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Asian Festival of Children’s Content

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. Jointly hosted by the Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing and the Singapore Book Council, this competition is open to students from 11 to 18 years old.  

Closing date for submissions: 11 September 2022, 8pm (SGT)

Submissons have closed for the 8th Bai Meigui Translation Competition. 


This competition is open exclusively to students in secondary education (between 11 and 18 years old) learning Chinese and is free to enter. 

Text for Translation

The selected text is written and illustrated by award-winning Taiwan author and illustrator Zhou Jianxin. The story is set in his hometown of Tainan and addresses themes such as the impermanence of life through a deceptively simple, and beautifully illustrated, children's fable. This book was showcased at the Bologna Children's Book Fair in 2017.

  • Access an e-copy of the book here
  • Text-only version (in both traditional and simplified Chinese) available here.
  • Audio recording of the story available here

As well as translating the story, we would like you to include with your translation a short commentary (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 Taiwan or about Chinese culture. What extra information (if any) 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, some of this commentary may be included as a translator's preface in the final publication.


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 a special programme at the 2023 Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC) in Singapore. The winning book will be marketed at the festival, and to schools and libraries throughout the UK, Singapore and worldwide.

Rules and Regulations 

  1. The competition deadline is 11 September 2022, 8pm (SGT). 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.  Please do not include your name/identifying information in your pdf attachment.
  6. Translate all of the text in the picture book (including the book title). Do not 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.

How to Enter

When you are ready to submit your translation. please enter using the online submission form. 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 the Data Protection Statement and will not be used for any other purpose.

The following information is required to complete the online form:

  1. Parental consent
  2. Personal particulars
  3. A single PDF document with the following:
    - Your statement of integrity
    - Your translation
    - Your 400-word commentary


  • Submissions open: 27 June 2022
  • Submissions close: 11 September 2022, 8pm (SGT)
  • Winner announcement: November 2022
  • Book Launch at AFCC 2023* 

*More details will be announced closer to the event date. 


For more information, please contact with the subject "The 8th Bai Meigui Translation Competition Enquiry".