Literary translators are excited to be taking their first steps toward forming a division in the National Writers Union! Advocacy for better contractual terms and working conditions by literary translators, who are all freelance workers, has been ongoing for years, even decades, mostly through professional organizations, and some advances have been made. We have a model contract (for book-length translations of prose), and there’s been progress in winning fair terms from publishers as well as increasing our visibility. Nevertheless, earnings for literary translators in the United States are not keeping pace with the rising cost of living, which not only devalues our labor, but maintains it as a profession dominated by people with privilege (based on class, race, ability, and so on). Being a part of the NWU will allow us to talk about pay more openly, and organize without the trepidation that has hindered efforts in groups that are not labor unions. We invite all translators eager and energized to build worker solidarity in our profession to join the nascent organizing committee in NWU by dropping us a line at email@example.com.
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