Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation 2022

Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation 2022 | Opening for entries on Wednesday 4 May, closing 15 July

Translate any poem from ANY language into English, and win cash prizes! Language lovers and budding poets of all ages are warmly invited to take part in the 2022 Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation, with categories for young people (14-and-under, 16-and-under and 18-and-under) and an open category for adults.

This year there will also be a special community language focus with our Romanian Spotlight strand, which is open to all young people aged 18 and under.


Entrants are invited to submit an English translation of a published poem from any language, ancient or modern, together with a commentary of no more than 300 words. The translation should be max. 60 lines (extracts are accepted). Entrants must be UK or Irish citizens or residents. The main Stephen Spender Prize has four age categories: Open (adult), 18-and-under, 16-and-under and 14-and-under.

The Romanian Spotlight welcomes entries from young people in three categories: 18-and-under, 14-and-under and 10-and-under.


Khairani Barokka, Daljit Nagra, Samantha Schnee (Stephen Spender Prize)

Gabi Reigh (Romanian Spotlight) 


Open category: £1000 (1st), £500 (2nd), £250 (3rd)

18-and-under category: £150 each for three winners

16-and-under category: £100 each for three winners

14-and-under category: £75 each for three winners

Romanian Spotlight: £100 each for three winners

All winners will have their translations published in our 2022 prize booklet and will be invited to our virtual awards ceremony in the autumn.

We will also be rewarding three highly commended entrants and up to 30 additional commendees per category, as well as awarding special commendations to three first-time adult entrants.

Entry Fee: 

Over-18s (Open category): £9 per translation

Youth categories (18-and-under, 16-and-under, 14-and-under and Romanian Spotlight): Free

Further details: 

Full information on how to enter the 2022 prize will be appearing on our website over the coming few weeks. In the meantime, we invite you to explore our Stephen Spender Prize pages and the Prize Resources section of our website for a wealth of poetry translation inspiration!