The 2020 ArabLit Story Prize will open to submissions today, March 15, 2020:

The crowdfunded short-story prize named its first winner in 2018: Muhammad Abdelnabi’s “Our Story,” translated by Robin Moger. The second winner was Najwa Binshatwan’s “The Sharp Bend at al-Bakur,” translated by Sawad Hussain.

This year, three judges will name a shortlist of three to five stories on September 15 and a winner on October 15.

They are:

Sawad Hussain, the winning translator for 2019, was co-editor of the Arabic-English portion of the Oxford Arabic Dictionary (2014). She translated Saud Alsanousi’s Mama Hissa’s Miceher forthcoming translations include Sahar Khalifeh’s iconic Passage to the Plaza (Bab as-Saha). Read an excerpt from Mama Hissa’s Mice online.

Hilal Chouman is an award-winning Lebanese novelist and short-story writer who has published four novels; What I Was Told During My Sleep (2008), Napolitana (2010), Limbo Beirut (2016), and Once Upon a Time, Tomorrow (2017). Limbo Beirut was translated to English by Anna Ziajka Stanton. You can also read Hilal Chouman’s “World of Dogs.”

Donia Kamal is an Egyptian novelist and producer; her second novel, Cigarette Number Sevenwas translated to English by Nariman Youssef, and she has also produced more than fifty documentary films and numerous television shows for various Arab networks. You can read an excerpt of her third novel, Random Arrangements, online.

Submissions will be taken through Submittable.

Submission materials must include: 1) Cover letter with the name of author, translator, story, and length. 2) The story in translation, rendered as 3000 words or fewer in English, attached as a Word document, without the name of the author or translator. 3) The story in the original Arabic, preferably in the same Word document. 4) Some evidence you have the rights to translate and publish this story, such as an email from the author or a scanned note.

The winner and translator will split the $500 prize equally.

Submissions are set to open on March 15, 2020 and close on July 15, 2020.


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