$270,000 Arabic Kid’s Lit Prize Under New Management

In Arabic Publishing by Edward Nawotka

UAE Board on Books logo

By Mark Garcia-Prats

The Etisalat Prize for Arabic Children’s Literature is under new management. The annual award, created in 2009 will no longer be directed by the Arab Children’s Book Publishers Forum. The responsibility of organizing the hefty award, worth 1 million dirhams (about $270,000), has been handed over to the United Arab Emirates Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY).

The award was launched Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, daughter of the ruler of Sharjah in the UEA and founder of Kalimat publishing house and the Arab Children’s Book Publishers Forum. It is funded by Etisalat, a UAE telecommunications company, in hopes of spurring Arabic publishing companies to increase the quality and amount of children’s books being published for and by the Arab world.

According to the Emirates News Agency, the UAEBBY will be accepting entries from July 1 to August 31  Each publishing company is limited to three entries. There are 17 terms and conditions of eligibility for the award created by the UAEBBY, which ensure that the books are for children (ages 0-14), written recently (within the last three years), written in Arabic, have not previously won any awards, and “the contents should not violate the values, standards traditions and customs of Arab communities.”

Last year’s winner was Ana Aheb (I Love), written by Nabiha Muhaidali and illustrated by Nadeen Saidani.

For some ideas on how to improve the award, see this post from M. Lynx Qualey of the Arabic Literature (in English) blog.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.