Awards: Sheikh Zayed Shortlists: Literature, Young Author, Children’s Literature

In News by Porter Anderson

The nine shortlisted tiles in the Literature, Young Author, and Children’s Literature categories come from six Arab nations.

Dappled light under architect Jean Nouvel’s canopy at Louvre Abu Dhabi, October 1, 2021. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Heinstirred

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

More Category Shortlists Will Follow
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award—organized and administered by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre under the direction of Dr. Ali Bin Tamim—has today (March 17) announced shortlists in three of its categories in the 2021-2022 iteration of the Zayed program.

This is the award’s 16th edition, and with a purse of 750,000 UAE dirhams (US$204,215) in each of the eight book categories, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award is among the wealthiest portfolios of publishing-related honors in the world, worth a total of 7 million dirhams (US$1.9 million).

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award honors the outstanding achievements of innovators and thinkers in literature, the arts, and humanities in Arabic and other languages. It aims to advance Arabic literature and culture, providing new opportunities for Arabic-language writers. Authors writing about Arab culture and civilization in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Russian also are recognized by the award program.

You can review the longlists in the Young Author and Children’s Literature categories here. And longlisted titles in the Literature category are here.

Literature Category Shortlist

There were 15 titles on the 2022 longlist in Literature, drawn from a total 852 submission—a remarkable 46-percent increase in the number of submissions made for the 2020 round.

  • Ghorbat Al Manazil (Strangers at Home) by Ezzat Elkamhawy (Egypt) published by Al Dar Al Masriah Al Lubnaniah in 2021
  • Wa Tahmelany Hayraty Wa Dh anony Seerat Altakween (Composition Biography: Thoughts and Confusion Carry Me) by Said Bengrad (Morocco) published by Le Centre Culturel Du Livre in 2021
  • Maq’ha Reesh, Ain Ala Massr (Eyes on Egypt: Alreesh Café) by Maisoon Saqer (UAE) published by Nahdet Misr Publishing in 2021
Young Author Category Shortlist

The longlist for the Young Author category highlighted 14 titles from eight Arab countries: Tunisia, Iraq, Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Lebanon. The category attracted the highest number of entries for the award this year, with 881 submissions.

  • Al Kaa’in al Balaghi al Lugha wal Aaql wal Istita’a fi Kitab ‘Al Bayan wal Tabyeen (Rhetorical Object: Language, Reason, and Ability in the Book ‘Al-Bayan wal-Tabyeen’) by Mustafa Rajwan (Morocco), published by Dar Kunouz Al Maarifa for publication and distribution in 2021
  • Al Badawa fi al She’er al Arabi al Qadeem (Bedouinism in Ancient Arabic Poetry) by Dr. Mohamed Al-Maztouri (Tunisia), issued by the faculty of literature, arts and humanities at Manouba University and the GLD Foundation (Al-Atrash Complex for Specialized Books) in 2021
  • Al Hikaya al Shaabiya al Saudia al Maktooba bil Fus’ha: Dirasa fi al Muta’aliyat al Nasiya (Saudi Folk Tales Written in Fus’ha: A Study of Textual Transcendence) by Manal Salem Al-Qathami (Saudi Arabia), issued by the Arab Diffusion Foundation in 2021
Children’s Literature Category Shortlist

The longlist for the Children’s Literature category comprises 10 titles from six Arab countries: Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Syria.

  • Shams Tadhak (A Laughing Sun) by Syrian writer Bayan Al-Safadi, published by Dar Al Banan in 2020
  • Loghz al Kora al Zujajiya (The Mystery of the Glass Ball) by Syrian writer Maria Daadoush, published by Dar Al-Saqi in 2021
  • Maw’idi maa al Noor (My Date with the Light) by Moroccan writer Raja Mellah, published by Al Mu’allif for publishing, printing, and distribution in 2021

Together, these three categories’ longlists comprise nine works from Egypt, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.

This is Publishing Perspectives’ 52nd awards report published in the 54 days since our 2022 operations began on January 3.


More from Publishing Perspectives on the Sheikh Zayed Book Award is here, more on Arabic literature is here, and more on translation is here. More from us on publishing and book awards in the international industry is here

Publishing Perspectives is the world media partner of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center and the Sheikh Zayed Book Award

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.