Emerging Translator Programs

Emerging Translator Programs



ALTA is dedicated to supporting the work of literary translators at all stages of their careers! Our programs for emerging translators are specifically tailored to help early career translators develop their craft and professional networks.We currently offer two main programs: a standalone fellowship to support attendance to our annual conference, and a rotating suite of 1-year mentorships in which emerging translators are paired with experienced translators, and also receive support to attend the conference.

Looking for info on ALTA's First Translation Prize for emerging translators? See our Awards Program.

Also see our Multilingual Translation Workshops, open to translators at all levels of experience.

Travel Fellowship Program

Each year, a number of $1,000 fellowships are awarded to emerging translators to help them participate in the annual ALTA conference. Among these, the Peter K. Jansen Memorial Travel Fellowship is preferentially awarded to one emerging translator of color or a translator working from an underrepresented diaspora or stateless language.

At the conference, ALTA Fellows are invited to read their translated work at a keynote event, giving them an opportunity to present their translations to an audience of translators, authors, editors, and publishers from around the world. 

Learn about previous years' fellows here.


The application portal for Travel Fellowships opens annually in January, with applications due in March. 

Interested in applying? Click through for the requirements. 


Eligibility & Submissions 

About Peter K. Jansen 

Peter K. Jansen (1934-2007) was an eminent scholar and translator of 19th- and 20th-century German literature, and University of Chicago Professor Emeritus. His remarkable contribution to German literary studies in English both as a scholar and a translator includes three plays by the Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard. Though Jansen retired from the University in 1999, he continued his work as an active translator of German and Austrian literature, and become involved in shaping some of the activities of the Goethe Institute of Chicago. 


Mentorship Program

Mentor Katrina Dodson and Mentee Angelina Coronado at the 2022 Mentorship Program Weekend.

The Mentorship Program is designed to establish and facilitate a close working relationship between an experienced translator and an emerging translator on a literary translation project selected by the emerging translator. The mentorship duration is one year. 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. The program is open to translators at no cost to them

At right: 2022 Mentor Katrina Dodson and Mentee Angelina Coronado

Program Structure

The Mentorship Program is comprised of several language-specific mentorships and one non-specific mentorship established in partnership with funders that change annually. Genre criteria may also apply. Each year mentors are selected to serve in mentorship pairs based on their expertise on the language and form requirements of that year's mentorships.


Current Mentorship Program 


All mentors and mentees meet via video conference at the beginning of their mentorship in February and continue their work through individual meetings either in person, over Skype, or by phone. A minimum of six meetings is expected in the first nine months of the program. The mentorship will feature a presentation of the mentee’s work in a reading at the annual ALTA conference in the fall. While this program is distinct from the ALTA Travel Fellowships, the Mentorship Program does include a $1500 travel stipend to cover travel to the conference location and on-site accommodations. ALTA conference registration is also covered for both mentors and mentees. Please note that some of our program funders may have different stipulations regarding travel funding.

Program History

Founded in 2015 by former ALTA Board member Allison M. Charette, ALTA's Emerging Translator Mentorship Program has supported 71 translators working into English from 25 languages.

Explore our archive of past mentorships, including mentee interviews and documentation of mentee readings.

Past Mentorships  


Read about the many achievements of our past mentees, including publications, fellowships, and awards. 

Mentee Accomplishments 


New mentorships are announced each September with applications due in November. 

Interested in applying? Click through for the general requirements. Please note that some funders may have special requirements for the mentorships they support; these details will be shared when the application portal opens for the year each September.

Eligibility & Submissions 



ALTA's Emerging Translator Mentorship Program is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Other program funders and partners are established annually and determine the scope of mentorships offered each year.

See past funders here. To discuss becoming a future Mentorship Program funder, please contact Program Director Kelsi Vanada at kelsi@literarytranslators.org.

First Look Publishers Program

Participants in the Emerging Translator Mentorship Program 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 period, for possible publication. In 2020, for example, 11 poems and 3 short stories translated by our mentees were immediately selected for publication by 6 different literary journals! 

To date, the editors of the following presses and journals have supported emerging literary translators by reading our mentees' excerpts:

Adroit JournalAmerican ChordataAnomalyArchipelago BooksBlack OceanBlack Sun LitChicago ReviewCircumference MagazineColumbia JournalCoffee House PressThe CommonDenver QuarterlyThe Georgia ReviewGulf CoastThe Kenyon ReviewThe Literary ReviewLitmus PressThe Massachusetts ReviewModern Poetry in Translation,, The Northwest ReviewThe OffingOn the SeawallThe Southern ReviewTupelo QuarterlyTurtle Point PressTwo Lines PressWaxwingWords Without BordersWorld Literature Today

Are you a publisher that would like to be receive translation excerpts at the end of each mentorship program year? Please contact Program Director Kelsi Vanada at kelsi@literarytranslators.org