An Award to celebrate the best of children's literature in translation

Marsh Translation Award

The Marsh Children's Literature in Translation Award recognises the important role that translators play in opening up the world of literature to young readers. The award was founded to celebrate the best translation of a children's book from a foreign language into English and aims to identify the high quality and diversity of translated fiction available. The winning translator is awarded £3000.

My Marsh: Video review competition

We’re excited to announce that the English-Speaking Union’s My Marsh competition, which celebrates the best of children’s literature in translation is now officially open!

We are inviting students to upload a video review of their favourite shortlisted title for this year’s Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation. Prizes for the competition include a subscription to The Week Junior, a copy of all the entries for this year’s Marsh Award, a discount voucher for a particular course or conference offered by the School Library Association, coverage of their entry in The Week Junior, and a £100 voucher for Browns Books for Students. Sets of the shortlisted texts can be purchased from our supply partner, Browns Books for Students, at a special rate.

To enter the competition, please download the entry form in the Resources section below and send it to Zoë Adams (ESU Cultural Exchange Officer) at Full information about sourcing the books is included on this form too. You then have until the closing date of 20th December to upload a short video review of your preferred book. These will be judged by an ESU panel and the winners will be announced on 9th January.


1. The introductory part of the video should include: a) the reviewer’s name, age and school, b) the title of the book, the name of the original author and the translator, c) a brief summary of the plot and main characters. This section should be approximately 1 minute in length

2. The main part of the video should include the reviewer’s personal response to the book. This section should be approximately 2 minutes in length

3. The maximum length of any entry is 4 minutes.

4. Reviews can be read from a script but the reviewer should take into consideration that the review is being delivered to a camera and endeavor to engage the viewer accordingly

5. Reviewers should be aged 16 or younger. Other than this, there are no age restrictions for participation. The age of the reviewer will be taken into account when entries are judged

If you would like any further information about the competition, please either email Zoë, or call us on 020 7529 1572.

Judging criteria:

Entries will be judged by an ESU panel and the winning entries will be those which are deemed to have effectively and engagingly communicated both the reviewers’ opinions about the book and any personal connections they make with it. Contributors are encouraged to incorporate additional languages into their entries – particularly if these include the original language of the book.

Are you eligible?

In order to apply the translation must have been published in the UK or the Republic of Ireland by a British or Irish publishing company within the last two years and must be from the original work in the original language.

Applications are now closed and the shortlist has been announced. The winner's ceremony will take place on 25th January 2016 at Dartmouth House.

This year's shortlist

The Flying Classroom, Erich Kästner, trans. Anthea Bell (Pushkin Children's Books)
“Erich Kästner’s classic tale of schoolboys seeking to reunite their housemaster with a long lost friend enjoys a splendid revival in Anthea Bell’s finely crafted translation”

The Little Black Fish, Samad Behrangi, trans. Azita Rassi (Tiny Owl Publishing)
“The Little Black Fish already enjoys a legendary reputation in Iran and the translation and illustrations dovetail beautifully to create an extremely attractive book about the courage, determination and vision of a little fish… Snappy dialogue, lyrical asides, and a strong narrative embodying a timeless message”

Bronze and Sunflower, Cao Wenxuan, trans. Helen Wang (Walker Books)
“A warm, delightful book set in the countryside of China during the Cultural Revolution. Strong, well-drawn relationships, tough enough to survive anything, are at the heart of the story and carry the reader through great hardship. I only wish I had been able to go to school on the back of a buffalo! …The descriptions of Chinese life are totally authentic, and the novel is inspirational and moving”

Oh, Freedom!, Francesco D'Adamo, trans. Sian Williams (Darf Publishers)
“Full of heart-stopping incidents, this page-turner follows the star-map and the Underground Railroad as Peg Leg Joe leads Tommy and his family from Alabama towards freedom in Canada.   Such a fine weave of action and reflection, dialogue and vivid description that one can scarcely believe this is a translation”

The Secret of the Blue Glass, Tomiko Inui, trans. Ginny Tapley Takemori (Pushkin Children’s Books)
“Tomiko Inui cleverly interweaves the political strife and domestic upheaval of the Second World War in Japan with a whimsical tale of children nourishing a hidden family of little people with milk from a blue glass goblet”

Detective Gordon: The First Case, Ulf Nilsson, trans. Julia Marshall (Gecko Press)
“The story of Detective Gordon's first case is told with humour and warmth. The detective is a toad and the case to be solved is the disappearance of a squirrel’s nuts! This is a great book for young, newly fluent readers; it's well- designed, unusual and a joy to experience”


Please read our submissions guidelines before submitting your form.

My Marsh Competition registration form