Writing Chinese


We’re pleased to announce that our third Bai Meigui Translation Competition is now open!

For this competition, we’re focusing on poetry, and we’re delighted that Eleanor Goodman, Heather Inwood and Canaan Morse will be judging the competition for us. The judges have chosen a diverse selection of poems, and the first prize will be awarded to the person judged to have provided the best translation of all three poems overall.

The competition is free to enter, and is open to anyone, from any country, with an interest in Chinese-English translation.

The Prize

We’re delighted to announce that, thanks to the generosity of the White Rose East Asia Centre, we will be once again be able to offer the winner a full bursary (worth £490) to the ‘Translate in the City‘ summer school at City University, London, in July 2017. In addition, the winning translation will be published in Stand magazine in 2017, alongside the winner of our 2nd Bai Meigui Competition, Luisetta Mudie, in a special issue on new writing from China.

Our last two competitions have been a great success, both attracting over 80 entries from around the world. The joint winners of our inaugural competition, Natascha Bruce and Michael Day, had their translations published in Structo magazine, and our recent winner Luisetta Mudie has had her translation published on Read Paper Republic. The runners-up from both competitions also had their translations published on our website. And here’s Natascha on her experience at the Translate in the City summer school:

“I really, really loved the translation course this summer. I’ve never worked collaboratively on translations, so I found that aspect really reveletory. I’ve also never really studied literary translation, specifically, and had no idea how much freedom there is to…not be absolutely literal, I suppose, and to move things around until they sound right. All of which is to say, I learnt a lot, and thank you very much for the opportunity to attend!” – Natascha Bruce

The Judges and the Poems

We’re honoured to have poetry experts and award-winning translators Canaan Morse, Eleanor Goodman and Dr Heather Inwood as our judging panel.

The judges have chosen a diverse selection of poems which they think present particularly interesting translation challenges and rewards. To enter the competition, please translate all three of the poems, which can be found here.

To Enter

The competition deadline is August 20th, 2016. Please send your entries as an email (pdf) attachment to writingchinese@leeds.ac.uk. Please do not include your name/identifying information in the attachment.

In the body of the email please include your name, first language (or language of habitual use), and indicate whether, if you are selected as the winner, you would be available to attend the summer school (usually held each year around 11th-15th July) at City University, London. This information will not be available to the judging panel, who will judge all entries anonymously.

The winners will be announced at the end of September.

NB: the bursary covers all tuition/refreshments as stated on the site, but entrants are responsible for paying their own accommodation. The bursary is non-transferable, is awarded upon agreement with City University, and there is no cash alternative. If the winner is unable to take up this place, we reserve the right to reallocate the bursary to another short-listed entrant, or to decide not to award the bursary this year.

Please note that we will not normally be able to provide feedback on entries, but thank you, in advance, for your submission.

Good luck!


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