Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Zayed Book Award Opens 2024-2025 Submissions

In News by Porter Anderson

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s 2024-’25 cycle has opened with a new round of submissions in its 10 specialized categories.

Dr. Ali Bin Tamim welcomes the Abu Dhabi audience to the Sheikh Zayed Book Award ceremony on April 30 in Abu Dhabi. Image: SZBA

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

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‘Driving Forward Writing and Translation Efforts’
The seats in the great hall at the Abu Dhabi National Exposition Center are barely cool from when we were at the Sheikh Zayed Book Award ceremony there. That late-April event was the formal conclusion of the 18th edition of this prize program that uses 10 categories of endeavor to boost the place of Arabic literary work in the world.

Today (May 16), we have word from the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre that a new round of submissions have opened. These are for the 19th edition of the Zayed Book Award, and that edition can be thought of as the 2024-’25 edition.

The Arabic Language Center is of course chaired by Dr. Ali Bin Tamim who is also secretary-general of the Zayed Award. And in this new year of Zayed honors, it’s hoped that the 2023-’24 record of submissions—4,240 from 74 countries—will be broken again.

Among the richest prize programs for books and publishing in the world, the Zayed Award program carries a purse of 750,000 United Arab Emirates dirhams (US$204,209) in each of its book categories and annually has been worth a total of some 7 million dirhams (US$1.9 million). That includes the special Cultural Personality of the Year Category award’s 1 million UAE dirhams (US$272,364).

As Publishing Perspectives readers know, the newly expanded set of 10 categories for the program comprises:

  • Editing of Arabic Manuscripts
  • Arab Culture in Other Languages
  • Children’s Literature
  • Literature
  • Literary and Art Criticism
  • Translation
  • Young Author
  • Publishing and Technology
  • Contribution to the Development of Nations
  • Cultural Personality of the Year

Dr. Ali Bin Tamim

In a comment on opening the new cycle’s submissions, Bin Tamim is quoted, saying, “We’re proud of the continued success of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, as well as of the clear imprint it has left on the cultural scene throughout the past 18 editions.

“Since its inception, the award has shed light on a range of notable literary works, prominent authors, and creative minds, and the increasing number of submissions we receive each year further solidifies the award’s status in the literary community and among authors of various nationalities.

“The award plays a pioneering role in driving forward writing and translation efforts and building cultural bridges between countries.”

Submission Notes

Submitting entries to any category of the award must be done in accordance with a set of conditions. Each nominee may only submit one work to one of the award’s categories, provided the candidate has not been nominated—whether by the author himself/herself or on their behalf—for any other award during the same year. The Zayed Award cannot be granted to works that have been previously awarded a prominent international or Arab prize.

Submitted books must have an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) to allow for the verification of property rights. Re-submissions are accepted if they still fall within the two-year timespan, and new copies of the work should be shared.

The award receives self-nominations from authors, as well as submissions from publishing houses, which can nominate books they have published with written consent from the authors. All submitted works must have been published within the past two years and must not have won any major international prize at the time of submission.

Original submitted works should be written in Arabic, with the exception of those submitted under the Editing of Arabic Manuscripts category, which can be in other languages, as well as the translation category (whether translated into or from Arabic) and the Arab Culture in Other Languages category, where works published in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Russian are accepted.

As for the Cultural Personality of the Year award, candidates must be nominated by academic, research, or cultural institutions; literary bodies and universities; or by three prominent intellectual and/or cultural figures. Nominees for all other categories must personally fill out the nomination forms on the Zayed Award site.

To submit a nomination to the 19th Sheikh Zayed Book Award, or for more information about the submissions process, see the information on the site here or email info@zayedaward.ae .

At the 18th Sheikh Zayed Book Award ceremony in Abu Dhabi, April 30. Image: Publishing Perspectives, Porter Anderson

More from Publishing Perspectives on the Sheikh Zayed Book Award is here, more on the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center 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 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.