Arabic Booker prize opens for Arabic-language fiction submissions

Ahram Online, Sunday 15 Apr 2012

The International Prize for Arabic Fiction opens to submissions and sets their eligibility requirements, seemingly ending rumours that the prize is in danger of being cut or changing sponsors


The International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) board of trustees has announced that they are now open to receive submissions for the 2013 prize, which will be awarded in Abu Dhabi in March 2013.

The announcement closes the door on any further rumours and reports - like that of an Emirati paper - that claim that another Abu Dhabi organisation might take over sponsorship of the prize because the Emirates Foundation in Abu Dhabi is allegedly undergoing a financial restructuring process.

The press release detailed eligibility and regulations:

  • Deadline for submissions is June 2012
  • Any publisher whose novels had made the shortlist in previous years will be granted the right to submit four novels instead of three
  • Only novels qualify
  • Only novels originally written in Arabic will be allowed to apply (i.e. translated works are excluded)
  • Authors won’t be allowed to nominate their novels; only publishing houses can submit
  • The author must be alive at the time of submission date
  • No handwritten drafts, only published works will be allowed
  • The novels should be released between July 2011 to June 2012 to qualify for the 2013 prize

Finally, in order to promote competition beteween authors, the board will not accept two works from the same author.

Lebanese writer Rabee Jaber (42) won this year's International Prize for Arabic Fiction for his novel The Druze of Belgrade.

The prize was launched in Abu Dhabi in April 2007 with the intention to address the limited international availability of high-quality Arab fiction. The shortlisted finalists each receive $10,000 and the winner receives an additional $50,000. Authors can look forward to increased book sales, both within the Arab world and internationally through translation.

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