Mentorship programme

FILI has set up two literary translation mentorship programmes.

Mentorship 1 is open to translators at the start of their careers who do not yet have significant experience of translating literature or in translating from Finnish into their own language. In order for an application to be successful, a suitable mentor must be available. The purpose of this mentorship is to produce a sample translation. Note: In the first year, this mentorship is limited to applicants who translate from Finnish.

Mentorship 2 is open to translators who already have a contract to translate a book but do not yet have significant experience of translating literature or in translating from Finnish into their own language. In order for an application to be successful, a suitable mentor must be available. The purpose of this mentorship is to support translators while they are working on translations that will be published.

We will endeavour to find mentors for both mentorships from among the people who have expressed an interest in serving as mentors. If you are interested in being a translation mentor, you can contact Merja Aho at FILI.

How to apply for a mentorship

Mentorship 1: The application period is from 11 December 2019 to 6 January 2020. Participants will be chosen by 10 January 2020, and all applicants will be notified of the decision by 15 January 2020.

An introductory seminar will be held in Helsinki for the selected mentors and mentees on 27–28 February 2020. The seminar will cover the mentorship syllabus and practical matters. The mentorship will begin on 27 February 2020 and end on 20 October 2020 with a concluding seminar, to be organised in conjunction with the Helsinki Book Fair. Mentors and mentees are required to participate in both seminars.

Places are limited, so we cannot guarantee that every applicant who meets the application criteria will be accepted onto the programme. Nevertheless, it is worth submitting an application, as the mentor–mentee pairs will be matched individually. Priority will be given to applicants who have a profile on Kääntöpiiri. You can create a profile on Kääntöpiiri even if you have not yet had any translations published.

Applications for the mentorships must be submitted via an online form. Applicants should attach a current CV/résumé and a covering letter explaining their reasons for applying.

If you have any questions, contact Merja Aho at FILI: .

Mentorship 2: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. If you have signed a literary translation contract and would like some support during the translation process, you can submit an online application.

Applicants should attach a current CV/résumé and a covering letter explaining their reasons for applying. For more information, contact Johanna Pitkänen: .

What is a mentorship?

A mentorship is a focused, one-on-one professional relationship focusing on individual help, openness, confidentiality and commitment.

A mentorship is a fixed-term process with a definite goal. A written agreement will be drawn up covering mutual working methods, rules and confidentiality.

To ensure things get off to a good start, it is also important to go over the mentee’s (that is, the applicant’s) and the mentor’s wishes and expectations about the mentorship and each other. A key element of a mentorship is that all mentoring and professional dialogue should be based on the mentee’s initiative. The mentee’s timetable and needs form the basis of the mentorship.

Each mentor–mentee pair will agree on their shared objectives, a timetable for achieving those objectives, and how they will maintain contact between their in-person meetings. Before each meeting, they will agree on what the mentee wants to achieve and how he/she will prepare for it, so that the mentor can also prepare for the meeting.

Mentoring is a process that can enable the sharing of experience and knowledge. Mentees can acquire specific knowledge and guidance from their mentor for use in their own work, as well as personal coaching and encouragement. The mentor’s task is to help his/her mentee to network and create important relationships in the publishing landscape. Above all, the mentor will provide support in the areas important to the mentee and where the mentee expresses a wish to have input from a reliable second person – the mentor.

Ideally, a mentorship will help both the mentee and the mentor in their professional development.

FILI’s mentorships provide free training to mentees. FILI will pay a fee to the mentors.