Sheikh Zayed Book Award: Submission Evaluation Concludes for 17th Edition

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The Sheikh Zayed Book Award reading panel has concluded its review of 3,151 submissions from 60 nations, a record influx of nominations.

Image: Sheikh Zayed Book Award

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

Bin Tamim: ‘A Literary and Artistic Inspiration’
With a total 3,151 submissions from 60 nations, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award‘s reading panel has not only completed its review of submissions for the 17th edition of the prize, but has also registered a substantial grown in the categories of children’s literature and translation.

Children’s literature submissions jumped 63 percent over last year’s tallies, and translation submissions went up 55 percent over the same period.

Among the 60 nations from which submissions have been received, 22 are Arab countries and 38 are outside the Arab world.

The nomination period closed last month, and the reading committee has of course been chaired by the award’s secretary-general, Dr. Ali Bin Tamim—who is also chair of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center. Joining Bin Tamim on the panel are:

  • Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, acting executive director of the language center
  • Khalil Al Sheikh from Jordan
  • Badria Al Bishr from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Dr Ali Al Kaabi from the United Arab Emirates

Dr. Ali Bin Tamim

In a prepared statement, Bin Tamim is quoted, saying, “The turnout we’ve witnessed for this latest edition of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award reflects the exponential and continuous growth trajectory the award has been on, cementing its leading global position as a highly respected award in the Arab and international literary and cultural fields

“We’re proud of the opportunities that the Zayed Award provides for writers and other stakeholders in the cultural and literary sectors,” he says, “to present their vision and showcase their works and creativity as a literary and artistic inspiration.”

Egypt Leads Submitting Markets

Among the highest contributors of submissions, Egypt leads the way among Arab markets, followed by Iraq, Morocco, Algeria, and Saudi Arabia.

The United States has submitted the largest number of submissions among markets outside the Arab world, and countries following are the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Canada.

In addition, there are four countries making submissions this year for the first time: Ivory Coast, Dominica, South Korea, and the Dominican Republic.

The category with the highest volume of submissions was Young Author with 954 submissions, accounting for 30 percent of total nominations.

Literature came in second place with 688 nominations (a 22-percent share)

Children’s Literature scored next, with 386 submissions

And as our readers know, the other categories are Literary and Art Criticism, Contribution to the Development of Nations, Translation, Arab Culture in Other Languages, Cultural Personality of the Year, and Publishing and Technology.

It’s interesting to note that the number of women whose work is represented in the program has taken a big step forward this year, with 1,042 female authors, or 14 percent more than in the previous year.

Male authors are the writers of 2,049 submissions, a rise of 2 percent over last year.

We expect to have word of the new longlists later this month.

This is Publishing Perspectives’ 186th awards-related report in the 196 publication days since our 2022 operations began on January 3.


More from Publishing Perspectives on the Booker Prize for Fiction is here. More on the International Booker Prize is here, more from Publishing Perspectives on both Booker Prize programs is here. And more from us on the international industry’s many book and publishing awards programs overall is here

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.

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