Spring is here, time to apply for an ALTA Travel Fellowship if you’re an emerging translator interested in learning more about the wonderful world of literary translation. The American Literary Translators Association offers roughly a half-dozen $1000 fellowships each year to help emerging (= unpublished or minimally published) translators attend the conference. One of these, the Peter K. Jansen Memorial Travel Fellowship inaugurated in 2016, is specifically earmarked for “an emerging translator of color or a translator working from an underrepresented diaspora or stateless language”; if you qualify, there’s a box you can check on the ALTA Travel Fellowship application to be considered for a Jansen Fellowship as well as in the general competition.
Attending the ALTA conference is a brilliant move if you’re considering pursuing a career in translation. You’ll meet other translators working in your language area, learn what sorts of questions other translators are wrestling with in their work and how experienced translators solve the sorts of problems you yourself might be facing in your translations, hear about new authors, and generally get inspired. There’s always an ALTA Fellows reading as well during the conference where the Fellows present their work; no other events are scheduled against this reading, so there’s always a great turnout for it, a perfect way for the translation community to get to know you and your work.
The 2018 conference, entitled Performance, Props, and Platforms, will be held in Bloomington, IN from Oct. 31 – Nov. 3, 2018. There’ll be a keynote address by playwright and translator Caridad Svich. If you’re able to attend and qualify for a travel fellowship (you’ll find requirements and application information on the ALTA website), I hope you’ll do so, and look forward to seeing you there. The deadline for travel fellowship applications is April 16, 2018, and if you’re interested in submitting a panel proposal, they’re due on the same date.