Sheikh Zayed Book Awards Announces Longlist in ‘Young Author’ Category

The longlists for the 2015 Sheikh Zayed Book Awards (SZBA) were announced yesterday in the Emerging Author and Children’s Book categories:

18927957The Emerging Author (or “young author”) longlist includes nine works from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon and the Emirates, with its signature mix of genres, which including novels, cultural, and literary studies, all judged together in one bucket. To be eligible, works must have been written by an author under 40.

One of the authors — Mohammed Hasan Alwan — is one of the “Beirut39,” a list of 39 talented Arab authors under 40. They were selected as part of the Hay Festival in 2009.

Muhra Bint Ahmad, Emirates, Krakatoa (novel)

Mohammed Hasan Alwan, Saudi Arabia, Migration: Theories and Factors That Affect It

Mohammed Al Dakkan, Saudi Arabia, Eloquence of the Arab Mind

Khaled Ahmed, Egypt, East Ring Road (novel)

Nabil Elshahed, Egypt, The Miraculous in Ancient Arab Tales

Ahmad Mohsen, Lebanon, Playmaker (novel)

Maya Al Hajj, Lebanon, Burkini: Confessions of a Veiled Woman (novel)

Said Laouadi, Morocco, Aesthetics of Poetic Discourse

Fouad Ben Ahmed, Morocco,  Representation in the Philosophy of Ibn Rushd

Each award carries a Dh750,000 prize, a gold medal bearing the SZBA logo and a certificate of merit. In the year when the literary award was discovered to have been plagiarized (from the books of one of the judges), orgnizers attempted to recover the Dh750,000.

Because different anonymous committees consider the works at each stage, the award also might go out to none of the above.

The SZBA recognizes authors in seven additional categories: Contribution to the Development of Nations, Translation, Literature (non-youth category), Literary and Art Criticism, Arabic Culture in non-Arab language, Publishing and Technology and Cultural Personality of the Year.

In the past few years, there has been little overlap between the SZBA and the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, and few of the SZBA-longlisted or winning titles have appeared in translation.