Submission open for 2021 International Prize for Arabic Fiction


The International Prize for Arabic Fiction is delighted to announce that submissions will open for the 14th edition of the prize on Friday 1 May 2020. Submissions will close on Monday 31 August 2020.

Eligible novels must be written in Arabic and have been published for the first time between 1 July 2019 and 31 August 2020. This allows for an extension of two months to the eligibility period compared to previous prize cycles and is granted in response to the current disruption to publishing and distribution.

As a special arrangement for the 2021 Prize, the prize will also provisionally accept PDF copies within the deadline if it is impossible for the printed copies to be sent in time for the 31 August 2020 deadline. In these cases, printed books are still required as soon as possible and must be received no later than 11 December 2020.

This does not affect the eligibility period set out above – to be eligible the novel must be published between 1 July 2019 and 31 August 2020.

The number of novels an eligible publisher can submit will depend on that publisher’s inclusion in longlists from 2016 to 2020, as follows:

  • 1 submission – publishers with no longlisting
  • 2 submissions – publishers with 1 or 2 longlisting(s)
  • 3 submissions – publishers with 3 or 4 longlistings
  • 4 submissions – publishers with 5 or more longlistings

The International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) is the most prestigious and important literary prize in the Arab world. The annual prize is given to a novel in Arabic which the judges consider to be the best of that year. Its aim is to reward excellence in contemporary Arabic creative writing and to encourage the readership of high quality Arabic literature internationally through the translation and publication of winning and shortlisted novels in other languages.

The 2020 winner was Abdelouahab Aissaoui’s The Spartan Court.  

The Prize is sponsored by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT) and run with the support, as its mentor, of the Booker Prize Foundation in London.