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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 Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation

Applications now open! 

Closing date: 15 July 2016

The Marsh Children's Literature in Translation Award, 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 run by the English-Speaking Union on behalf of the Marsh Christian Trust

Entries are invited for the 20th Anniversary Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation by 15 July 2016. The shortlist will be announced at a high profile event in Mayfair organised by The Society of Authors on October 20th 2016. The prize will be awarded at a special ceremony in January 2017.

Submission form 


  • The translation must be first published in the UK or the Republic of Ireland by a British or Irish publishing company covering the period 1st July 2014 to 30th June 2016.
  • 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 publisher must be prepared to submit six copies of the translated work, and one copy of the original, by the closing date.
  • The Award of £3000 goes to the translator.

'My Marsh'

To mark the Marsh Award's 20th Anniversary, this year we are inviting schools to participate in a unique book reviewing competition. Bilingual or multilingual students from around the country who speak one of the original languages of the translated books on the shortlist, will be invited to submit a video review. Winners will receive a range of prizes and their video review will be shown at the Award Ceremony. We expect this competition to generate significant media attention, especially given the current interest in children's literature and also bilingualism in education.

2015 Marsh Award Winner

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.'