Earlier this week, the Cultural Village Foundation-Katara announced that they had received 1,004 entries for the second edition of Katara Arab Novel Prize:
The winners are set to be announced at the second annual Katara Festival for Arabic Novel, scheduled for October 10 to 13. This, according to officials quoted in The Peninsula Qatar, will “allow ample time for the jury to carry out its work effectively.”
Khalid Abdulrahim Al Sayed, General Supervisor of the Prize, said at the press event that the 1,004 entries break down as: 234 novels published last year, 732 unpublished novels and 38 research studies. That contrasts to the 159 novels International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) judges had to select from. However, the IPAF is made up of a single panel of known judges, while the Katara winnowing process is less clear.
It’s also up from a reported 220 entries last year.
Of the total submissions, Al Sayed said, 277 were by women.
Apparently, according to Dr. Khalid Al Jaber, president of the Katara Cultural Forum, the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization will be “working closely with the jury of this edition of the festival.”
According to The Peninsula Qatar, “The inaugural edition of the festival has been fruitful as five of the unpublished novels from the festival’s 2015 edition now published whilst a number of published submissions have since been translated into English and French, among other languages. The two novels which won the best prize for a novel which will be turned into drama are now in production and on their way to becoming films.”
The five published finalists last year were Amir Tag El Sir for 366; Bahraini novelist Muneera Sawar for Slave; Egyptian novelist Ibrahim Abdelmeguid for Adagio; Iraqi novelist Nasira Al Sadoun for Escaping the Vortex; and Algerian novelist Waciny Laredj for Butterfly Kingdom. If any of these are available in English translation it has escaped my attention.
The prize — which promises to give out a total of more than $700K in its 2016 edition — has also promised translation into Spanish, Chinese, and Hindi.