AlMultaqa Prize for Arabic Short Stories Announces 2024 Longlist

NOVEMBER 16, 2023 — The Kuwait-based AlMultaqa Prize for Arabic Short Stories has announced their ten-book longlist for the 2023-24 awards cycle. According to organizers, the ten books were selected from among 198 short-story collections submitted from 23 countries.

This year’s judging committee is chaired by former AlMultaqa winner Shahla Ujayli (whose winning book was translated as A Bed for the King’s Daughter by Sawad Hussain), and also includes Shuaib Halifi, Fahd Hussein, Saada al-Daas, and Michelle Hartman, who is also the translator of two of Ujayli’s novels: Summer with the Enemy and A Sky So Close to Us.

The longlist:

الرسائل المفقودة ل ألمدعو آدم حلزون (The Missing Letters of the Man Called Adam Snail), by Saudi writer Muhammad Al-Matrafi

المقطر (Distilled), by Kuwaiti writer Abdul Hadi Al-Jamil

امرأة عند النافذة (Woman at the Window), by Syrian writer Rami Al-Taweel

ثملًا على متن دراجة هوائية (Drunk on a Bicycle), by Moroccan writer Ismail Al-Ghazali

دمى حزينة (Sad Dolls), by Egyptian writer Samir al-Fil

دُو، يَك (Do, Yik), by Syrian writer Rawa’a Sunbul

سترى ما أتخيّله (You’ll See What I Imagine) by Iraqi writer Saad Hadi

شياطين الدومينو (Domino Devils), by Lebanese writer Mona Merhi

كأنّه هو (As If He Were), by Bahraini writer Hisham Al-Nahham

وقت قصير للهلع (A Brief Time to Panic), by Omani writer Yahya Salam Al-Mundhiri

The shortlist is set to be announced December 15, 2023, after which the jury will meet in Kuwait in mid-January 2024 to choose the winner, who will receive a $20,000 prize. Each writer on the shortlist also receives a $5,000 prize.

The prize — a recent addition to the literary landscape — is only in its six year. Its first winner, Palestinian poet and writer Mazen Maarouf, took the prize for Jokes for the Gunmen, which was also longlisted for the International Booker in Jonathan Wright’s translation.