residents. There are three categories: 18-and-under, for entrants still 18 on the closing date; 14-and-under, for entrants still 14 on the closing date; 10-and-under, for entrants still 10 on the closing date.


2. Entrants are invited to submit an English translation of a published poem from Polish, 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. Entrants to the 10-and-under category do not need to submit a commentary.

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:
  • Why you chose this particular poem
  • 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?
  • Any problems encountered in translating between Polish and English
  • Problems encountered in translating the poem you have chosen
Entrants to the 10-and-under category do not need to submit a commentary.

5. Entries will be judged without the judge knowing the identity of the competitors so the translator's name must not be on the translation, original poem or commentary.

6. Entries must be submitted online no later than midnight (UK time) on Friday 12 July 2019.

Adjudication and prizes

7. The winner of each category will receive £100.

8. The Prize will be administered by the Stephen Spender Trust and judged by Antonia Lloyd Jones. The judge's decision will be final and the organisers will not enter into any correspondence about the results.

9. The organisers reserve the right to change the judge without notice and not to award prizes if, in the judge's opinion, such an action is justified.

10. The results will be announced on the Stephen Spender Trust website in November 2019. The winners will be notified earlier, by the end of October 2019, and will be invited to a reception in London in November 2019.

11. 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.

By entering the prize you give permission for the Stephen Spender Trust to hold the personal information you have given for the purpose of the 2019 Prize. The personal information that you provide will be securely stored by the Stephen Spender Trust and will be used for no other purpose than this Prize activity, nor knowingly passed to any other organisation or person not associated with or authorised by the Trust.