Translators Association

The Translators Association (TA) was set up in 1958 to provide literary translators with an effective means of protecting their interests and sharing their concerns.

The TA is a source of expert advice for individual literary translators and also a collective voice representing the profession as a whole.

Translators automatically become a member of the TA on joining the SoA. It is run by a committee of 10 elected members and a professional secretary at the SoA, Catherine Fuller.

The TA is actively involved with the Literary Translation Centre at the London Book Fair and the annual International Translation Day event at the British Library.

The group was instrumental in the introduction of Public Lending Right for translators and also introduced a basic publishing agreement for translation contracts, which is now used widely.

Reasons to Join the TA

  • Contract vetting: individual advice on your publishing contracts.
  • Business advice and support on professional issues.
  • Meetings and events on literary and professional topics, and social events.
  • In addition to The Author, the SoA's quarterly magazine, TA members receive In Other Words, the journal for practicing literary translators published by Writers' Centre Norwich
  • A regular TA e-newsletter with news, events and opportunities
  • Access to the free TA Yahoo discussion group for members only.
  • Free guides and articles on a range of topics of interest to all writers, including Copyright and Moral Rights, Libel, and Publishing Contracts.
  • Free Guide to Translator/Publisher Contracts contains a basic agreement and is also available to non-members for £10.
  • Free Guide to Author-Commissioned Translations. This guide is available to non-members for £10.
  • Free Guide to Relay Translation. This guide is available to non-members for £6.
  • Supports the TA Diaspora - a network of literary translators who translate into English, but who are based in non-English speaking countries.


The negotiation of fees is a matter for the individual translator and client to resolve. In the SoA's experience, we have found that UK publishers are prepared to pay in the region of £95 per 1,000 words

For poetry we have observed payment in the region of £1.10 per line with a minimum of £35 per poem. 

Translators are sometimes invited  by publishers to provide a sample for free to be considered for a potential commission. The SoA advises that a word length in the region of 1500 words is acceptable for a sample of this kind. Translators are encouraged to ask the publisher how many people they are inviting to submit and to ask for editorial feedback if unsuccessful.

Further information and guidance is also available on our Rates and Fees pages

Don't forget that SoA members are entitled to unlimited, personal advice from the SoA advisory team.

For further advice contact Catherine Fuller.

Follow members of the TA on Twitter >>


Authors Guild Report on Translation Pay

Posted: 11 January 2018

A new report released by the Authors Guild shows that more than 65% of the literary translators responding to the survey earn less than $20,000 per year and only about 7% earn 100% of their income from translation work.


Posted: 11 January 2018

The TA AGM took place on 14 November.  Read the Co-Chairs' Report.

CEATL (Conseil Européen des Associations de Traducteurs Littéraires) The TA is represented on this international body.
CEATL's Hexalogue Six commandments for 'fair play' in literary translation.
Emerging Translators Network (ETN) A discussion forum and support network for early-career literary translators to share information and offer professional support. Meetings are held every two months in London, as well as occasional...
How to review translations A series of posts by critics and translators at Words Without Borders.
PEN America - Negotiating Contracts Negotiating Contracts: A checklist for translators produced by the PEN America Translation Committee in association with the TA and the Literary Translators Association of Canada.
Translation in Practice An attempt to establish 'best practice' for translation, edited by Gill Paul, from the Dalkey Archive Press website (724kB PDF).
Translation Pay Survey Authors Guild report on translation pay and work conditions.
Translation Prizes The SoA administers prizes for published translations from Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Swedish and for a first published translation.