On this page you can find more information about past editions of the Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators. We work with professional literary translators, academics, teachers and languages students all year round to develop practice resources freely available to teachers and pupils, choose competition texts, and judge the entries.
We were delighted to receive over 3,200 entries from 261 schools in 2022. Teachers told us that over 14,000 students from across the UK participated in the competition. Congratulations to all who participated!
The national judges of the 2021 edition were literary translators and writers Jen Calleja, Jessica Rainey and Anam Zafar, along with the Paper Republic team.
Jen Calleja is a writer, literary translator from German and editor based in Hastings and originally from Shoreham-By-Sea. She has translated over a dozen works of German-language literature as well as poetry, short stories and essays. Her translations have been shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2019 and the Schlegel-Tieck Prize 2018, and have appeared in The New Yorker, Modern Poetry in Translation, Granta, The White Review and elsewhere. She is co-publisher at Praspar Press, a new micro-publisher for Maltese literature in English and English translation.
Jessica Rainey is a translator from French and Spanish, and an associate lecturer in translation at Durham and Newcastle universities. Literary translations include two contemporary Spanish plays (Cervantes Theatre) and a Salvadoran poetry collection (Red Ceilings Press). Events include Protest Poets in Translation (Southbank Centre) and Translation as Collaboration (Newcastle University). She has an MA in Translation Studies, and a BA in English Literature and African & Asian Studies.
Anam Zafar translates from Arabic and French into English. She holds an MA in Applied Translation Studies from the University of Leeds. She translates novels for children and adults to allow misrepresented communities to tell their own stories on their own terms. She also translates for international organisations and academic journals, specialising in environmental issues and the social sciences. She was a 2020/21 mentee on the National Centre for Writing’s Emerging Translators Mentorship scheme, and in May 2021 she was a translator in residence as part of their Visible Communities programme. She is also a social media administrator for World Kid Lit and participant in the Stephen Spender Trust Multilingual Creators programme.
The first round of judging was done by a team of Oxford Modern Languages undergraduates: Sophie Bailey, Bethany Barber, Annabel Chessher, Gemma Craig-Sharples, Jack Franco, Maria-Minodora Grosu, Anna Maria Iaramboykov, Stephanie Nourse, Lily Rachel, Rebecca Smithson,Tayiba Sulaiman, Dalveen Sandhu, Fred Waine, Klara Zhao.
The prize culminates in a competition task, but we aim to ensure that this creative translation can be integrated into the year’s teaching rather than being a one-off event. To that end, we provide three sets of resources for MFL teachers to use in the build-up, focusing on translating poetry, fiction, and literary non-fiction. The competition and resources are targeted at four levels in four languages (French, German, Mandarin, and Spanish).
A team of people worked to develop these resources. The French and German resources were developed by Holly Langstaff, who researches and teaches French literature, with Clare Savory, a Germanist, research assistant and trained teacher. The Spanish resources were developed by literary translator Rosalind Harvey. The Mandarin resources were developed by the team at Paper Republic (Emily Jones, Eric Abrahamsen, Jack Hargreaves, Lirong Yao, Nicky Harman), a UK charity whose mission is to promote Chinese literature in English translation with a focus on new writing from contemporary Chinese writers. Paper Republic would also like to thank James Trapp for his support in developing new resources for 2021-22.
You can read about our approach to developing the first set of resources on translating poetry in our post for the Oxford Education Blog.
Over 500 schools from across the UK registered for the prize resources in the first year (2020-2021), with 200 selected to take part in the final competition phase in June. Area and national winners of the Prize were announced in July 2021.
In this first year of the prize we developed 48 resources across four languages (French, German, Mandarin and Spanish). The competition ran at four levels in these four languages.
Thank you to all judges, teachers and participants in this first year of the Anthea Bell Prize, as well as to our administrative assistant Gemma Craig-Sharples, our resource developers Clare Savory, Rosalind Harvey and the team at Paper Republic (Emily Jones, Eric Abrahamsen, Jack Hargreaves, Lirong Yao, Nicky Harman), our first coordinator Alyson Coombes, and resource developer and prize coordinator Holly Langstaff!
We were delighted to receive 295 entries for our inaugural schools competition in summer 2020.
Well done to everybody for taking part, and thank you to all the teachers who submitted their students’ entries! We hope that this has whetted appetites for creative translation, and for our brand new nationwide competition for French, German, Mandarin and Spanish.
We are grateful to the Goethe-Institut and Penguin Classics for donating book prizes for the competition.