The Bai Meigui Translation Competition is a Chinese-English translation competition run annually by the Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing, at the University of Leeds. The competition aims to introduce Chinese writers to English readers, and develop literary translators working from Chinese to English.

This year the competition will be hosted jointly by Leeds and the Singapore Book Council, and, for the second time in its history, will be open exclusively to school pupils between the ages of 11 and 18. The competition is free to enter and the winner will be formally announced at AFCC 2020. 

The closing date for submissions is 8.00pm (SG) on Sunday 15th March 2020.

Online Form




Following the success of the Bai Meigui Translation Competition in 2018 – its first picture book competition – the Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing is delighted to announce that the competition will again be open exclusively to students in secondary education (between 11 and 18 years old), and will be run in partnership with the Singapore Book Council and Balestier Press. The competition is free to enter and provides a fantastic opportunity for students learning Chinese. 

To find out more about the competition, read what what the winner of The 4th Bai Meigui Translation Competition – Jasmine Alexander – has to say about her own experience

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Text for Translation

This year's text is written and illustrated by acclaimed author Meng Yanan 孟亚楠, winner of China’s 2016 Bronze and Sunflower Picture Book Award. 

To open the book and start translating, please click on the image of the book cover below.

Meng Yanan Book Cover

To listen to the audio-recording of this story by Meng Yanan, please click on the picture below. 

meng yanan bear

As well as translating the story, we would like you to include with your translation a short piece of writing (in English, maximum 400 words) answering the questions in italics below and explaining your reasons.

Imagine you are presenting your translated story to an audience who knows nothing about China. What information about Chinese culture would you need to tell them? Were there any specific choices you made in your translation to adapt it for the needs of an English-language reader? If so note these and explain your reasons.

If appropriate, this piece of writing may be included as a translator’s preface in the final publication.

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The winning entry will have the chance to be mentored by award-winning translator Helen Wang, and to see their translation published in a bilingual edition of the text by Balestier Press. The winner will be formally announced at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) which will run from 28-31 May 2020 in Singapore. The winning translation will be featured in a special programme at AFCC. The winning book will be marketed at the festival, and to schools and libraries throughout the UK, Singapore, and worldwide. 

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We’re honoured to have a panel of award-winning translators and experts on children’s fiction to judge our competition.


Minjie Chen is an expert on children’s literature, and is a librarian working with the Chinese collection of the Cotsen Children’s Library at Princeton University. She is also one of the co-founders, along with Helen Wang, of the wonderful website on Chinese children’s literature, Chinese Books for Young Readers.
Colin Goh is an award-winning film-maker, humourist, and is the co-writer and illustrator of Dim Sum Warriors, a graphic novel series about kungfu-fighting dumplings. It was recently adapted into a major musical in China. He also compiled the bestselling Coxford Singlish Dictionary.
Helen Wang has translated Cao Wenxuan’s Bronze and Sunflower, among many other things, and she won the 2017 Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation, as well as the Chen Bochui Special Contribution Award for translation and increasing visibility of Chinese children’s literature.

We’d also like to thank Meng Yanan and Daylight Publishing House for giving us permission to use the text.

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Rules and Regulations

  1. The competition deadline is 8.00pm (SG) on Sunday 15th March 2020. Only entries submitted using the online submission form will be accepted.
  2. You must be a student at a secondary school (or equivalent) between 11 and 18 years old. There is no restriction on country of residence or nationality. 
  3. If your translation is chosen as the winning entry, you must be willing to work with your mentor, the editors and publishers and for the final version to be published.
  4. The winner and their school may be featured in relevant publicity, by the Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing, the Singapore Book Council, and Balestier Press.
  5. DO NOT include your name/identifying information in your pdf attachment. 
  6. Translate all of the text in the picture book (including the letter). Don’t worry about formatting your translation like the original picture book, but please include the page numbers so we can see which page you are translating.
  7. Please also include the following statement of academic integrity, extracted from the University of Leeds’ code of conduct, to confirm that what you are submitting is your own work. Submissions which do not include this statement cannot be considered for the competition:

I promise that in the attached submission I have not presented anyone else’s work, in whole or in part, as my own and I have not colluded with others in the preparation of this work.

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How to Enter

When you are ready to submit your translation, please enter using the online submission form below. As well as the pdf file, you will be asked to provide some information about yourself. The information provided will not be available to the judging panel, who will judge all entries anonymously. All data provided will be processed in line with our Data Protection Statement and will not be used for any other purpose.

The following information is required to complete the online form:

Online Form

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Submissions open: 1 February 2020
Submissions close: 15 March 2020, 8.00pm (SG).
Winner announced: Beginning May 2020
Prize presentation at Asian Festival of Children’s Content: 28–31 May 2020*

*Details of the presentation will be announced closer to AFCC. 

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For more information, please contact [email protected] with the subject "The 6th Bai Meigui Translation Competition Enquiry".