Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ List

General

Membership

Awards

Conference

General FAQ

What is ALTA?

ALTA is a non-profit, inde­pendent, arts membership association dedi­cated to supporting the work of literary translators and advancing the art of literary translation. ALTA is a singular community of individuals committed to the art of literary translation and to promoting its significance in world culture.

What are the benefits of becoming an ALTA member?

There are many benefits to becoming an ALTA member, including discounts on conference registration, the ability to propose conference panels, access to member-only forums, subscription to Translation Review, discounted membership with our affiliate organizations—and so much more. Go to our membership page to find a full listing of membership benefits.  

How do I become a member? Are there differing levels of membership?

Becoming a member of ALTA is easy. ALTA offers different levels of memberships, including translator ($125/year), friend ($75/year), student ($30/year), and organizational ($250/year) memberships. Just go to our membership page to find out more.

What is the ALTA conference?

ALTA's annual conference is the only gathering of its kind in the country. Whether you’re a seasoned and awarded translator, just starting out, or anywhere in between, you are welcome at ALTA. People gather from around the country in a different city each autumn to enjoy lively discussions, panels, workshops, and keynotes, and find a community unlike any other.

The 43rd ALTA conference will take place November 11-14, 2020 in Tucson, AZ. Find out more on our conference page.

When and where are upcoming ALTA conferences?

The dates and locations of ALTA conferences are determined a few years in advance. You can learn about upcoming dates on our conference page.

How do I get updates from ALTA?

There are many ways to find out what ALTA is up to. Subscribe to our newsletter to get monthly updates, and follow us over our social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and our blog.

I’m interested in advertising with ALTA to reach a wide, translation-interested audience. How do I do this?

ALTA is pleased to offer a number of advertising opportunities, including online though our monthly newsletters and social media platforms, and in print at our annual conference.

Online, our newsletters reach about 3,000 subscribers monthly with open and click rates well exceeding industry standards, and we have over 5,000 followers on our social media platforms. To find out more about advertising opportunities, pricing, and file specifications, see our advertising page.

At our annual conference, we offer a variety of different advertising opportunities, including in the conference program, at display tables, on signage and publicity materials, and more. See our conference sponsorship page to find out more about how you can best reach our conference attendees.

I’d like to volunteer with ALTA. What opportunities are available?

There are a number of ways to get involved with ALTA. Find out about becoming a member of one of our committees, an expert reader for the National Translation Awards, a social media intern, or a writer for the ALTA blog.

I’m new to literary translation. What translation resources are out there?

ALTA has a list of resources for literary translators and those interested in literary translation, including ALTA guides to getting started in literary translation. We also have databases for if you’re looking to locate a publisher or a translator. You might also consider looking at resources from some of our colleagues in literary translation: the Authors Guild, PEN America, Translationista and Three Percent blogs, and American Translators Association are all great places to start.

I’m an author or publisher looking for a translator. Can you help me find one?

Yes! ALTA does not match translators to specific projects, but if you take a look at our translator database, you can search for translators working from specific languages.

I’m a translator looking for a publisher. Can you help me find one?

Yes! ALTA does not publish translations, but if you take a look at our publishers database, where you can search for specific genres, languages, publication format, and so on.

Who are the folks behind ALTA?

Follow these links to find out more about ALTA’s staff, Board of Directors, and committee members.

Membership FAQ

I’m having trouble logging in. What do I do?

If you’ve just joined, please allow 24 hours to pass before attempting to log in. If you’ve forgotten your username or password, please reset them using the option on the membership page.

If you’re still not able to log in after resetting your login credentials, please contact us at info@literarytranslators.org.

“System unable to find Drupal user X.” What do I do?

If you encounter this issue, please contact us at info@literarytranslators.org.

How do I post membership announcements?

ALTA is excited to celebrate your news! To share your news with us and potentially have it featured in our newsletter, log in to your account and go to the Members Area. There, you’ll see a page with the prompt “What would you like to do?” with one of the options being to submit different kinds of announcements. Follow the prompts and share your accomplishments with us.

How long is a membership? Can I get a refund if I decide to withdraw from ALTA?

A membership with ALTA is for the calendar year (January-December) without proration, and membership dues are non-refundable. If you join on or after November 1 of a given calendar year, your membership will be valid through the following year (for example, if you join November 1, 2019, your membership will be active through December 31, 2020).

Awards FAQ

I have a book I’d like to be considered for the awards. How do I submit?

Look at our awards page to see which award(s) your title is eligible for. Please note that only publishers may submit to the National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose, and either publishers or translators may submit to the Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize and the Italian Prose in Translation Award.

We only accept submissions through our Submittable page. Books sent to the ALTA office will be enjoyed but not considered for the awards.

When are the ALTA awards submissions open?

The ALTA awards submissions portals are open from mid-January through mid-April each year and consider works published during the previous calendar year. (For example, books published in 2018 will be eligible in 2019; those published in 2019 will be eligible in 2020; and so on.)

When are the ALTA award winners announced?

Winners of the ALTA awards are announced at the annual conference during the awards ceremony.

I’ve submitted a title for the ALTA awards but haven’t heard anything back. What do I do?

Please note that you will only be contacted by the ALTA office if your title is selected for the prize’s long- or shortlist. Due to the number of submissions we receive every year, we are not able to notify submitters of submissions not selected to proceed to the next round(s) of judging. If you feel you have not been notified in error or have questions regarding awards, contact Communications and Awards Manager Rachael Daum at rachaeldaum@literarytranslators.org.

Applicants to the Travel Fellowships can expect to hear back with acceptances and rejections in late June.

What is the difference between the Travel Fellowships and the Emerging Translator Mentorship Program?

The Travel Fellowships are awarded to emerging translators to help them pay for hotel and travel expenses to the annual ALTA conference. The Emerging Translator Mentorship Program is designed to establish and facilitate a close working year-long relationship between an experienced translator and an emerging translator on a project selected by the emerging translator, and also includes a stipend to help pay for hotel and travel expenses to the annual ALTA conference. Both Travel Fellows and Mentees have featured readings at the conference.

I’m interested in applying to be a Travel Fellow or Emerging Translator Mentorship Program recipient. What does “minimally published” mean?

“Minimally published” means that you have not published more than one full-length translation. If you have published more than one full-length translation, we offer our congratulations and ask that you do not apply for these fellowships, as you are not eligible.

Conference FAQ

When and how can I submit panels for the ALTA conference?

Submissions for sessions at the ALTA conference open in mid-January and are open through mid-April of each year. You must use the session submission form listed on the conference website each year.

In order to submit a panel, you must be an ALTA member. You needn’t be an ALTA member to participate on a panel. Further proposal guidelines may be found here.

I have an individual paper I’d like to present at the ALTA conference. Can I submit an individual paper?

ALTA does not accept individual paper submissions; only full session proposals are considered. Sessions may be fully organized before submitting, or organizers may invite additional participants to join the session once it has been accepted. To see further guidelines regarding the suggested structure for panels, workshops, and roundtables, see our proposal guidelines page.

After ALTA accepts panels for the conference in early May, a list of panels seeking additional panelists will be publicized over our website, newsletter, and social media platforms. If you would like to participate on a given panel, you may consult that list and write directly to the session organizer to ask to join that panel.

What is the Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading Series? How can I submit to participate?

The Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading Series, sometimes referred to simply as Bilingual Readings, are groupings of readings in which presenters organized by language or theme give 12-minute readings, part of which must be conducted in the original language of the reading selection. The Bilingual Readings are exclusive (~50% acceptance rate) and are among the most popular events at the ALTA conference.

Applications to participate in the Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading Series open in mid-February and are open through late May of each year. To apply, you must use the form provided on the conference site.

How can I find out more about the ALTA conference?

There is comprehensive information about the ALTA conference on the conference page of the ALTA website. You can also look at the conference archives here.

When will I know whether my panel or reading has been accepted?

Panel acceptances and rejections will be sent out in mid-May. Bilingual Reading acceptances and rejections will be sent out in mid-June.

When will the full conference program be available online?

The full conference program will be made available on the ALTA website in mid-July.

How do I register for the conference?

You can register for the conference online on the ALTA website. Early registration, which assures the best rate for you to attend the conference, will be available in the spring up until about a month before the conference. After early registration ends, late registration will be offered at a slightly higher rate online up to until two weeks before the conference. If you don’t register by the end of late registration, you will have to wait to register on-site at the conference itself at a higher rate. 

There are different registration rates: member, non-member, and student rates. Once registration is open, you can see more regarding the specific rates on our website.

Are there opportunities for me to attend the ALTA conference at a lower cost?

If you are an emerging translator, consider applying to the Travel Fellowship program, which offers a $1000 award to help pay for hotel and travel expenses to the conference.

You may also apply to participate in our work exchange program, which offers free conference registration in exchange for your time volunteering at the conference. This program is aimed at individuals who might not otherwise be able to attend the conference due to financial constraints.  More information about the work exchange program will be made available over the summer before the conference.

At ALTA, we do all we can to keep registration rates as affordable as possible for all attendees, and cannot offer discounts on an individual basis.

How do I request that my book be included in the ALTA conference bookfair?

Every year, ALTA partners with a different local bookseller to run the conference bookfair. A form to request titles to be sold at the ALTA bookfair will be made available in the spring, and will be open through the summer prior to the conference. To request that your title be included, you must submit using this form. Please note that as per our agreement with the bookseller, we are only able to request titles that have been published within the past five years, are returnable, and are distributed in the U.S. Requesting a book is not a guarantee that it will be available at the bookfair. 

Why wasn’t my book at the conference bookfair?

As per our agreement with the bookseller running the ALTA conference bookfair, requested titles must have been published within the past five years, must be returnable, and must be distributed in the U.S. All eligible books submitted through the bookfair request form are requested from the bookseller partnering with ALTA for that year's conference. However, there are many reasons why the bookseller may not be able to stock a requested title: for example, if the publication date is after the date of the conference, or if the book is backordered, out of stock, or out of print.

If my book was not included in the bookfair, can I bring and sell it myself?

You may not do so at the conference bookfair, and doing so is actively discouraged at the conference.

Where can I find information on getting to and from the ALTA conference?

Information on travel to and from the ALTA conference is listed on the conference webpage. Under the header for the current conference year, you’ll find a tab titled “Travel,” where there will be important information on getting to the airport nearest the conference venue, and any relevant information on getting to the venue itself.

What can I expect at the conference?

If you’re a first-time attendee at the conference, we say: welcome! Check out our guide for first-time attendees to get an idea of what to expect, and never hesitate to contact Communications and Awards Manager Rachael Daum at rachaeldaum@literarytranslators.org with specific questions.

If you wish to be in touch with other attendees before the conference, join our ALTA Conferences Facebook group. You can search for roommates, find other translators working from your language(s), gain insight into the conference location, and more. At the 2019 conference, ALTA debuted The Wayfinders Program, designed to connect new attendees with longstanding members, as a way to help new translators learn about ALTA from the perspective of experienced conference attendees. ALTA members are friendly and eager to meet new translators—expect a warm and supportive community.

How do I book my stay at the ALTA conference?

It’s recommended that you stay on-site at the hotel or convention center where the ALTA conference is taking place, in order to have easy access to all the conference events. Each year, ALTA secures a block of rooms in order to offer conference attendees at a special price. The hotel block typically opens in mid-March, and information will be made available at that time over our website, newsletter, and social media platforms. Book early, as rooms in our hotel blocks are released to the general public around one month before the start of the conference, and often fill up well in advance.

If you prefer not to stay on-site for whatever reason, there will be other hotels and forms of lodging in the surrounding area of the conference venue.

Can I get a refund if I can’t come to the conference after I’ve registered?

Registration for the conference is non-refundable.

 

Don’t see the answer to your question here? Email info@literarytranslators.org to get your questions answered!