The ALTA Emerging Translator Mentorship Programme 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 approximately 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.
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 program. The mentorship will conclude with a presentation of the mentee’s work in a reading at the annual ALTA conference in the autumn. ALTA’s mentees also have the option to take part in ALTA’s ‘First Look’ programme, which allows participating magazine and book 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 following 13 mentorships are available in 2022, offered by ALTA in partnership with Amazon Crossing, anonymous individual donors, the Institut Ramon Llull, the Literature Translation Institute of Korea, the National Arts Council Singapore, the Polish Cultural Institute New York, the Russian Federation Institute for Literary Translation, the Swedish Arts Council, Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture and Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles (TECO-LA), the Québec Government Office in New York, and the Yanai Initiative:
- Catalan, with mentor Mara Faye Lethem.
- Japanese, with mentor David Boyd.
- Korean poetry, with mentor Jack Jung.
- Korean prose, with mentor Janet Hong.
- Non-language-specific BIPOC mentorship, with mentor Katrina Dodson (open to translators who identify as Black, Indigenous and/or a Person of Color).
- Non-language-specific, non-genre-specific, with mentor Kareem James Abu-Zeid.
- Polish, with mentor Bill Johnston.
- Prose from Québec, with mentor Linda Gaboriau.
- Russian prose, with mentor Marian Schwartz.
- Singaporean literature (translated from Malay, Mandarin Chinese, or Tamil), with mentor Khairani Barokka.
- Singaporean literature (translated from Malay, Mandarin Chinese, or Tamil), with mentor Julia Sanches (open to Singaporean nationals).
- Swedish, with mentor Kira Josefsson.
- Literature from Taiwan, with mentor Steve Bradbury.
The programme 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 Programme is open to all applicants, it especially encourages applications from translators of colour, translators with disabilities, LGBTQ+ translators, and those who don’t have an MA, an MFA, or some other equivalent type of training. Though English is the target language, the emerging translator need not live in the United States.