Monday, July 11, 2011

Kurodahan Press Translation Prize 2011

And we're back! Two and a half weeks go by fast, don't they? If only this blog could be my job! (Then I wouldn't be so broke or stressed out...)

Anyway, no time for stress! It's summer! Why don't we use the time not spent at the beach (or applying to jobs) with a little translating?

Yes, it's that time again: Kurodahan Press has announced it's 2011 Translation Prize and is now accepting submissions.

It's a 30,000 yen cash prize, publication in a forthcoming collection by Kurodahan Press, with additional compensation on publication. Deadline is September 30, 2011, and the results are announced at the end of the year. Mid-December, as I recall: I was right in the middle of writing one of my finals when I got the email.

We covered this contest last year here. Last year's piece was an interesting bit of flash fiction and saying anymore about it would sort of ruin the story's big surprise, but you can read all the entries at the Kurodahan Press website, if you scroll almost all the way to the bottom. The entries are anonymous, so you'll never know which one was my somewhat embarrassingly low-scoring submission...

This year's piece is 蝶の断片 by a certain 加門七海. I haven't read the piece yet, but I'm betting that it's a ghost story, since the author seems to be famous for/interested in them.

The Prize will be judged by three translators, though they've only announced two:  Juliet Winters Carpenter, who judged last year and has translated Kobo Abe among others, and Nancy Ross, who won the 2008 Kurodahan Press Translation Prize, as well as the Distinguished Translation Award in the 4th Shizuoka International Translation Competition in 2003, an unfortunately now defunct prize.

You can download the PDF of the translation materials, as well as get all the contest details and rules, here.

Happy translating!


  1. I've started working on this... How's it going on your end? I went through the translation I did last year to self-assess the things I could have done better, etc, and guess what I found... I skipped an entire TWO SENTENCES. TWO. WHOLE. SENTENCES. @△@

  2. I haven't really started yet actually... Either I'm too busy or too lazy (and nothing in between haha).

    That sucks about your lost two sentences! Maybe I should try the self-assessment thing. I wish I could read the winner though. I'm afraid of how I'll think of my translation now. I suppose it's a good thing, but I hate reading old translations and seeing how stilted they are. I know it means I'm improving (at least more observant of quality) but still haha. Don't like seeing my limitations (of which there are far too many!!)

  3. Ugh, I feel the same way reading through my own. You know it's going to happen even when we do eventually start getting to a place where we're really comfortable with it. But yes, I'll take your positive view - we are improving! Slowly...