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

Youth Prize entry guidelines

Please submit an English translation of a published poem from any language, together with a commentary of no more than 300 words: giving 3 examples of difficult decisions that you had to make when translating the poem, and explaining how you overcame them.

For example, the commentary could discuss:

  • A particular word or phrase which presented a challenge to translate
  • A cultural reference which needed to be adapted in translation
  • Any particular problems presented by the style/form of the original poem. For example, if the original is in a particular form — rhyme or a regular metre — was it possible to preserve that form in English, or did you decide to make changes?

Please note that the commentary will be judged on content rather than style. The translation should be no more than 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.

Inspired by the innovative approaches we have seen from educators in previous years, we are also introducing a special reward for up to three teachers who show an exceptional engagement in the Prize.


How to enter

To enter online, please first fill out our online submission form, then send the original and translated versions of your poem, and commentary, as WORD documents (and the completed consent form, if the entrant is under 13), to making the subject of your email SST Poetry Prize plus the category you are entering (for example: SST Poetry Prize 14 and under)

To enter by post, please download the entry form, and send this together with the original and translated versions of your poem, and commentary (and the completed consent form, if the entrant is under 13), to

The Stephen Spender Trust,
PO Box 1618,
Oxford, OX4 9LW,
United Kingdom.

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


Judges

Khairani Barokka, Mary Jean Chan, Daljit Nagra.


Prizes

14-and-under category: £75 (1st), £50 (2nd), £25 (3rd)

16-and-under category: £125 (1st), £75 (2nd), £40 (3rd)

18-and-under category: £200 (1st), £100 (2nd), £50 (3rd)


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

Entry to the youth prize is free


Contact

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