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 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


We are seeking panels of 2-6 presenters, including a moderator (who may also present). Panel participants need not be ALTA members. Panels are 75 minutes long, and must include time for general discussion and audience responses (we suggest at least 20 minutes). Each panelist should be allotted 10-15 minutes depending on the number of panelists (3-4 is ideal).

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 are more loosely structured with more participants, less presentation time per participant, and more time for interaction among participants and audience members. 


Workshops generally focus on texts provided in advance.

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
  • 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, afterwards)
  • Translation and other arts (e.g., design, music)
  • Nuances of practice (in fiction, poetry, 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