ArabLit Had a Contest. You Won’t Believe What Happened Next.

Although Upworthy only started in late March of this year, it’s been inspiring imitators and parodies at least since July. We enjoy Upworthy parodies as much as the next person, so we’d like to run a modest parody contest (as an excuse to give away some fantastic books):

contest-630x350Contest hopefuls can enter as many times as they like, and the length limit is 40 words, although let’s be reasonable: It’s a headline. The headline must follow the Upworthy format (explained by The Atlantic here) and it must have something to do with Arabic literature or a particular Arabic title:

This Brazilian Teen Attempted to Stage a Version of al-Shidyaq’s ‘Leg Over Leg’. What Happened Next Will Teach You Something about Persistence.

This College Student Was Inspired by the Narrator of Elias Khoury’s ‘Yalo’. Now He’s in Jail.

All right, those are awful, so you’ll do better. The contest is open from today until Decemeber 31, 2013, midnight, Cairo time. You can enter by emailing arablitworthy [at] gmail [dot] com or by posting your entry on Twitter with the hashtag #arablitworthy.

ArabLit editor M. Lynx Qualey will winnow down to the top 30 contestants, which will be forwarded to our five celebrity judges:

Karl Sharro, @karlremarks, the emir of Internet satire, also an architect and occasional writer-of-non-humorous-things.

Noura Noman, @NouraNoman author of Etisalat-prize-winning Ajwancalled the “Arab JK Rowling.” (Never mind that she writes SF, not fantasy.)

Olivia Snaije, @oliviasnaije editor of the recent acclaimed collection Keep Your Eye on the Wall, translator of one of the fabulous books you might win (Bye Bye Babylon, by Lamia Ziade), journalist, food specialist, and cookbook-author.

Fatemeh Fakhraie, @fatemehf, founder of Muslimah Media Watch and social-media specialist.

Jaquetta Szathmari, @jacquetta professional comedian, creator of “That’s Funny, You Didn’t Sound Black on the Phone,” among other things.

A winner — and an unspecified number of “notable entries” — will be announced on January 10, 2014 and posted on the site. (Entering means you give permisison, blah blah blah.) Then, the prizes.

Winners can choose any two of the following*:

The Corpse Washer, by Sinan Antoon (trans. the author)

The Mehlis Report, by Rabee Jaber (trans. Kareem James Abu-Zeid)

Bye Bye Babylon, by Lamia Ziade (trans. Olivia Snaije)

Gathering the Tide: An Anthology of Contemporary Arabian Gulf Poetry, ed. Patty Paine, Jeff Lodge, and Samia Touati

Judgement Day, by Rasha al-Ameer (trans. Jonathan Wright)

A Map of Home, by Randa Jarrar

*Please note that winning titles will be sent regular post.