Submissions Open for the 2021 Kyoko Selden Memorial Translation Prize

The Department of Asian Studies at Cornell University is pleased to announce the seventh annual competition for the Kyoko Selden Memorial Prize in Japanese Literature, Thought, and Society. The deadline for submissions for this year’s competition is August 1, 2021. The prize, established in 2014 with contributions from former students, colleagues, and friends, honors the scholarly legacy of Cornell University’s Kyoko Selden (1936-2013). A scholar whose work as critic, editor, and translator ranged from engagement with courtly and medieval texts through contemporary Japanese writings addressing urgent social issues, Kyoko Selden was a beloved teacher of broad-ranging scope. By offering the award to translations still at the unpublished stage, the Kyoko Selden Translation Prize has sought to support and encourage translation and publication of Japanese language materials across a similarly broad range. Winning submissions have been made available online, when feasible, with the support of the Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus. Previous prize-winners are listed at:

The 2021 competition will offer one award in each of two categories noted below for unpublished translations:

1.  Translators who are previously unpublished (excluding work for commercial or professional translation services), $2,500.

2.  Translators of previously published work, $2,500.

Prize selections will take into account both the quality of the translation and the significance of the original work. In cases where a text already published in English is deemed worthy of retranslation, new translations of significant texts are accepted (please provide date and place of earlier publication). Applicants are encouraged to submit translations electronically to

For more information about the prize, including guidelines, details regarding submissions materials, and information on past winners, please visit the prize website.

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