John Dryden Translation Competition 2021 - 2022

John Dryden


The John Dryden Translation Competition 2021 – 2022, sponsored by the British Comparative Literature Association and the British Centre for Literary Translation, is now open for the submission of entries. Prizes will be awarded for the best unpublished literary translations from any language into English, subject to finding a reader (entrance fee will be refunded if no reader is available). Literary translation includes poetry, prose, or drama from any period. The competition is currently hosted by the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies at the University of Leeds. The judges’ panel is chaired by Dr Jacob Blakesley and Dr Caroline Summers.

First prize: £350; second prize: £200; third prize: £100; other entries may receive commendations.
All three prizes also include one year’s BCLA membership.

The deadline for this year’s competition is Monday 7 February 2022.

Your John Dryden Translation Competition Entry

A Call For Entries

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for Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia, the John Dryden Translation Competition awards prizes for unpublished literary translations from any language into English.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.

John Dryden Competition Panel

The Judges

Judges will be selected from the following, and will be assisted by expert bilingual readers specialising in the literatures for which entries are received.

Dr Jacob Blakesley

Associate professor in comparative literature and literary translation

Prof. Susan Bassnett

Professor of Comparative Literature

Emily Finer

Senior Lecturer in Russian and Comparative Literature

Prof. Maike Oergel

Professor of German and Comparative Cultural Studies

Prof. Wen-chin Ouyang

Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature

Robert Chandler


Dr Caroline Summers

Lecturer in German/Comparative Translation Studies


Competition Details

Subject to copyright, winning entries will be published in full in Comparative Critical Studies and on the Edinburgh University Press website

If you join the BCLA between 1 July 2021 and 31 January 2022, you may submit one entry free of charge. Please note this on your  John Dryden Competition Entry form.

The entry fee is £10 sterling for one, £15 for two, or £20 for three entries. Payment can be made via the University of Leeds secure online store.

Electronic entries (source text, translation, entry form) should be emailed to:

If you need to send hard copies, please send them to the following address:
Dr Richard Hibbitt, John Dryden Translation Competition
School of Languages, Cultures & Societies
University of Leeds
United Kingdom

Entries will be received from September 2021
Failure to comply with the competition rules will render entries ineligible.

The deadline for this year’s competition is Monday 7 February 2022.


This year's winners

Winners of the 2021 John Dryden Translation Competition

The British Comparative Literature Association would like to announce the winners of the 2020-21 BCLA/BCLT John Dryden Translation Competition, chosen from over 100 entries and 29 different languages.

Many thanks to everyone who entered the competition. 

First Place

Christophe Fricker

for Sonnets from Matthias Politycki’s German text Sonette

Second Place

Alexandra Gough

for Bastard Battle translated from Céline Minard’s French text Bastard Battle

Third Place

Rosie Eyre

for Requiem: Excerpt from the opening chapter of the novel translated from Alpheratz’s French text Requiem.

Highly Commended

Sally Axon

for Mademoiselle Papillon translated from Alia Cardyn’s French text Mademoiselle Papillon.

Highly Commended

Katherine Van de Vate

for Black Rains translated from Badr Ahmad’s Arabic text أمطار سوداء (Amtar Sawda).

Highly Commended

Karen Hung Curtis

for (Desert) War Diaries translated from Wong Bik-Wan’s Chinese text 戰爭⽇記 (在沙漠)

The shortlist also included:
The Longlist included (in NO PARTICULAR ORDER):

Ghareeb Iskander and Hassan Abdulrazzak for A Jeremiad for Hafiz Shirazi from Abdul Wahab al-Bayati’s Arabic text بكائية الى حافظ الشيرازي
Daniel Shaw for The Refugees of Aeschylus from Aeschylus’s Ancient Greek text Suppliants (c. 460 BCE)
N. N. Trakakis for Selections from Tasos Leivaditis’ Euthanasia Manual from Tasos Leivaditis’s Greek text Εγχειρίδιο ευθανασίας
Yulia Kartalova-O’Doherty for My poems from Marina Tsvetaeva’s Russian text Моим стихам
Anna Rumsby for The Syllable ‘Pain’ from Paul Celan’s German text Die Silbe Schmerz
Anna Rumsby for Escape to East Berlin from Christoph Hein’s German text Glückskind mit Vater
Shampa Roy for Detective from Rabindranath Tagore’s Bengali text Detective
Abigail Dyer for Beethoven’s Fidelio in English Singing Translation from Joseph Sonnleithner and Friedrich Treitschke’s German translation of Beethoven’s Fidelio
Kseniia Vitalievna Bogdanova for History of the Russian State from Gostomysl to Timashev from Aleksey Tolstoy’s Russian text Istoriya Gosudarstva Rossiyskogo ot Gostomysla do Timasheva («История государства Российского от Гостомысла до Тимашева»)
Chen Du and Xisheng Chen for The World’s Ten Portraits (from “Rock
Arrangement”) from 阎安 (Yan An)’s Chinese text 世界的十幅肖像 (from 《整理石头》)
Anna Bentley for ‘I’ll Never See You Again’ from Haza (Home) from Andrea Tompa’s Hungarian text ‘Többé nem látlak’ from Haza
Tim Cummins for ‘The Dead’ from We Will Take Our Revenge from Paolo Nori’s Italian text ‘I morti’ from Noi la farem vendetta
Dr Paweł Szczerkowski for The Clever Devil of the Sixth Form from Kornel
Makuszyński’s Polish text Szatan z siódmej klasy
Sally Axon for The Heavenly Child from Maud Simonnot’s French text L’enfant céleste
Sai Whira Linn Khant for Whereabouts is the return? So lost! from Sabel Phyu Nu’s Burmese text ေရႊအျမဳေတစာေပဆု ဆယ္စုႏွစ္မွတ္တမ္း၊
Paul Castro for *** Asterisks from Rubem Fonseca’s Portuguese text ***(Asteriscos)
Elena Bossi and Joel Stockton for Twin Sisters from Giulia Besa’s Italian text Gemelle
Binh Nguyen for The Tale of Kiều from Nguyễn Du’s Vietnamese text Truyện Kiều
Mari Seaword and Gregor Wilson for Run, Melos! From Osamu Dazai (太宰治)’s Japanese text 走れメロス
Ieva Lākute for The Twenty-Fifth Hour from Alvils Bergs’s Latvian text Tetovētāja Piektā Stunda
Anastasiia Zakharchuk for Astra from Oleksandr Mykhed‘s Ukranian text Astra
Kelsi Vanada for “The Act of Self-seeing | Object of Study: Mirror” from The Visible Unseen Prose from Andrea Chapela’s Spanish text “El acto de verse | Objeto de estudio: Espejo” from Grados de miopía
Clare Richards for Happily Ever After from Jang Ryujin (장류진)’s Korean text Jal Salgetseumnida
Isobel Foxford for Life is But A Dream from Calderón de la Barca’s Spanish text La vida es sueño
Huw Davies for The Tale of Fedot the Strelets from Leonid Filatov’s Russian text Skazka pro Fedota-Streltsa
Lisa Mullenneaux for Selected Poetry of Maria Attanasio from Maria
Attanasio’s Italian texts Nero Barocco Nero, Catania, Sciascia, and Blu della cancellazione, La Vita Felice
Claire Wadie and Emma La Fontaine Jackson for The Faithless Friend from Jean Schlumberger’s French text Le camarade infidèle
Jeanette Hodgman for Running Away Was the Best Thing We Could Do from Marta Marín-Dòmine’s Spanish text Huir fue lo más bello que tuvimos 
Georgia Wall for Borgo Sud from Donatella Di Pietrantonio’s Italian text Borgo Sud
Kit Sheard for My Father’s Daughter from Rosa Montero’s Spanish text La hija del Caníbal
Gemma Nedjati-Gilani for Stains from Zoya Pirzad’s Persian text لكه ها
Amy Priestley for Meter per second from Stine Pilgaard’s Danish text Meter I sekundet
Ailsa Azzaro for The Masks of Notalot from Claudio Morandini’s Italian text Le maschere di Pocacosa
Darcy Hurford for Horse and Spirit from Mirjam Tuominen’s Swedish text ‘Häst och ande’
Anam Zafar for In the Tenderness of War from Najat Abdel Samad’s Arabic text في حنان الحرب
Dina Leifer for Made to Measure World from Nathalie Skowronek’s French text Un Monde Sur Mesure
Lise Lærdal Bryn for LOOK AT ME WHEN I’M TALKING TO YOU from Monica Isakstuen’s Norwegian text SE PÅ  MEG NÅR JEG SNAKKER TIL DEG
Jack Hargreaves for Little Miss Box Person from Shen Dacheng 沈大成’s Chinese text 盒人小姐
Laura Harris for Gentle Soul of Mine from Luís de Camões’s Portuguese text
Alma minha gentil que te partiste
Mark Kohn-Heaton for Memento from Federico Garcia Lorca’s Spanish text Memento
Karen Curtis and Ashley Williams for Jean-Jacques Nuel selected poems from Jean-Jacques Nuel’s various French texts.
Jeehan Ashercook for You have forgotten while I remain your lover from Ibn Zaydun’s Arabic text سُلِوْتُمْ وَبَقِينَا نَحْنُ عُشَّاقاً

On behalf of the organisers and judges, we would like to welcome entrants to the competition. The deadline for this year’s competition is Monday 7 February 2022.

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