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14 - 16 October 2015
due to our ESU International Council Meeting and the International Final for our My Magna Carta competition.

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Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation

Kevin Crossley-Holland, Margaret Jull Costa and Aleksandra Marsh at Dartmouth House

The ESU and Marsh Christian Trust are delighted to announce that the winner of the 2015 Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation is Margaret Jull Costa for her translation of The Adventures of Shola. The awards ceremony was held at Dartmouth House in London, the home of the English-Speaking Union, who have administered this award on behalf of the Marsh Christian Trust biennially since 2007. The Award has been offered since 1996 and celebrates, encourages and promotes the high quality of translated fiction for young readers.

Speaking of Jull Costa’s winning piece, the judges said, ‘this is a delightful book which can be enjoyed by anyone as it is full of humour, for young people and adults alike. There are delightful characters with very real personalities and some truly philosophical moments throughout. This is such an accessible text, made up of stories which are so satisfying to read aloud and the wonderful translation really makes the story come alive for a new audience.’

Margaret Jull Costa, the winning translator, told the assembled audience at Dartmouth House: ‘I am absolutely thrilled to win this award, because it’s a book I absolutely love, and because any translation prize is also a prize for the original author, in this case the wonderful Bernardo Atxaga and his equally wonderful illustrator Mikel Valverde. I would also like to say how important I think this prize is, celebrating as it does children’s literature in translation.’

Adam Freudenheim, Publisher and Managing Director at Pushkin Press said, ‘We are absolutely thrilled and delighted with this award and honour. It’s particularly gratifying as Shola was one of the first books I acquired for this new imprint, which was founded in 2013. It was a delightful surprise to find that Pushkin Press had 3 books on the shortlist, and even more delightful to find out that we had won! All credit must go to Margaret for her flawless translation, and for first bringing the book to my attention.'

The judges of this year's award were:

Wendy Cooling, Founder of Bookstart

Gillian Lathey, Reader in Children's Literature, University of Roehampton

Sian Williams, Founder of Children's Bookshow

Daniel Hahn, Chair of the Society of Authors

Colin Niven, ESU Governor 

About the award

The Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation, awarded biennially since 1996, was founded to celebrate the best translation of a children’s book from a foreign language into English and published in the UK. It aims to spotlight the high quality and diversity of translated fiction for young readers. The Award is administered by the ESU on behalf of the Marsh Christian Trust. 

The Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation seeks to address a situation in the UK in which less than 3% of work published for children and young people has been from the non-English speaking world. Applications for this award are now closed.


  • The translation must be first published in the UK or the Republic of Ireland by a British or Irish publishing company.
  • The translation must be from the original work in the original language.
  • Submissions will be accepted from publishers for books produced for readers from 5 to 16 years of age.
  • Picture books must have a substantial proportion of text. "Substantial" will be at the judges' discretion.
  • The Award is to go to the translator.


How to enter

Applications for this award are now closed.

For further information, please download the Eligibility Criteria