"Translation Nexus" Short Fiction Contest
"In the four quarters of the globe, who reads an American book?" -- Reverend Sydney Smith, 1824

"Of course there is powerful literature in all big cultures, but you can't get away from the fact that Europe still is the centre of the literary world, not the United States. The US is too isolated, too insular. They don't translate enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature. That ignorance is restraining." -- Horace Engdahl, Permanent Secretary of the Nobel Prize Committee, 2008

"Americans don't see interesting "dilemmas." They only see problems that must be solved." -- My "Victorian Futures" English Lit Professor at the University of Texas, 2002

For the month of February, The Fiction Circus will be holding an experimental contest designed to solve a "world problem" that has caused our greatest American authors to be ignored and maligned all over the globe.

In order to correct our deep American ignorance, we want to create a system -- a standard -- that will allow "important literature" to flow back and forth between countries with the same grace as wacky YouTube videos of cats or torture.

We want to show that it is possible to apply the same dynamics that make Wikipedia and Bitorrent effective toward the process of translation. We want to show that poets, linguists, and other language artists are just as willing to donate their talents to the internet as encyclopedists and pornographers.

WHAT WE WANT FROM YOU: A really good short story no longer than 1500 words. NOTE: You don't have to be American to participate in this contest, but the story should be in English, because that is the only language we at The Fiction Circus can effectively judge.

THE PRIZE: We will create a "translation nexus" around this short story, building a wiki where readers all over the world can help to translate the winning story into every possible language. We feel that conflict and argument will create the best version of each translation, just like conflict and argument create the best Wikipedia articles about bees or "Ghostrider." We predict that the winning story will quickly be translated into the big seven languages (English, Mandarin, Spanish, Hindi, Russian, Arabic and Portuguese), and then will slowly filter down into the more obscure languages, like Klingon and Latin. Our goal is to get this story translated into every human language on the planet.

Once our contest winner has been translated, we will also try to find native speakers who can read the translated stories aloud, recording these translations for the blind and lazy. Also we would try to create videos of the story in sign language.

The winner of this contest will get more "world exposure" than any writer has ever enjoyed. We also hope to spark -- and participate in -- similar contests that other magazines and collectives create in other countries.

DEADLINE: Our contest opens on February 1st, 2011 and ends on February 28, 2011.

HOW TO ENTER THIS CONTEST: You can enter this contest by submitting your story to our "Living Slush Pile," following all the same rules and restrictions. Please put the words "TRANSLATION NEXUS" in the title of your submission so that we can distinguish it from our regular fiction submissions.


1). Our regular word limit is 7000 words. This submission should only be 1500 words or less.

2). Your contest submission will be a story for the whole world. Try to write something universal.

3). Thanks to our "Living Slush Pile," you will be able to comment and vote on submissions until we pick a winner. The winner will be chosen by Fiction Circus editors, but your comments and ideas will certainly be taken into consideration.

4). If you simply cannot keep your genius short story under 1500 words, please submit your story to us as a good, old-fashioned Fiction Circus story submission. We won't translate it into every human language, of course, but Americans will be grateful that they have something good to read.

Sterkte! Geluk!
Pa fat!
Buena suette!
Chons da!
Hodn tst!
Held og lykke!
Succes! Veel geluk!
Bon ancon!
Guua eydnu!
Vanuinui vinaka
Bonne chance !
Buine fortune
Bona fortuna!
Laimags gadjums! Veiksmi!
Skms! Geros kloties!
Vill Gluck!
Selamat Maju Jaya!
Xewqat sbie?!
Aigh vie!
Kia waimarie!
Lykke til!
Bon astre!
Boa sorte!
Ia manuia!
Guid Luck!
Buena suerte!

Posted by miracle on Thu, 20 Jan 2011 19:30:36 -0600 -- permanent link

The Gallery at LPR
158 Bleecker St., New York, NY
Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

All content c. 2008-2009 by the respective authors.

Site design c. 2009 by sweet sweet design