submissions open for 2021 Sheikh Zayed Book Award, one of the world’s most lucrative and prestigious literary prizes
Closing date 1 October www.zayedaward.ae
● Each winner receives a career-changing prize of AED 750,000 (USD 204,000)
● Submissions open across nine categories including Literature, Translation and Arab Culture in Other Languages
● Authors, translators, publishers and universities may all nominate works
● Previous winners include Dame Marina Warner (UK), Amin Maalouf (France), Banipal Magazine (UK), Professor Philip Kennedy (US), Institut du Monde Arab (France)
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award, one of the Arab world’s most prestigious literary prizes is now open for submissions. The award, which has been described as the “the Arab world’s equivalent to the Nobel prize”, has a reputation for highlighting the most exciting, and often the most challenging work from and about the Arab world.
Each winner receives prize money of 750,000 UAE dirhams (204,000 USD) to both recognise and further enable their creative and cultural achievements.
‘one of the most esteemed and lucrative literary prizes in the Arab world’
Now in its 15th year, the annual Award aims to recognise some of the most challenging and exciting work coming out of the Arab world or engaging with its culture, including both literary and scholarly works. Writers, translators, academics, and publishers from around the world are awarded for their exceptional contributions to advancing Arabic literature and culture.
British prize alumni Dame Marina Warner (Arab Culture in Other Languages, 2013) has hailed the Award as one that nourishes the academic community, as “less of a trophy than a lavish bursary that allows the recipient to continue their adventures in understanding”, while French-Lebanese author Amin Maalouf, winner of the 2016 Cultural Personality of the year, commented, ‘In such difficult times, it is more important than ever to focus on books and on cultural values. They alone can provide us with the moral compass we so desperately need to move on with our eyes wide open.’
Winning the award has enabled writers and organisations to expand and develop their projects, including 2020 winner Banipal magazine, who have put the prize money into funding their network of writers, translators, editors and printers and promoting the magazine to reach new audiences.
Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Authority and Secretary General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award commented: “This year, we have learnt that whatever happens, culture endures and adapts to the most difficult of circumstances. As the rich cultural life of the Arab world continues to flourish, I urge writers, publishers and scholars around the world to bring the fruits of their labour to the judges’ attention.”
Authors, publishers, and translators of any nationality can make submissions, which are welcomed from all countries in Arabic and other languages. To register and submit online, visit the SZBA submissions website register.zayed award.ae.
Submissions are open across nine categories, representing the range and breadth of Arab culture:
● Literature (including both fiction and poetry)
● Young Author (for writers under the age of 40)
● Children’s Literature
● Cultural Personality of the Year
● Publishing and Technology
● Arabic Culture in Other Languages
● Translation – either to or from Arabic
● Literary and Art Criticism
● Contribution to the Development of Nations
More information about individual categories is available on the Sheikh Zayed Book Award website.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Further information about the prize, selection process and past winners is available at www.zayedaward.ae
Twitter: @ZayedBookAward | Instagram: @zayedbookaward
Contact [email protected] for more information on nomination and entry rules.
Please find all images and information in the Press Pack HERE.
ABOUT THE SHEIKH ZAYED BOOK AWARD
For Immediate release, 1 June 2020
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is one of the world’s leading prizes dedicated to Arabic literature and culture, and has brought recognition, reward and readership to outstanding work and individuals in the fields of literature, academia and publishing since 2006.
Each year, prizes are awarded by an independent jury to writers, intellectuals and publishers as well as to young talent whose work reflects the scope and depth of Arabic cultural achievement, both in Arabic and other languages.
The main prizewinners receive 750,000 UAE Dirhams (204,000 USD). The prize can transform the winner’s career, creating opportunities for greater scholarship and creativity. Winning titles are eligible for translation funding to encourage the appreciation of Arabic writing in other languages.
The Award does not only recognise major literary and cultural achievements, but also aims to boost the publishing industry. The Sheikh Zayed Translation Fund exists to help produce more quality Arabic books that are translated, published and distributed outside the Arab World, with a focus on English, German and French languages.
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award reflects some of the most exciting and, in some cases, challenging cultural work coming out of the Arab world today — all parts of the world can benefit from the significant achievements of these winners.
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award was established in memory of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan, to continue his legacy in unifying, developing and building the United Arab Emirates, its society and culture. He is remembered for his progressive worldview that helped transform the UAE into a modern, prosperous state, reflected in the importance he attributed to literature and culture. To quote from his writings, “The book is a container of science, civilisation, culture, knowledge, literature and arts. Nations aren’t only measured by material wealth, but also by their civil authenticity. The book is the basis of this authenticity and a key factor in the confirmation of its civilisation.”
The Award was established in 2006 under the authority of the Department of Culture and Tourism
– Abu Dhabi, part of an ongoing commitment by the body to advance Arabic culture.
The works nominated for the Award must be published in Arabic, except those nominated in the Translation and Arabic Culture in Other Languages categories, in which the prize is respectively awarded to works translated from Arabic into other languages or works in any foreign language.
During the history of the prize, the number of nominations has increased by over 200% to 1,904 entries in its 14th edition, submitted by publishers and individuals from 49 countries.
To ensure a rigorous selection process, the Award’s scientific committee appoints a group of distinguished regional and international cultural experts in their respective fields, who serve on an independent, highly selective judging panel.