‘Bila Hudood: Arabic Literature Everywhere’ Festival Wins Support, How You Can Get Involved

The Royal Society of Literature today announced the winners of the 2021 RSL #LiteratureMatters Awards. One of the seven winners was ArabLit’s Sawad Hussain, who won support for a free online festival, ‘Bila Hudood: Arabic Literature Everywhere’:

By Sawad Hussain & M Lynx Qualey

The three-day digital festival is set for July 9-11, and will feature both vibrant literature panels featuring contemporary authors and “quick pitch” sessions where translators will talk about Arabic books they think should appear in translation.

Right now, we’re aiming to have six panels and up to sixteen pitches and short readings.

All participation will be paid.

Although we already have some panels in mind, we are open to hearing your ideas. We are aiming for a diverse range of genres and geographies, and mean to include well-known writers and translators as well as emerging ones.

Those who have ideas or questions can email us at info@arablit.org (Marcia) or contact@sawadhussain.com (Sawad). Please put BILA HUDOOD in the subject line of your email.

Ways you can get involved:


Please pitch us your panel ideas with a short 100-word description, along with suggestions for moderators and panelists. Because of budgetary and audience considerations, all panels will take place in English with minimal on-the-fly interpretation. Panels will be an hour in length, and panelists will be paid a £75 honorarium, moderators £100.

Deadline for submission: June 1
Please put BILA HUDOOD: PANEL in the subject line of your email.


With publishers in attendance from all over the globe, this is your chance to pitch the Arabic work you most passionately want to see translated into English. Eventually, your pitch will be a video of you talking about the book. However, at this stage, please just send us the following:

a) 200-300 word description of the book (why it should be in translation? what’s so great about it?)
b) A brief author profile

If your pitch is approved, then we will ask you to record a short dynamic video pitching your book to publishers. In this video, you’ll briefly introduce yourself and then launch into selling your book in the hopes of piquing a publisher’s interest! You are encouraged to include a short reading of a sample you have translated.

Selected applicants will be paid a £50 honorarium for their pitch video.

Deadline for submission of written pitch: June 1
Please put BILA HUDOOD: PITCH in the subject line of your email.

You can be based anywhere in the world to take part in this festival! More from the RSL and #LiteratureMatters laureate Sawad Hussain, starting at the top of their thread: