Sunday Submissions: Emerging Translator Mentorship Program, Applications Closing Soon

The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) is still encouraging submissions to their Emerging Translator Mentorship Program — designed to establish and facilitate a close working relationship between an experienced translator and an emerging translator:

Submissions are set to close in one week, and this year ALTA organizers are still hoping more early-career Arabic-English translators will apply for a mentorship with poet-translator Kareem James Abu-Zeid.

The mentorship is set to take place over nine months, during which time the emerging translator is expected to complete their proposed project, with assistance and advice from their mentor.

This year, seven mentorships are available. In addition to the Arabic mentorship with Abu-Zeid, there is:

  • Catalan poetry or prose, with mentor Mara Faye Lethem
  • Poetry from Hong Kong, with mentor Jennifer Feeley
  • Korean poetry, with mentor Joyelle McSweeney
  • Korean prose, with mentor Janet Hong
  • Russian prose, with mentor Marian Schwartz
  • Non-language-specific, non-genre-specific, with mentor Bill Johnston

Applications are open through Sunday, December 8, 2019, and the program is set to run from February-November, 2020, culminating at the ALTA conference in Tucson, AZ.

ALTA Director Elisabeth Jaquette notes that those who are interested can “find out more about the program and past mentees’ accomplishments on our webpage,” and they can “direct any questions to ALTA Program Manager Kelsi Vanada at”

The program defines an “emerging translator” as one who has published no more than one full-length work of translation. They add that, 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).”

Eligible translators can apply through Submittable; there is no cost to apply.