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The Stephen Spender Prize 2020 for poetry in translation
in association with the Guardian

Submissions to the 2020 Stephen Spender Prize are now closed.

Adult prize guidelines (over 18s)

We would especially like to welcome newcomers to the open category of our Prize, so this year there will be special commendations for the best first-time entries received. For tips and inspiration, watch out for our downloadable resource on translating your first poem, which will be published here soon.

Please submit an English translation of a published poem from any language, together with a commentary of no more than 300 words. The translation should be max. 60 lines (extracts are accepted).

The poem you translate can be from any language, ancient or modern. We want to celebrate poetry in all its forms and genres—texts from rap, spoken word and slam poetry are eligible and very welcome. Entries must still be in written form, but any commended entrants from rap/spoken word/slam genres would later be invited to make a video, should they wish, for publication on our website and social media channels.

We also welcome BSL entries. A BSL video of the original poem can be submitted, although the translation itself should still be in written form.

Please read the Terms and Conditions and FAQs before submitting your entry.

Our GDPR Privacy Policy for the Stephen Spender Prize can be found here.


Khairani Barokka, Mary Jean Chan, Daljit Nagra.

Prizes in the open category

£1000 (1st)

£750 (2nd)

£500 (3rd)

All winners will be invited to an awards ceremony in central London in November 2020 (provided that Covid-19 circumstances permit).


If you have any queries, please see the FAQs, Terms and Conditions, or contact .