Awards Translation

The ArabLit Story Prize open for stories in Arabic-English translation

The ArabLit Story Prize is a new award for the best short stories, in any genre, newly translated from Arabic into English. Translators must have rights to the work, and translations must have been previously unpublished.

Stories will be judged primarily on the quality of the translated work as a thing-in-itself, although translators must also submit the Arabic original, as this must be a translation, not a loose adaptation nor a work written originally in English.

The judges are novelist, short-story writer, and critic Maan Abu Taleb (All the Battles, tr. Robin Moger); award-winning translator Thoraya El Rayyes (co-winner of 2014 University of Arkansas Arabic Translation Award for her translation of The Perception of Meaning); novelist and commentator Ruqaya Izzidien (The Watermelon Boys, forthcoming Hoopoe Fiction).

Here is the schedule for the prize;

  • Submissions open: February 15, 2018 at 5 a.m. GMT.
  • Submissions close: May 15, 2018 at midnight GMT.
  • Submissions address: [email protected]

Submission materials must include:

1) Cover letter with the name of author, translator, story, and length.

2) The story in translation, rendered as 2000 words or fewer in English, attached as a Word document.

3) The story in the original Arabic, preferably in the same Word document.

4) Some evidence you have the rights to translate and publish this story, such as an email from the author or a scanned note.

Note: It is preferable that you do not put author or translator’s name on the attached works. In any case, names will be stripped off before they are sent to judges. Questions about submissions can be sent to [email protected] or [email protected] The shortlist of five stories will be announced on September 10, 2018. The winner will be announced on October 10, 2018.

The prize: $50 to each shortlisted story, an additional $200 to the winner. Shortlisted stories will have the opportunity to be published on the ArabLit website as well as a future anthology. Winnings will be split between author and translator.

The new prize is a production of our favourite blog on Arab literature and translation


By James Murua

This blog is run by James Murua a Nairobi, Kenya based lover of books.

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