In less than two weeks, on Jan. 12, 2015, International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) organizers will announce “the 16 novels that have made it onto this year’s longlist”:
Back in 2011, prize administrator Fleur Montanaro said that the judges — who remain secret until the shortlist announcement — got together a few days before the longlist announcement.
“And that’s literally a one-day meeting, and they have one day to decide, to get their final list of 16. It needn’t actually be by complete consensus, like every single judge votes for every single book. But they have to come to a general agreement. And they work out how they want to do that, what system they want to use, in terms of voting or… Now, the best thing is if they are all genuinely enthusiastic about every title. It’s not very likely, obviously.”
The six shortlisted titles will be revealed soon after that, on Friday the 13th of February in Casablanca, Morocco. That’s when this year’s panel of five judges will also be made public and available to answer questions.
The winner is set be announced at a ceremony on May 6, 2015, in Abu Dhabi, on the eve of the year’s Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.
We’re still assembling a team for February in Casablanca. If you’re interested, do send a note.