Institut Ramon LLull



Jadranka Vrsalovic Carevic
655 Third Ave. Suite 1830
Tel. +1.646.421.3548

Institut Ramon Llull is a consortium comprising the Government of Catalonia, the Government of the Balearic Islands, and the Barcelona City Council. Its mission is the support and promotion of Catalan language and culture abroad, in all its forms and means of expression.

Applications Now Open for the ALTA 2020 Emerging Translator Mentorship Program

Literature.  USA,  08/12/2019

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. ALTA’s Emerging Translator Mentorship Program was founded by former ALTA board member Allison M. Charette.

The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) is delighted to announce that the 2020 Emerging Translator Mentorship Program submission portals are open! 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. 

Applications are open from September 9 – December 8, 2019, and the program will run from February-November, 2020, culminating at the ALTA conference in Tucson, AZ. There will be a session on ALTA’s Awards, Mentorships, and Fellowships (with tips for how to apply) at ALTA42 in Rochester, NY, so please plan to attend!

The following six 2020 mentorships are confirmed and will be available. The 2020 mentorships are offered by ALTA in partnership with AmazonCrossing, the Hong Kong Poetry Festival Foundation, the Institut Ramon Llull, the Russian Federation Institute for Literary Translation, and the Literature Translation Institute of Korea.

- Non-language-specific, non-genre-specific, with mentor Kareem James Abu-Zeid
- Poetry from Hong Kong, with mentor Jennifer Feeley
- Catalan poetry or prose, with mentor Mara Faye Lethem
- Russian prose, with mentor Marian Schwartz
- Korean poetry, mentor TBA
- Korean prose, mentor TBA

Mara Faye Lethem has translated novels from the Catalan by Marta Orriols, Jaume Cabré, Albert Sánchez Piñol, Marc Pastor, Toni Sala, Eduard Márquez, and Alicia Kopf, among others. Her work has appeared in Granta, The Paris Review and McSweeney’s, and been recognized with two English PEN Awards and two International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award nominations. She writes the New Catalan Fiction catalogue each year for the Institut Ramon Llull, and wrote the application that earned Barcelona designation as a UNESCO City of Literature. She lives between Brooklyn and Barcelona, and is currently working on a novel by Max Besora.

Learn more about ALTA 2020 mentors here.

Additional information about the Non-Language-Specific Mentorship, offered in partnership with AmazonCrossing:

- This mentorship will be preferentially awarded to a translator working from an underrepresented or underfunded language.
- Preference will not be given to projects from the mentor’s language.
- Projects may not be proposed from languages already offered in language-specific mentorships (i.e. Russian or Polish prose)
- AmazonCrossing will be granted right of first refusal on the completed manuscript resulting from this mentorship.

Applications must be submitted online through ALTA 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. One round of judging will be blind, so the translator’s name should NOT appear anywhere on this document.
- A sample translation of 8-10 pages double spaced (prose or poetry), along with the corresponding source text. One round of judging will be blind, so the translator’s name should NOT appear anywhere on this document.

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 writers of color, writers with disabilities, LGBTQ+ writers, 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).

The timeline for the 2020 Emerging Translator Program Mentorships is:

September 9, 2019: Submissions open

December 8, 2019: Submissions close

Late January, 2020: Selected mentees notified

Early February, 2020: Selected mentees announced

Early February, 2020: Mentorship program begins with a virtual meeting

November 11-14, 2020: Mentorship program ends with a reading at ALTA43 in Tucson, AZ

Find out more about the program and past mentees’ accomplishments on ALTA webpage, and please direct any questions to ALTA Program Manager Kelsi Vanada at


Applications are open from September 9 – December 8, 2019, and the program will run from February-November, 2020. 

Applications must be submitted online through ALTA submission platform.

    Logo Institut Ramon Llull
  • A consortium of:

  • Generalitat de Catalunya Govern Illes Balears Ajuntament de Barcelona

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