The 2021 ArabLit Story Prize will open to submissions on April 1, 2021:
The crowdfunded short-story prize named its first winner in 2018: Muhammad Abdelnabi’s “Our Story,” translated by Robin Moger. The prize has also gone to author Najwa Binshatwan and translator Sawad Hussain (2019), and author-translator team Hadiya Hussein and Shakir Mustafa (2020).
This year, three judges will name a shortlist of three to five stories on September 15 and a winner on October 15.
Layla AlAmmar, a writer and academic from Kuwait. She has a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Edinburgh. Her short stories have appeared in the Evening Standard, Quail Bell Magazine, the Red Letters St. Andrews Prose Journal, and Aesthetica Magazine, where her story “The Lagoon” was a finalist for the 2014 Creative Writing Award. She was the 2018 British Council international writer in residence at the Small Wonder Short Story Festival. Her debut novel, The Pact We Made, was published in 2019 and her second novel, Silence is a Sense, came out this year. She has written for The Guardian and ArabLit Quarterly. She is currently pursuing a PhD on the intersection of Arab women’s fiction and literary trauma theory.
Nadia Ghanem, ArabLit’s Morocco and Algeria editor. She is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow attached to the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, where she works on a project translating divination texts from ancient Iraq, written in the Akkadian language. She also blogs at tellemchaho.blogspot.co.uk about Algerian literature.
Leri Price. an award-winning literary translator of contemporary Arabic fiction. Price’s translation of Khaled Khalifa’s Death Is Hard Work was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award for Translated Literature (US) and winner of the 2020 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation. Her translation of Khaled Khalifa’s No Knives in the Kitchens of This City was shortlisted for the ALTA National Translation Award. Price’s translation of Planet of Clay by Samar Yazbek will be published by World Editions in September 2021.
Submissions will be taken through Submittable. Stories are judged both on the quality of the original and the translation.
Submission materials must include: 1) Cover letter with the name of author, translator, story, and length. 2) The story in translation, rendered as 4000 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. If the story is in the public domain, please note this.
The winner and translator will split the $500 prize equally, except in the case where the author is deceased and the story is in the public domain.
Submissions are set to open on April 1, 2021 and close on August 1, 2021.