Working groups

Our working groups collect and publish information on specific topics

Working conditions

This working group was the first to be created, in 2005. In 2008 it published a groundbreaking report on the catastrophic income situation of literary translators in 23 European countries and regions. This report can still be downloaded from the CEATL website. The second edition will be published in 2015, supported by the Dutch collecting society, LIRA.

Author’s rights

The aim of the authors’ rights working group is to improve the working conditions of literary translators from a legal point of view (Intellectual Property law, fair contracts, codes of good practice, etc.), both at the European level and in the CEATL member countries.

To that purpose, three main issues have been at the core of the WG’s activities:

  • The new European Directive on copyright voted in April 2019: the WG has been working towards assisting member organizations in making sure that the provisions that can help advance the situation of authors and translators (articles 18-22 on remuneration, account transparency, conflict resolution, collective bargaining…) come into practice.
  • Drafting and disseminating our Guidelines for Fair Translation Contracts.
  • Mapping the legal situation of European translators via a survey published in 2022 (Surveys – CEATL) and keeping track of emerging issues, such as self-publishing.

Training and education

The Training and Education working group was established in 2009.

Between 2009 and 2014 it conducted a major research survey on Training in Literary Translation in the member countries of CEATL. It covered all sorts of academic modules and non-academic practices (such as workshops, seminars and mentorship schemes), and analysed the variety of the situation.

The report concludes with a list of general recommendations which seek to bring the academic world and the world of translation practitioners closer.

Later the working group took part in the PETRA-E (https://petra-education initiative, a joint European project, which in 2017 resulted in a general Framework of Reference for the Education and Training of Literary Translators (https://petra-education The Framework is both a competence-based model and a learning line. It focuses on the competences a literary translator has and on their development over time from beginner’s to the expert’s level.

It is available in 11 languages and can be used by teachers, students and individual translators. The PETRA-E Network (of which CEATL is a member) was established right after the project was finished and aims at promoting and implementing the Framework.

In 2022 the working group started a new project provisionally called a Beginners’ Guide to Literary Translation. The main idea is to be of help to young people who are considering the prospect of becoming literary translators or are at the very beginning of their careers as such. The working group writes short articles on various topics in order to answer the questions they might have such as: how to negotiate with publishers, what are the benefits of joining a literary translators’ association, what are CAT tools and what do they have to do with literary translation, how to manage your time, etc. The articles are uploaded to a website which is currently under construction.

Best practices

Sharing best practices between literary translators’ associations is one of the main aims of CEATL. The Best Practices working group, which has received support from the Norwegian collecting society KOPINOR, collects successful initiatives in the fields of visibility, training and education, and working conditions. Short descriptions are published in the members’ area to serve as an example to associations in other countries.


The Visibility working group works at promoting both the visibility of translators and of the profession, and that of the actions of CEATL. It has several avenues of action for that, which include:

  • Publishing the News on this website.
  • Coordinating a team of social media managers from our member associations and managing CEATL’s own social media accounts in English and French.
  • Publishing the free online e-zine Counterpoint.
  • Producing videos or launching campaigns to raise awareness on the importance of literary translation and translators.