Call for Submissions: Sheikh Zayed Book Award

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award, one of the Arab world’s most prestigious literary prizes, is now open for submissions.

Now in its 15th year, the annual Award aims to recognise some of the most challenging and exciting work coming out of the Arab world or engaging with its culture, including both literary and scholarly works. Writers, translators, academics, and publishers from around the world are awarded for their exceptional contributions to advancing Arabic literature and culture.

Each winner receives prize money of 750,000 UAE dirhams (204,000 USD) to both recognise and further enable their creative and cultural achievements.

Submissions are open across nine categories, representing the range and breadth of Arab culture:

  • Literature (including both fiction and poetry)
  • Young Author (for writers under the age of 40)
  • Children’s Literature
  • Cultural Personality of the Year
  • Publishing and Technology
  • Arabic Culture in Other Languages
  • Translation – either to or from Arabic
  • Literary and Art Criticism
  • Contribution to the Development of Nations


Authors, publishers, and translators of any nationality can make submissions, which are welcomed from all countries in Arabic and other languages.

Winning the award has enabled writers and organisations to expand and develop their projects, including 2020 winner Banipal magazine, who have put the prize money into funding their network of writers, translators, editors and printers and promoting the magazine to reach new audiences.

British prize alumni Dame Marina Warner ("Arab Culture in Other Languages," 2013) has hailed the Award as one that nourishes the academic community, as “less of a trophy than a lavish bursary that allows the recipient to continue their adventures in understanding”.

Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Authority and Secretary General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award commented: “This year, we have learnt that whatever happens, culture endures and adapts to the most difficult of circumstances. As the rich cultural life of the Arab world continues to flourish, I urge writers, publishers and scholars around the world to bring the fruits of their labour to the judges’ attention.”

To register and submit online, visit the SZBA submissions website register.zayedaward.ae.

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