John Dryden Translation Competition


John Dryden by John Michael Wright (b&w detail) © National Portrait Gallery, London
John Dryden by John Michael Wright (b&w detail)
© National Portrait Gallery, London

The British Comparative Literature Association organises a translation competition in memory of the first British poet laureate John Dryden (1631–1700), who was a literary critic, translator, and playwright as well as a poet. Sponsored jointly with the British Centre for Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia, the John Dryden Translation Competition awards prizes for unpublished literary translations from any language into English. Literary translation includes poetry, prose, or drama from any period. There are three prizes of £350, £200, and £100; other entries may receive commendations. All three prizes also include one-year BCLA membership.

Prize-winners are announced in the summer on the BCLA website and prizes are presented thereafter every year at the BCLA ‘AGM and Colloquy’. Winning entries are eligible to be published in full on the website, and extracts from winning entries are also eligible for publication in Comparative Critical Studies.

For conditions of entry and further details download the 2019-2020 John Dryden Competition Entry Form.

Entries will be received from September 2019, and the deadline for submissions is 10 February 2020. for more information.

Assisted by competent bilingual readers specialising in the literatures for which entries are received, the judges are selected from the following:

Dr Jacob Blakesley (Chair) (Academic Fellow in World Literatures and Translation Studies, University of Leeds)

Professor Susan Bassnett (Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Glasgow/Warwick)

Dr Emily Finer (Senior Lecturer in Russian and Comparative Literature, University of St Andrews)

Dr Stuart Gillespie (Reader, University of Glasgow and Founding Editor, Translation and Literature)

Dr Maike Oergel (Associate Professor in German Studies, University of Nottingham)

Professor Wen-chin Ouyang (Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature, SOAS)

Dr Karen Seago (Director of Translation Studies, City University London)

Professor Martin Sorrell  (Professor of Modern Languages, University of Exeter)

Robert Chandler (Translator)

The winners of the John Dryden Translation Competition for 2017-18 have now been published in Comparative Critical Studies and can be read for free via the Edinburgh University Press website:

First prize: Colin Bramwell and Wen-Chi Li for Selections from the poetry of Yang Mu from the Chinese of Yang Mu’s (出發)給名名的十四行詩.

Second prize:
Adam Sorkin and Diana Manole for (Selections) from the Romanian of Emilian Galaicu-Păun’s

Third prize: Kseniia Vitalievna Bogdanova for The Legend of Larra from the Russian of Maxim Gorky’s Легенда о Ларре.

Commendation : Paul Melo e Castro for Raw Muscle from the Portuguese of Rubem Fonseca’s (A Força Humana.)

See the previous winners of the John Dryden Translation Competition.