Awards: UAE’s Etisalat, Canada’s Cundill, and USA’s Sisters in Crime Open for Submissions

In News by Porter Anderson

Ten years in operation, the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature is among the world’s highest paying prizes in the field, just as Canada’s Cundill Prize is in history awards.

At March’s Salon du Livre Paris, the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature staged an exhibition at the Arab World Institute of its 10 years of winning children’s books. Image: UAEBBY

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Etisalat Children’s Book Award Deadline: August 31

Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature logo

The 10th edition of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature is opening for submissions, and in its decade of operation has established itself as one of the foremost literary honors programs in the Arab world.

Many of the world’s publishing industry leaders at today’s Quantum Conference on the eve of London Book Fair will know that the awards program was founded in 2009 by the United Arab Emirates publisher of children’s books, Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi (Kalimat Group), who also established children’s book publishing house Kalimat 11 years ago.

During Sharjah’s stint as Special Guest City at Paris’ Salon du Livre, the Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi kicked off the 10th anniversary year of the award at the Arab World Institute with its president, Jack Lang.

The intent of the award program, which carries the name of its sponsor, the Emirates Telecommunication Corporation, or Etisalat Telecom, is actually two-pronged. It’s meant not only to encourage illustrators and authors but also to drive publishers’ focus on attractive design to build readership.

The program is operated by the UAE’s Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and encompasses initiatives, drives, and campaigns, all concentrated on generating a robust habit of reading in youngsters. Last year, the program added its sixth category of award, a prize for a digital book app. (Those registering submissions should note that there’s a separate form for the digital app award here.) And the program awards its six categories this way:

  • Children’s Book of the Year: AED300,000 (US$81,678) divided equally between publisher, author, and illustrator
  • Young Adult Book of the Year: AED200,000 (US$54,452) divided equally between author and publisher
  • Best Text, Best Illustration, Best Production, and Digital Book App of the Year: AED100,000 (US$27,226) each

The awards are presented in November during the Sharjah International Book Fair. Registration information is here.


Cundill History Prize Deadline: June 1

Canada’s Cundill History Prize today (April 9) opens for submissions for its program administered by Montreal’s McGill University.

This is the program that was relaunched last year in recognition of its first decade of operation, and its prize of US$75,000 went to British historian Daniel Beer for The House of the Dead: Siberian Exile Under the Tsars. Two runners up to the 2018 prize will, as last year, be given US$10,000 each, in addition to the $75,000 prize for the winner.

Submissions being accepted now until June 1 are for books published in English between June 1, 2017 and May 31 of this year. Publishers may submit titles published in English from any country in the world, regardless of the nationality or place of residence of their authors. Translations are warmly welcomed.

The winner will be announced at the Cundill History Prize awards ceremony in Montreal on November 15. More information is at the program’s website here.

Daniel Beer speaks to the Cundill History Prize gala audience on learning of his win. Image: Cundill History Prize


Sisters in Crime Bland Award Deadline: June 15

The United States-based organization of women crime writers, Sisters in Crime, has opened submissions for the fifth year of its Eleanor Taylor Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award, with a prize of US$1,500 for the winner so support career development.

Information guidelines are here online and here in a PDF.

The Bland award program is distinctive for its emphasis on (a) a work-in-progress by an as-yet unpublished author; (b) its focus on writers of color; and (c) the fact that both male and female writers are eligible, despite the prize’s administration by Sisters in Crime.

The award honors the memory of African-American crime fiction author Eleanor Taylor Bland (1944-2010) and was created in 2014 with a bequest from Bland’s estate to support Sisters in Crime’s stress on supporting diversity in crime writing.

The grant is devised as a way to help support the recipient in workshops, seminars, conferences and retreats, online courses, and research activities, experiences that can help a writer complete her or his debut crime fiction novel or story collection.

Sisters in Crime is among leading writers’ service organizations in the States, reporting some 3,600 members and 51 chapters, some of them outside the country. It was founded in 1986 and promotes the “visibility and representation of women and diverse voices in the genre and across the marketplace.”


More from Publishing Perspectives on the Arabic Literature is here. More coverage of the 2017 Cundill History Prize season is here. More on Sisters in Crime is here. And Publishing Perspectives is hiring: see information about our search for a marketing and business development manager here

About the Author

Porter Anderson

Facebook Twitter Google+

Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for trade and indie authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.