Ends on

Accepting applications for emerging translators working into English on a prose or poetry project (drama is welcome).

The ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Program is designed to establish and facilitate a close working relationship between an experienced translator and an emerging translator on a project selected by the emerging translator. The mentorship duration is nine months. The emerging translator is expected to choose a project that can be completed in that time, and they will only be advised on that particular project. ALTA's Emerging Translator Mentorship Program was founded by former ALTA board member Allison M. Charette.

All mentors and mentees meet via video conference at the beginning of their mentorship in February, and continue their work through individual meetings during the rest of the mentorship year, either in person, over Skype, or by phone. 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 in a reading at the annual ALTA conference in the fall

ALTA's mentees also have the option to take part in our "First Look" program, which allows participating publishers to be the first to read excerpts of the translations mentees have worked on throughout their mentorship, for possible publication. The award covers ALTA conference registration, as well as travel to the conference location and on-site accommodations, up to $1500. 

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. While ALTA’s Mentorship Program is open to all applicants, we especially encourage applications from translators of color, translators with disabilities, LGBTQ+ translators, and those who don't have an MA, an MFA, or some other equivalent type of training, such as a mentorship from the National Centre for Writing’s Emerging Translator Mentorships (UK). Though English is the target language, the emerging translator need not live in the United States. The selected mentee’s proposed project will be worked on based on availability (applicants are not expected to secure rights for their proposal).

This program is distinct from the ALTA Travel Fellowships. Previous years' Fellows are welcome to apply for the Mentorship. Applicants may apply to both programs in the same year, but only may only receive one award.  

For more information, please see our website for details, as well as introductions to former mentees and their accomplishments. 

Applications will be accepted through November 30, 2020 at 11:59pm MT. The selected mentees will be announced in February.

Please use this form to apply to this non-language-specific, non-genre-specific mentorship with Kareem James Abu-Zeid.

Applications must be submitted online through our 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 nine-month 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. One round of judging will be blind, so the translator’s name should NOT appear anywhere on this document.
  • A sample translation of 8-10 pages in any genre (double-spaced if prose), along with the corresponding source text. One round of judging will be blind, so the translator’s name should NOT appear anywhere on this document.

This mentorship is being offered by ALTA in partnership with Amazon Crossing.
 
Additional information about the Non-Language-Specific Mentorship:

  • This mentorship will be preferentially awarded to a translator working from an underrepresented or underfunded language.
  • Preference will not be given to projects from the mentor's language.
  • Projects may not be proposed from languages already offered in language-specific mentorships (i.e. Russian prose, Catalan prose or poetry, or poetry from Hong Kong)
  • Amazon Crossing will be granted right of first refusal on the completed manuscript resulting from this mentorship.

 
The timeline for the mentorship program application process is:
September 8, 2020: Submissions open
November 30, 2020: Submissions close
Late January, 2021: Selected mentees notified
Early February, 2021: Selected mentees announced
Early February, 2021: Mentorship program begins with a virtual meeting
November 10-13, 2021: Mentorship program ends with a reading at ALTA44 in Tucson, AZ

About the Mentor
Kareem James Abu-Zeid is a freelance translator of poets and novelists from across the Arab world, including Adonis, Najwan Darwish, Rabee Jaber, and Dunya Mikhail. His work has earned him an NEA grant (2018), PEN Center USA’s Translation Prize (2017), Poetry Magazine's translation prize (2014), the Northern California Book Award in Poetry (2015), and residencies from the Banff Centre and the Lannan Foundation. He has a PhD in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and has been a Fulbright Research Fellow in Germany, and a CASA Fellow in Egypt. The online hub for his work is www.kareemjamesabuzeid.com.

  -------------- Please contact ALTA's Program Manager Kelsi Vanada with any questions: kelsi@literarytranslators.org.

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