translators association

Translators Association

Click here to find out about the 2008 Art of Translating workshops.

Translation makes connections between home and abroad, often indeed between the living and the dead, yet in its practice it is a solitary business. Join the TA and you will have the company of like-minded people, encouragement, and real practical help in the solitary work that is all your own.

About Us

The Translators Association celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. A constituent part of the Society of Authors, it was set up in 1958 to provide translators with an effective means of protecting their interests and sharing their concerns. Since then it has brought about Public Lending Right for translators, developed a model publishing agreement, which is used widely, and continues to raise awareness of the translating profession. The TA is a source of expert advice, a representative for individuals, and an advocate for the profession as a whole, with its own Committee and decision-making structure.

Membership Benefits

  • Contract vetting: confidential clause by clause advice on contracts
  • Advice and support on professional issues
  • Meetings and workshops on literary and professional topics, and social events
  • The Author, the journal of the Society of Authors, and In Other Words, journal of the British Centre for Literary Translation are sent free to members
  • Publications: The Society produces a number of Quick Guides on a range of topics of interest to all writers, including Copyright and Moral Rights, Libel, and Publishing Contracts. The guide to Translator/Publisher Contracts contains a model agreement and is available to download in the members’ section. The guide is also available to non-members for £10. To order your copy click here
  • Regular newsletters and e-bulletins containing informaion on coming events and current news
  • Access to two free email discussion groups run by BCLT/the British Council, and member Trista Selous.

How to Join

The TA is part of the Society of Authors. To join you must have one full-length work, or its equivalent, published or accepted for publication. Membership of the Society costs £90 per annum (£64 if you are under 35).

Translation Prizes

The Society of Authors administers prizes for published translations from Arabic, Dutch/Flemish, French, German, Italian, Modern Greek, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. The prizes are awarded at the annual Sebald Lecture, in partnership with BCLT. Readings from the winning books also take place at this event. See list of winners. 

There are a number of translation prizes run by other organisations, including those for translations from Hebrew, European languages, children’s literature, dramatic works, and fiction.


The TA suggests a minimum rate of remuneration for the translation of poetry and prose:

  • £80 per 1,000 words for prose
  • £0.85 per line for poetry

Sebald Lecture

The Sebald Lecture celebrates literature in translation, and commemorates W.G. "Max" Sebald, who founded BCLT in 1989. Following the success of the 2007 lecture, given by Marina warner, this year it will be held in the South Bank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on 29th September.

In Other Words

The Translators Association, in conjunction with the British Centre for Literary Translation, produces a journal for literary translators biannually which is sent to all TA members.

Non-members can also subscribe to the journal. For further details, or a subscription form, please contact the British Centre for Literary Translation, University of East Anglia, Norwich, Norfolk, NR4 7TJ, or visit their website.

International Links

The TA is represented on the following international bodies: 

  • CEATL (Conseil Européen des Associations de Traducteurs Littéraires) TA representative: Ros Schwartz
  • FIT (International Federation of Translators) TA representative at the FIT 2008 Congress: Amanda Hopkinson 

For further information about the Translators Association please contact Sarah Baxter.