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The 2nd Bai Meigui Competition: Non-fiction

After long deliberations on the part of our judging panel, we're delighted to announce the results of our 2nd Bai Meigui Translation Competition:


Luisetta Mudie


Petula Parris

Luisetta's winning entry will be published on Read Paper Republic and will also be printed in a special China-themed edition of Stand magazine in 2017. You can read Petula's entry here. Luisetta has also been awarded a bursary to the 'Translate in the City' summer school at City University, London.

Thank you to everyone who entered - we received over 80 entries from all over the world - and many congratulations to our winners! Some comments from our judges below:

'The judges were very impressed by the overall standard and had a hard time deciding the winner. This was not an easy piece to translate: it required a range of formal and informal vocabulary, and considerable knowledge and experience – from legal and political terminology to heating equipment on balconies that have been glassed in. Translators also needed to know when and how to do background research and how much of that to reveal to the reader. Then, having worked all that out, they needed to find a strong voice for the piece and an appropriate register. The metaphor of the screw was particularly tricky. Congratulations to all those who entered, and especially to our winner and runner-up.'

Nicky, Helen and Dave  


We are very pleased to be collaborating with READ PAPER REPUBLIC on the 2nd Bai Meigui Translation Competition.

The Prize

We're delighted to announce that, thanks to the generosity of the White Rose East Asia Centre, we will be once again this year be able to offer the winner a full bursary (worth £490) to the ‘Translate in the City‘ summer school at City University, London, 11th-15th July, 2016. In addition, the winning translation will be published in Stand magazine in 2017, in a special issue on new writing from China.

Last year's (inaugural) competition was a great success, with over 80 entries from around the world. Our joint winners, Natascha Bruce and Michael Day, won bursaries to the summer school, and had their translations published in Structo magazine, and our four runners-up had their translations published on our website.

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

PaperRepublicOn our judging panel are prominent translators Nicky Harman and Helen Wang, and Dave Haysom, translator and editor of Pathlight magazine.

About the Text

Li jingruiThis year, our competition text is by Li Jingrui 李静睿. The text we have chosen is a piece of reportage, and can be found here. A journalist for eight years, Li Jingrui now writes her own column in the Chinese edition of The Wall Street Journal, and also publishes short fiction. One of her stories, 'Missing', translated by Helen Wang, is our bookclub choice for November, and has also been featured as part of the READ PAPER REPUBLIC series. You can find out more about her on our bookclub page. Another of her stories, 'A Quiet Winter', has been translated into English by Nicholas Richards and published on The World of Chinese site. Part one is here and part two here.

To Enter

The (slightly extended) competition deadline is midnight (UK time) March 9th, 2016. Please send your entries as an email (pdf) attachment to 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, from 11-15 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 April.

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!