134 Submissions for 2019 International Prize for Arabic Fiction

The sixteen-book longlist for the 2019 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) is set to be announced on Monday, January 7:

Earlier this week, IPAF organizers said that the year’s sixteen-book longlist and five judges will be announced, via press release, at 9 a.m. GMT. The longlist will be chosen from “134 submissions which have all been published between July 2017 and June 2018,” according to organizers.

Last year — the first in which a strict new quota system was put in place for the prize — there were 124 total submissions from 79 total publishers. That was a sharp decline from previous years. The new quota system means that a publisher’s number of submissions depends on that publisher’s inclusion in longlists over the previous five years.

“There were 180 submissions in 2015, 159 in 2016 and 186 in 2017,” Montanaro said over email, about the submissions for last year’s prize. “The submission number for 2018 has decreased but that is entirely as anticipated following the rule change to the submission process, announced at the end of 2016.”

The new rule was put in place after publishers had complained that large houses, which put out dozens of titles, got the same number of slots as fly-by-night publishers, some of which opened up just to submit for the prize.

Last year’s prize went to Ibrahim Nasrallah’s Dog War II, and the 2017 prize went to Mohammed Hasan Alwan’s A Small Death. Neither has yet been translated to English, although Alwan’s novel is represented by Dystel, Goderich, & Bourret.

More about other previous winners, rules, and translations can be found on the IPAF website.