Proposals

Proposals

Notice: ALTA43 is moving to a virtual platform.
Click here to read a statement from ALTA Board President Ellen Elias-Bursać.
Click here to read a statement from ALTA staff about changes to session and reading proposals

The ALTA Conference features over one hundred panels, roundtables, readings, and workshops. The proposal process is competitive, and panel organizers are encouraged to review the call for proposals, and familiarize themselves with the information on this page before planning and submitting a proposal. For examples of ALTA conference sessions and bios, please take a look at the program books from recent ALTA conferences in our archive.

Submission Guidelines

  • ALTA does not accept individual paper submissions. Proposals for sessions must be submitted by session organizers.
  • Session organizers may also present, or moderate the session, and are recommended to have at least TWO other participants already committed to participating in that session. There is a limit of six total participants, including the moderator, per session. 
  • Sessions may be fully organized before submitting, or organizers may invite additional participants to join the session once it has been accepted.
  • Only ALTA members may organize and submit session proposals. Click here to check your membership status, join, or renew.
  • You do not need to be a member to be listed as a participant on a session proposal.
  • Anyone may apply to participate in the Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading Series, though preference is given to ALTA members.
  • Members may submit a session proposal, as well as apply to participate in the Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading Series.
  • Participants may not be listed on more than two sessions, including the Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading Series.
  • NEW! Find a list of "Tips for Submitting a Strong ALTA Session Proposal" here.

Session Types

PANELS

Panels include 2 to 6 speakers (total, including moderator(s)) who share their individual perspectives on a theme, issue, genre, etc. within literary translation. The panel moderator may also be one of the panel members, though it may work best to have a moderator who can concentrate on managing the timing and the turn-taking in discussion. Generally, on a panel, speakers have knowledge or experience they are sharing with the audience.

We request that panelists not read papers, instead encouraging a wider discussion format between panelists (and audience). Notes may of course be used to prompt, but rote reading does not serve the ALTA conference or its attendees. You can read the full policy in ALTA's Conference Terms and Conditions.

ROUNDTABLES

Roundtables include 2 to 6 participants (total, including moderator(s)) who engage each other in dialogue. In order to explore a topic together, they may: involve speakers answering question/s on a given theme posed to them by a moderator, be largely devoted to Q&A, or involve a combination of brief presentations and conversation between participants. Roundtables should always conclude with an opportunity for the audience to participate.

WORKSHOPS

Workshops involve direct engagement between workshop leader(s) and participants (2 to 6 total, including moderator(s)), often with a particular text that is usually either provided by the workshop leader(s) to interested attendees ahead of the conference, or provided by said attendees to be workshopped by the whole group.

Group Readings

Group readings of up to 6 readers may be proposed through the conference session proposal form. Individual Bilingual Reading applications are submitted through a separate form (see below).

Bilingual Readings

The Annual Alexis Levitin Bilingual Reading Series is one of the most popular events at the conference. Each reader gets 12 minutes to read, and readings must be conducted at least partially in the source language, in addition to English. The readings run throughout the conference day, and sometimes continue to offsite evening events like the popular Café Latino. Selection for a Bilingual Reading is extremely competitive, with only approximately 50% of applicants accepted. Selection preference is given to current ALTA members, to readers who are not participating in any other conference sessions, to and readers who did not participate in the previous year's Bilingual Reading Series.

Bilingual Reading applications are for individual translators, not for groups. To propose a group reading session, please use the Conference Session Proposal form.

Proposal Topics

We invite panels, roundtables, and workshops on all topics related to the annual conference theme, to which we envision a broad array of possible approaches, both direct and indirect, including:

  • Publishing, editing, and book promotion
  • Author/translator relationships
  • Engaging languages in their various modalities
  • Literary scholarship, including Deaf literary scholarship, Indigenous literary scholarship, and others
  • Grants, sponsorship, and other forms of patronage
  • Gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity
  • The languages of history, cultural memory
  • Author panels, country-specific panels
  • Text and paratext (e.g., translator prefaces, intros, notes, afterwords)
  • Translation and other arts (e.g., design, music)
  • Nuances of practice (in fiction, poetry, drama, and creative nonfiction)
  • Text- and/or language-specific workshops

Filling Sessions

If you're interested in finding individuals with similar interests to yours to form a session together, you have options! If you have a Facebook account, we recommend joining the Literary Translation and/or ALTA Conferences pages, where you can put a call out to those who may have similar interests in forming or joining a session. You can also search our translator database for others working in or from the same language. Please remember that session organizers must be ALTA members, though participants need not be. There are many benefits to becoming an ALTA member, including the ability to propose panels and access to a members-only listserv, ALTAlk, which enjoys a good deal of activity, including calls for people to join in on panels at the ALTA conference. Additionally, after session acceptances go out in mid-May, ALTA posts a list of accepted sessions still seeking participants on our website.  

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to send us an email at info@literarytranslators.org.