New Opportunity from Mophradat: Writing Sabbatical Grants

The arts nonprofit Mophradat has started up a new program, offering two annual writing sabbatical grants:

Mophradat Director Mai Abu ElDahab said, over email, that there was an “overwhelming interest” in their writing residency last year, which led them to think about other possible programs to support Arab writers. The team thought this pair of writing sabbaticals “would be a more efficient use of resources given the overwhelming demand. Our initiative is very modest in scale so perhaps if anything it can make a couple of exceptional writers more visible. As with all our programs, we hope they highlight different ways to think about supporting artists that are not exclusively product-oriented.”

The program is looking to support published authors who are currently working on a new piece of writing for publication, and who are in need of a short time to focus on its completion.

From the website:

The program offers a grant covering a short sabbatical period to two writers per open call, who will receive a stipend to allow each to take time out from their daily preoccupations and complete their project. The grant ranges from US$600 to US$1,300 per month determined by Mophradat based on the local living costs of the country of residence of the applicant, and covers from one to three months period depending on the writers’ need. Applicants must have a publisher interest in publishing their upcoming work (online or print including independent book publishers, periodicals or other literary or cultural journals qualify).

As with all of Mophradat’s open calls, external advisors will be brought in to help with the selection, although they won’t be named until after the fact.

Who are they looking for? “We do prioritise original forms, and in all our programs women’s practices.”

The full eligibility criteria:

  • Applicants must be from or living in the Arab world.
  • Applicants must be authors of creative writing including fiction, poetry, criticism, essay, and other artistic forms. These grants are not for academic writing, film, theatre, or journalism.
  • Applicants must be published writers with at least two prior instances of publication.
  • Applicants must provide a letter of interest from a publisher for the new work they will develop with this grant. Innovative proposals in method and form, will be given priority.
  • Applicants must commit to taking leave of their day jobs for the entire sabbatical period (For those who are selected: If employed, a letter from their place of employment must be provided confirming the agreed time out).

Applications must be submitted in English or Arabic  by email to before March 10, 2019. More about how to apply is on the Mophradat website in English and Arabic. All applicants, whether selected or not, receive a response to their applications by June 1, 2019, with the sabbatical period set for July 1 through December 1, 2019.