Sheikh Zayed Book Award Translation Program Returns for 2023

In News by Porter Anderson

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award-sponsored program runs July 23-t0-29 in association with the British Centre for Literary Translation.

At the University of East Anglia. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Wirestock

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

Bin Tamim: ‘Communicating Arab Culture and Language’
The Sheikh Zayed Book Award at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre has announced that it will again this year offer its translation program in collaboration with the British Centre for Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia in England.

This cooperative effort is intended, organizers say, “to enhance knowledge and cultural exchange, reinvigorate literary translation around the world, and introduce the Sheikh Zayed Book Award translation grant.

As an element of this initiative, the award is organizing a workshop in Arabic-to-English translation at the International Literary Translation and Creative Writing Summer School in Norwich, running July 23 to 29. This is an event presented by the British Centre for Literary Translation in association with England’s National Centre for Writing, a program familiar to Publishing Perspectives readers.

Opened last year, as we reported, the partnership with the British Centre for Literary Translation is an effort “to reach the largest possible number of Arab translators residing in the United Kingdom and around the world, in addition to raising awareness about the translation grant provided to publishers.

“The initiative,” say its organizers, “also aims to overcome difficulties in communication with publishers interested in translation, and to highlight the Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s vision and objectives.

Dr. Ali Bin Tamim

Dr. Ali bin Tamim, chair of the Arabic Language Centre and secretary-general of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, underlines in today’s announcement (January 30) the importance of the initiative, highlighting the effective role it plays in driving translation activity around the world, and its contributions to advancing the status and influence of the Arabic language, in line with the Language Centre’s strategic objectives to position Arabic in the lead as a language of culture, science, and creativity at the international level.

Bin Tamim is quoted, saying, This important program encourages innovation in translation, helping talented professionals in the field to refine their skills and access relevant experts and specialists, all with an intention of nurturing the literary scene and communicating Arab culture and language to the world.

“This is yet another example of the value of international partnerships, which allow us to achieve the Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s wider goals while fostering greater cross-cultural understanding.”

Anne GoodeAnne Goode, who is the manager of East Anglia’s British Centre for Literary Translation, says, “Thanks to the continued support of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, the British Centre for Literary Translation is able to offer another Arabic-English literary translation workshop at the International Literary Translation and Creative Writing Summer School.

“This will be our first in-person summer school since 2019 and we can’t wait to invite translators from many parts of the world to spend a week with us at University of East Anglia in Norwich.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for translators of Arabic literature to work closely with their peers, as well as with award-winning authors and experts in the field of literary translation.”

Registration Ends March 27

Last year’s Sheikh Zayed Book Awardsupported summer school workshop focused on translation and creative writing. The week-long program was moderated by literary translator Nariman Youssef, Arabic translation manager at the British Library, and author and media expert Haytham el-Wardany. 

The workshop was the first to be held in Arabic at the summer school in more than a decade, organizers say, and demonstrated the Zayed Award’s commitment to supporting the professional development of literary translators and promoting literary translation as an essential catalyst for cultural dialogue.

The workshop was followed by a series of events in the United Kingdom that focused on Arabic literature, including a literary translation workshop with Sawad Hussain, a research seminar with Michael Cooperson titled French Word Games:Untranslatable’ Arabic, and Global English; and the workshop Arabic Discourse on Translation with Sawad Hussain, Tarek Shamma, and Myriam SalamaCarr.

Registration for the International Literary Translation and Creative Writing Summer School in Norwich is open until March 27, and you can find full details on that here.

Workshops are expected to be held in person for the first time since 2019. Sessions will be offered specializing in translation from Arabic, Japanese, French, and Korean into English, as well as focusing on literature from Taiwan, alongside sessions oriented around multilingual poetry and prose.


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

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson 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 (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.