2013 MGSA Constantinides Memorial Translation Prize

The MGSA is pleased to announce the 2013 Constantinides Memorial Translation Prize Competition for original, new translations into English of a literary work published in Modern Greek.  A prize of $500 will be awarded for a piece of Modern Greek literature (poetry, prose, theatre) translated into English.  We welcome work by scholars of Modern Greek and other fields and languages as well as creative writers, students, and anyone knowledgeable of Greek and English engaged in the work of translation.

This competition is intended to raise the profile of contemporary Greek literature in English and to award translation as a creative, intellectually meaningful exercise. Established in 1995 and administered by the MGSA, the Prize honors the memory of Elizabeth Constantinides (1932-1992 Ph.D. in Greek and Latin from Columbia University), who taught Modern Greek language and literature at Queens College of CUNY from 1978 to 1992, wrote on Alexandros Papadiamantis, and translated twelve short stories by Papadiamantis, published as Tales from a Greek Island (Johns Hopkins University Press,1987). Constantinides served on the Executive Committee of the MGSA and was awarded the 1987 prize of the Society of Literary Translators in Athens, Greece.   

The winner was formally announced and congratulated at the MGSA 2013 Symposium of November 14-16, 2013 at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. The MGSA Executive Director will mail the $500 award to the winner.


The next deadline for submissions is 1 April, 2015.

Selection Process

The submissions will undergo blind review. The MGSA Executive Director places the cover sheets with the names of the contestants in a sealed envelope during the process of review.

A committee comprised of five members chaired by a member of the MGSA Executive Board will evaluate the work between April 15 and May 31. Committee members include scholars, a fiction writer, a poet, and several translators, who together represent the genres that may be translated and have a strong knowledge of both Greek and English. They are not necessarily MGSA members. The chairperson of the committee is a voting member of the committee. Committee members are not permitted to submit their own work while serving on the committee.

Although it is difficult, and, perhaps, inadvisable, to establish streamlined criteria for translation, as much depends on the writing style and the degree of difficulty

of the original, the committee will evaluate: fidelity to the original; command of English (structure, diction, and nuance); importance of the work as a representative sample of a literary period or movement or of the work of an individual writer; and the translator’s ability to provide cues in the translation itself or alternatively by way of footnotes, end notes, or introduction, when deemed necessary.

The evaluation results of each committee member should reflect a rank-ordering of the submissions. Once a decision has been made, the chair announces the winner of the competition to the MGSA Executive Director and to the members of the Elizabeth Constantinides Translation Prize Committee. All entrants are notified in writing by the chair of the committee. The award is publicly made at the next scheduled MGSA Symposium and the MGSA Executive Director mails the $500 award to the winner.