Where to Submit That Book: 14+ Prizes Open to Arabic Literary Works in English Translation

If you are a translator, author, agent, or publisher who has recently shepherded an Arabic literary work into English translation, here are a few of the prizes to which you might submit it:

The Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation

The whole focus of this prize is on Arabic literature in English translation, so you should certainly submit here. “The prize is an annual award of £3,000, made to the translator(s) of a published translation in English of a full-length imaginative and creative Arabic work of literary merit published after, or during, the year 1967 and first published in English translation in the year prior to the award.” This year’s deadline is March 31.

PEN Translation Prize

To be eligible for this prize, the book must have been published by a “U.S. trade publisher.” This is “an annual award for book-length prose translations from any language into English published during the current calendar year. Awarded annually since 1963, the award confers a $3,000 prize to the translator of the winning book.” Submissions for the 2022 cycle will be open June 1–August 1, 2021.

Best Translated Book Award

This prize is currently undergoing renovations: “We’ll be unveiling the rules for the 2022 BTBA in a few months, but one thing that’s worth noting here is that ALL books from 2020 and 2021 will be eligible. So all the pandemic books will still have a shot at glory in the new & improved 2022 BTBA.” They add: “We’ll be back in touch very soon with info on how to submit your titles for the 2022 award.”

Sheikh Zayed Book Award

This year’s winner in the translation category was Michael Cooperson’s translations of al-Hariri in Impostures; the prize definitely seems to have a preference for classical works. They write: “You can submit your book for next year’s edition from May 1st – Oct 1st, 2021.”

National Book Foundation Prize for Translated Literature

They note that for the Translated Literature Award, unlike their other prizes, neither author nor translator are required to be U.S. citizens. They accept: “English translations of published works of fiction or nonfiction. Books by authors and translators who are living at the commencement of the eligibility year (December 1, 2020). The original text need not to have been published in the year of the award submission, only the translated work.”

Global Literature in Libraries Translated YA Prize

This is, naturally, for Young Adult books in translation only. There is no entry fee for this prize, which is brilliant.

EBRD Literature Prize

This is open to books written by authors who live in select Arab countries (where the EBRD operates) and must have been published in UK/Ireland). “The €20,000 prize is split between the author and translator.”

Palestine Book Awards

Submissions are currently open for 2021, and “[w]inning books will be chosen from a number of categories, including Academic, Translation, Creative, Memoir, Social History.”

Booker International

Submissions are currently closed. “The International Booker Prize for fiction translated into English is awarded annually to the author and translator of the best (in the opinion of the judges) eligible novel or collection of short stories. The work must be published in the UK or Ireland between 1 May of the year prior and 30 April of the year of that award.”

Warwick Prize for Women in Translation

Organizers write: “The Warwick Prize for Women in Translation will be awarded annually to the best eligible work of fiction, poetry, literary non-fiction, work of fiction for children or young adults, graphic novel, or play text, written by a woman, translated into English by a translator (or translators) of any gender, and published by a UK or Irish publisher.”

TA First Translation Prize

Organizers write: “The TA First Translation Prize is an annual £2,000 prize for a debut literary translation into English published in the UK and Ireland. The Prize is shared between the translator and their editor.”

Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry

Organizers write: “In partnership with The Derek Walcott Festival and the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Arrowsmith Press awards the prize to a full-length book by a poet who is not a US citizen, published in the previous calendar year.” This includes poetry collections in translation.

The Sarah Maguire Prize

Organizers write: “The prize will be awarded every two years for the best book of poetry from a living poet from Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East in English translation, published anywhere in the world. Winning poets and translators will divide a prize of £3,000.”

The AKO Caine Prize for African Writing

This is a short-story prize, not for a book, but it’s significant and open to stories published in translation. They write: “Submissions should be made by publishers only. Only fictional work is eligible. Only one story per author will be considered in any one year. Submissions should specify which African country the author comes from and the word count – the minimum word count for entries is strictly 3000 words and no longer than 10, 000 words, preferably less.”

If you know of others, please add them in the comments below.