The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) is a non-profit organization that supports and promotes literary translation and translators.


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Ends on 7/15/2015

Accepting applications for emerging translators working from Catalan, French (prose only) and Polish into English.

The ALTA Mentorship Program is designed to facilitate and establish a close working relationship between an experienced translator and an emerging translator on a project selected by the emerging translator. The mentorship duration is one year, and the emerging translator is expected to choose a project that can be completed in a year’s time and will only be advised on that particular project.

The mentor and mentee will meet at the beginning of their mentorship at the annual ALTA conference, and continue their work during the rest of the mentorship year, either in person, over Skype, or by phone as appropriate. A minimum of six meetings is expected for the course of the year. The mentorship will conclude with a presentation of the mentee’s work at the next annual ALTA conference. A number of magazine editors have agreed to review submissions directly from mentees at the end of their mentorship year, and to work with them on potential future projects.

The program is open to emerging translators at no cost to them. An emerging translator is someone who has published no more than one full length work of translation. MFA and MA students in translation can apply, but priority may be given to those who do not have access to the kind of guidance already present in a translation program. Though English is the target language, the emerging translator need not live in the United States.

This program is distinct from the ALTA Travel Fellowships. Applicants may apply to both programs, but may only receive one award.

2015-2016 Mentorships are available working from the following languages:

  • Catalan (prose or poetry), with mentor Ronald Puppo
  • French (prose only), with mentor Alyson Waters
  • Polish (prose or poetry), with mentor Bill Johnston 

Applications must be submitted online through this submission platform, and must include:

  • CV
  • A project proposal of no more than 1000 words. Projects must be reasonably expected to be completed within the scope of the 1-year mentorship. Proposals should include information about the original author and importance of the source text, as well as how the emerging translator would benefit from mentorship.
  • A sample translation of up to 10 pages double spaced (prose or poetry), along with the corresponding source text. 

Applications will be accepted until 11:59pm EST on July 15, 2015. The selected mentees will be announced in August.

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