Sharjah Opens Submissions to Its 2022 International Book Fair Awards

In News by Porter Anderson

The Sharjah awards progam’s most lucrative honor is the Turjuman, which is a translation award promoting Arabic-language literature.

Sharjah’s Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi greets winners of the Sharjah International Book Fair Awards at the 2021 opening ceremony. Sharjah Book Authority’s Ahmed Al Ameri is on the right. Image: Publishing Perspectives, Porter Anderson

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

Deadline for Submission: September 1
In the run-up to the world’s major autumn book-industry trade shows and book fairs,  Sharjah Book Authority‘s Ahmed Al Ameri in the United Arab Emirates has announced the opening of registration for the 41st Sharjah International Book Fair‘s awards program.

The Sharjah International Book Fair Awards are personally presented onstage by the emirate’s ruler Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi at the opening ceremony for the fair.

Submissions today (June 24) have opened with a deadline of September 1 for:

  • The Sharjah Translation Award “Turjuman”
  • Emirati Book (four categories, see below)
  • Arabic Novel
  • International Book (two categories – fiction and nonfiction)
  • Publisher Recognition Award
Promoting Arabic Through Translation

The Sharjah International Book Fair 2021 Publishers Conference venue and trading floor. Image: Publishing Perspectives, Porter

That translation award, the Turjuman, is a rich 1.4-million-dirham honor (US$381,159) intended to “promote Arabic literary works globally,” according to the morning’s media messaging, “by encouraging international translators and publishers to translate intellectual, cultural, and creative publications based on or are inspired by Arab and Muslim civilizations.

“Publishing houses shall be committed to submitting proof of copyrights and all documents pertaining to the legitimacy of the translation, actual publication, and circulation of the submitted works.”

The Turjuman, then, while not as well known as the Sheikh Zayed Book Award and the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, is yet another translation-driven honor, designed to help move more Arabic literature into world publishing at a time when so many seem to be awakening to the vast body of  valuable contemporary work being generated in the Arab world, often without being glimpsed by the Western industry and its consumers.

Purses for Each Category Win

At Sharjah International Book Fair 2021. Image: SIBF

All submitted titles must have been published within the past two years, unless they’re revised editions.

The Emirati Book Award carries a purse of 300,000 dirhams (US$81,683), and per Al Ameri’s communiqué today, “encourages local literary talents.” its four sub-categories have the following payouts:

  • Emirati Novel: 100,000 dirhams (US$27,227)
  • Emirati Academic Book: 100,000 dirhams (US$27,227)
  • Emirati Photography Book about the United Arab Emirates: 50,000 dirhams (US$13,613)
  • Emirati Creative Literature: 50,000 dirhams (US$13,613)

The Sharjah Publisher Recognition Award puts a spotlight on publishers for their contributions across three sub-categories that contribute to the advancement of the publishing sector, each of the three category wins carrying 25,000 dirhams (US$6,806):

  • Local Publisher
  • Arab Publisher
  • International Publisher

Sharjah International Book Fair in 2021 reported an attendance of 1.7 million people representing 109 nationalities, with 1,630 exhibitors from 83 countries.

This is Publishing Perspectives’ 116th awards-related report produced in the 118 publication days since our 2022 operations began on January 3.

More from us on publishing and book awards in international markets is here, more on the German book market is here, and more on independent publishing is here.

More 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 International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, 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.