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Accepting applications for emerging translators working from Polish into English.

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 $1500 travel stipend covers ALTA conference registration, as well as travel to the conference location and on-site accommodations. Please note that each of our program funders may have different stipulations regarding travel funding.

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, 2021 at 11:59pm PT. The selected mentees will be announced in February.

Please use this form to apply to the mentorship in Polish with Bill Johnston.

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. 
  • A sample translation of 8-10 pages (double-spaced if prose) from the proposed project, along with the corresponding source text IN ONE DOCUMENT

This mentorship is being offered by ALTA in partnership with the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

The timeline for the mentorship program application process is:
September 1, 2021: Submissions open
November 30, 2021: Submissions close
Late January, 2022: Selected mentees notified
Early February, 2022: Selected mentees announced
Early February, 2022: Mentorship program begins with a virtual meeting
November 2-5, 2022: Mentorship program ends with a reading at ALTA45 in Tucson, AZ

About the Mentor
Bill Johnston’s awards include the 2019 National Translation Award in Poetry for Adam Mickiewicz’s verse narrative Pan Tadeusz (Archipelago Books), a translation supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship; the 2017 Found in Translation Award for Tomasz Różycki’s mock epic poem Twelve Stations(Zephyr Press); the 2014 Transatlantyk Prize; and the 2012 PEN Translation Prize and Best Translated Book Award, both for Wiesław Myśliwski’s novel Stone Upon Stone (Archipelago Books). He has twice been on the faculty at the Bread Loaf Translators Conference, and has previously served five times as mentor for the ALTA mentorships. He teaches literary translation at Indiana University.

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

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