World Literature Today Announces 2024 Student Translation Prize Winners

May 15, 2024
Photos of prize winners Lucy Coleman and Madeline Jones
Lucy Coleman and Madeline Jones, winners of the 2024 Student Translation Prizes

World Literature Today, the University of Oklahoma’s award-winning magazine of international literature and culture, has announced the winners of its annual Student Translation Prize. 

Lucy Coleman and Madeline Jones were recently named the recipients of the seventh annual translation prize for students sponsored by World Literature Today. Consistent with World Literature Today’s commitment to publishing literature in translation, the WLT Student Translation Prize recognizes the talent and promise of translation students worldwide. 

The editors of WLT judged the competition: Daniel Simon, assistant director and editor-in-chief; Michelle Johnson, managing and culture editor; and Rob Vollmar, book review and online editor. They selected a winner in each of the two categories, poetry and prose. Each prizewinner will receive a cash award, and their winning translations will be published on the WLT website in June. 

Robert Con Davis-Undiano, World Literature Today’s executive director, noted that this prize “recognizes the fact of translation as one of the most vital and important things we ever do as a culture. WLT is proud to be encouraging emerging translators to hone skills in the practice of this most vital activity in the publishing world.” 

Recipients of the 2024 World Literature Today Student Translation Prizes

Madeline Jones won the prose category for “Remember When,” her translation from Spanish of an excerpt from María Elena Morán’s novel Volver a cuándo. Jones is a literary translator and book editor at Algonquin Books. She is currently completing a master’s degree in translation studies at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and lives between Barcelona and New York. Her first book-length translation, of María Elena Morán’s Volver a cuándo, is forthcoming from Knopf. Her faculty sponsor for the submission was department director José Francisco Ruiz Casanova.

Translating Chinese poet Xiao Hai, Lucy Coleman won the poetry category for “Writing Poetry on the Assembly Line.” Coleman recently earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry with a minor in Chinese from the University of Oklahoma. She developed a passion for translation in her courses and especially loves the challenge of capturing the essence of Chinese poetry in her work. She plans to attend graduate school while continuing to strengthen skills in translating poetry and prose to further develop expertise in intercultural communication. Her faculty sponsor for the submission was Ping Zhu, a professor of transnational Chinese/sinophone literary, film, and media studies in the Department of Literature at the University of California San Diego.