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Biblioteczka tłumacza

Mentorship programs for literary translators (Polish-English)

W ramach Klubu Tłumacza dwa razy spotkał się z nami Sean Gasper Bye, tłumacz literatury polskiej na angielski. Odpowiedział na wiele pytań, a teraz dodatkowo chciałam go spytać jeszcze o jedno: Jak działają programy mentorskie dla tłumaczy literatury polskiej na angielski? Na czym polegają? Kto może w nich uczestniczyć? Poniżej odpowiedź Seana.

Anka Konieczna-Purchała

There are two major mentorship programs that work a little differently. One is based out of the National Centre for Writing in the UK and lasts six months – the other is run by the American Literary Translators Association and lasts a year. In both, „emerging” translators (i.e. translators who have not yet published a book-length translation) apply to be paired with an experienced translator, usually but not always someone working from the same language into English. They focus on a particular translation project (say, a book or a poetry collection), and, depending on the mentor, may also receive professional training in, say, negotiating contracts, networking, submitting to editors, etc.

Neither program has a residency requirement, so mentees can be based anywhere. The  NCW program has an in-person component, where the mentees meet in Norwich for workshops and professional training. The ALTA program includes a travel bursary to attend the ALTA conference in October (which alternates between Tucson, Arizona and cities around the US). Both also include some kind of „showcase” element–the NCW program closes with an event that editors are invited to, while the ALTA program has a special agreement with select literary journals and magazines to give them „first pick” of work by each year’s mentees.

Both the UK and US mentorships run Polish-specific mentorships – NCW does it every year, ALTA usually does it every other year. Both also run non-language-specific mentorships that translators from Polish would be eligible for.

They’re really wonderful programs and have an excellent track record in launching translators' careers. I really believe in the mentorship model, especially in a field that’s so networking-dependent.

Sean Gasper Bye