The Mozhi Prize – 2022

EDIT – 08.12.2022

EDIT – 07.12.2022

Stay tuned! The shortlist for The Mozhi Prize will be announced in a few hours, at 12.01 AM, December 8.

EDIT – 15.11.2022

Submissions are now closed for The Mozhi Prize. Thank you for an overwhelming response. Results will be announced in early December.

EDIT – 07.11.2022

LAST DATE EXTENDED! – The last date for receiving your submissions is now extended to 15.11.2022.

We are reading the entries we have received so far and are very happy with the response. Please continue to submit your translations through next weekend.

EDIT – 24.10.2022

In response to queries from applicants, we are issuing clarifications on the following rules:

  1. Age Limit – We welcome submissions from everyone over the age of 15. There is no age bar above 15. We encourage younger applicants only because we don’t have that many younger translators around, and we hope that by starting young, they will be in the field for a longer time. But the contest is open to everyone over 15. So if you are interested in translation, we encourage you to apply.
  2. Word Limit – We got queries about the word limit. We are keeping the cap at 7000 words (in the English translation) to allow us the time to read all the entries. So kindly ensure that your submission stays within the limit.
  3. Prior publications – We ask that you should not have published/been contracted to publish a book-length translation yet (or) published more than two works of translations in magazines. By ‘magazines’ – we mean an English-language magazine with editorial filtering. So if your previous translations were published in a blog, or in a Tamil magazine without an English-language editor, you are free to apply. If you have questions about your particular case, please write to us :

4. Criteria for a literary short story – We leave the choice of the story to the applicants. However, as a guide for the kind of stories we are looking for, please look at these two lists of classic Tamil short stories. This is only a guideline. Your choice of story for translation does not have to be from this list, of course.

எஸ்.ரா.நூறு சிறந்த சிறுகதைகள்

ஜெயமோகன் – தமிழ் சிறுகதை திறனாய்வாளன் பட்டியல்

Launching The Mozhi Prize 2022:

In association with Vishnupuram Literary Circle and Vishnupuram Publications

A Tamil to English Short Story Translation Competition.

About the competition:

Tamil is a classical language with a significant modern literary output. Unfortunately, much of this work has not been introduced outside of the Tamil speaking world. One reason is a paucity of translators, critics and literary connoisseurs in this space. It is with the aim of discovering new Tamil-to-English translators with a literary sensibility that we launched the Mozhi Prize. We particularly hope to identify young translators with a passion for the craft who may go on to work consistently over the coming years.

Who can apply:

  • Translators from anywhere in the world
  • Age: 15 years and above; While there is no cap on age, we strongly encourage young applicants
  • We accept applications from individuals or from a team of not more than two translators.
  • This initiative is aimed at discovering new talent and hence we ask that you should not have published/been contracted to publish a book-length translation yet (or) published more than two works of translations in magazines.

Panel of Judges: 

The entries will be judged by an eminent panel of three:

  • Appadurai Muttulingam – Born in Sri Lanka and based in Canada, Muttulingam is a pre-eminent writer in modern Tamil literature. Winner of the SriLankan Sahitya Akademi Award and the Ki. Ra. Award 2022, he is a master storyteller known for his deft handling of the short story form. He is also the founder director of Tamil Literary Garden, a charitable organisation in Canada that promotes literary excellence. 
  • N Kalyan Raman – is an acclaimed translator of contemporary Tamil fiction and poetry into English. Over the past twenty-five years, he has published fourteen volumes of Tamil fiction in translation. His translation of Perumal Murugan’s Poonachi was shortlisted for the inaugural JCB Prize in 2018 and nominated for the National Book Foundation Award in the US in 2020. In 2017, he received the prestigious Pudumaipithan award for his contribution to the cause of Tamil literature through his translations. He lives and works in Chennai.
  • Deepa Bhasthi – Deepa Bhasthi is a writer based in Madikeri, Kodagu, India. Her essays, journalism and other writings have been published widely in ArtReview, Literary Hub, The Guardian, Hyperallergic, MOLD, Atlas Obscura and elsewhere. Her debut work of translation – The Same Village, The Same Tree – a translation of Dr Shivarama Karanth’s novel was published this year and her next work, a collection of Kodagina Gouramma’s short stories is forthcoming from Yoda Press.  Deepa has also been shortlisted in the first edition of EnglishPEN’s PEN Presents for a translation from Kannada of Banu Mushtaq’s Haseena and Other Stories.

What to translate:

  • Any Tamil story of your liking, from anywhere in the world
  • The story should be of literary quality
  • The story should not have been translated before
  • The original story should have been written between 1972-2022
  • Word count in English should be between 2000 to 7000 words
  • Please do not submit excerpts from novels / novellas, we are looking for a self-contained story within the word limit mentioned above. 
  • Please submit only one story per entrant.
  • Considering that A. Muttulingam is one of the judges on our panel, we request our entrants to refrain from submitting translations of his works.

Other information:

  • Style: Translation should be as self-contained as possible; please avoid glossaries or footnotes unless absolutely necessary
  • Selection criteria: Since our focus is on encouraging literary translation, the selection criteria will accord significant weightage to the literary/aesthetic quality of the story, apart from the quality of the translation itself. 
  • Translation rights: We do not expect you to have obtained translation rights from the author prior to submission. However, if you do have the rights, it will help with publication of the story.
  • Publication: The top 3 entries will be published on the Mozhi website, subject to rights being available.

How to enter:

Please submit here.

Word document, 12pt, double spaced. Please mention the title of the story, the name of the author and your name on the first page.


1st Prize – INR 25,000

2nd Prize – INR 15,000

3rd Prize – INR 10,000

Prizes sponsored by Vishnupuram Literary Circle and Vishnupuram Publications


Last date for submission: 10 November 2022

Winners to be announced on: 10 December 2022

Write to if you have any questions. 

We look forward to your entry!

Team Mozhi