Multilingual translation workshops offer you an opportunity to meet in a small group with an established translator to discuss and receive feedback on a brief excerpt of work in your translation from any language into English. Participants need not all share the same source language(s), and you may submit texts translated from a language other than the one(s) your workshop leader is an expert in.
From emerging translators looking to workshop their first translation, to established translators looking for help on a tricky passage, these workshops are for everyone! Each workshop lasts 105 minutes in Zoom, and offers a collaborative experience between one workshop leader and 6 participants who circulate their work in advance.
Click on the button below to find the bios for our next round of workshop leaders and to sign up. You will be able to see how many seats are remaining in each workshop. You are also welcome to register for more than one workshop. We hold two rounds of workshops per year, in the spring (April) and summer (August).
ALTA members receive 20% off of all tickets using the member promo code. Input your code above the list of tickets, in the box that says Promo Code. Make sure to click "Apply" and you will see the price change. If you need your code, please search your email for "ALTA member promo code" or write to email@example.com. You are welcome to sign up for more than one workshop!
Workshops will be captioned using Zoom's automatic transcription feature.
What to expect when you register for a workshop
Once you register for a workshop, you will receive a confirmation email with the following links:
- Link to upload your workshop text (with corresponding source text) to Dropbox
- Link to view your fellow participants' work prior to the workshop
- Link to join your workshop in Zoom at the appointed day/time
To ensure the best experience, we request workshop participants make the following commitments:
- Please submit a short translation text of yours and its corresponding original source text by the deadline in your confirmation email. Please limit your translation submission to one page. If you submit a longer text, the workshop leaders will only read and comment on the first page. Also, please be aware that if you submit your text after the deadline, your workshop leader may not be able to comment on your text before the workshop. However, you are still welcome to attend the workshop. When you register for a workshop, a link to submit your texts will be sent to you in your Eventbrite confirmation email.
- Please read your peers’ work and be ready to comment on it before your workshop starts (you are not required to give the translator written comments, however). In order to give your workshop leader and fellow participants enough time to read everyone's work prior to the workshop, please be sure to submit your work on time.
- When you submit your translation, you are encouraged to include one paragraph of context summary in the same document. (This does not count against your one-page limit on your translation.) This should be simply a few words about the author and the text, and why you chose this piece.
- Email addresses for the 6 participants in your workshop will be shared with the group in advance of the workshop so that you may contact each other if you like. If you would prefer your email address NOT be shared with your fellow participants, please email ALTA at firstname.lastname@example.org to opt out.
After attending the workshop, you will have the opportunity to share feedback in a survey. We look forward to hearing from you!
Building Our Future: A Weekend of Virtual Workshops for Emerging BIPOC Translators (Saturday, August 26 and Sunday, August 27: 9 AM-12 PM PST) is a free, weekend-long virtual program meant to empower literary translators of color as they begin to navigate the field and to strengthen the relationships between ALTA and other literary arts organizations that serve BIPOC communities. The inaugural event, hosted this year in collaboration with the Asian American Writers' Workshop (AAWW), invites 6-8 new and emerging BIPOC literary translators to take part in two generative non-language-specific workshops, attend a business talk with a literary professional, and end the weekend with community building at a virtual happy hour.
On Saturday, Dong Li will lead the first workshop from 9 to 11 AM. The workshop will be followed by a short break and then a business talk at 11 AM led by Lisa Hofmann-Kuroda, who will offer an introduction to a career in literary translation.
On Sunday, Meena Kandasamy will lead the second workshop from 9 to 11 AM. The workshop will be followed by a virtual happy hour with the opportunity to mingle and chat with fellow translators, workshop leaders, and representatives from the American Literary Translators Association and the Asian American Writers' Workshop.
To apply, please submit a 1-page literary translation sample (non-genre-specific) from any language into English and a 1-page personal statement as attachments in an email to email@example.com.
Please only apply if you will be able to attend both the Saturday and Sunday sessions.
- For 1-page literary translation sample, please use a standard, legible 12-point font. Please double-space your translation work if it is prose. Please do not send more than 1 page of double-spaced translation. For poetry, we leave formatting up to you, as that will likely be determined by the formatting of the original poem(s). However, if you're unsure about the formatting, you could double-space them and use a regular 12-point font such as Times New Roman.
- For 1-page personal statement: Applications will be assessed based on the demonstrated literary merit/potential of the sample translation, in addition to the stated program eligibility requirements. The guiding question for evaluating applications is “Which applicant would benefit most from the Building Our Future Translation Workshop program?”
- We strive for inclusivity and diversity in our applicants. We welcome applicants of all backgrounds, regardless of ethnicity, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, ability, status, educational level or professional experience, including those with prior training or experience in non-literary translation. Applicants must identify as BIPOC to apply, and Building Our Future Translation Workshops especially encourage applications from translators with disabilities and LGBTQ+ translators, as well as applications from folks who have never published a translation, or have only very recently started translating, or have never tried literary translation but read/speak a non-English language. This workshop is exclusively for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) translators. If you are not BIPOC, we kindly ask that you cede space to your BIPOC colleagues.
- Applications will be accepted until July 14. Translators who have little or no prior experience with literary translation are encouraged to apply. Applicants will be notified of decisions by July 21.
Meena Kandasamy is an anti-caste activist, poet, novelist and translator. Her writing aims to deconstruct trauma and violence, while spotlighting the militant resistance against caste, gender, and ethnic oppressions. Her latest work is a collection of essays, The Orders Were to Rape You: Tamil Tigresses in the Eelam Struggle (2021).
Dong Li is a multilingual author who translates from Chinese, English, French, and German. His latest English translation is The Gleaner Song (Giramondo & Deep Vellum, 2021). His debut collection of poetry The Orange Tree (Chicago UP, 2023) is the inaugural winner of the Phoenix Emerging Poet Book Prize.
Lisa Hofmann-Kuroda is a Japanese to English literary translator based in New York City. Born in Tokyo, raised in Texas, she received her B.A. from Wesleyan University and her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. Her translations of Kirino Natsuo, Yuko Tsushima, and Yoko Tawada are forthcoming from Knopf, Farrar, Straus and Giroux (FSG), and New Directions.