About the Prize
The International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) is an annual literary prize run with the support of the Booker Prize Foundation in London and funded by the TCA Abu Dhabi in the UAE.
The Prize was launched in Abu Dhabi in April 2007 with an intention to address the limited international availability of high quality Arab fiction. The initiative was based on a suggestion that a prize modelled on the successful Man Booker Prize would encourage recognition of high quality Arabic fiction, reward Arab writers and lead to increased international readership through translation. At its launch, Jonathan Taylor, the IPAF Chairman, said: “I believe that this Prize will reward and bring recognition and readership to outstanding writers in Arabic. I look forward to seeing more high-quality Arabic fiction being accessible to a wider world.”
The Prize is the first of its kind in the Arab world in its commitment to the independence, transparency and integrity of its selection process.
Each year a panel of five judges, made up of literary critics, writers and academics from the Arab world and beyond, is selected by the Board of Trustees. Publishers can submit three of their novels from the previous year. The Judges read all the novels submitted, usually in excess of 100 in total, and together decide a longlist, shortlist and winner. To ensure complete integrity, the names of the Judges are not revealed until the shortlist announcement. This integrity of the judging process is of fundamental importance for the Prize. The Judges can have no regard to external influences and opinions, nor to issues of nationality, religion, politics, gender or age.
On the Prize, Jonathan Taylor comments: “Impact is the essence of a successful literary prize. It needs to be discussed; argued about; criticised; and even sometimes praised! There may be lively disagreement about who is included and who is excluded from the longlist and the shortlist. And the eventual winner may provoke fierce debate as well as great acclaim.”
The winner announcement takes place in Abu Dhabi in March, when the shortlisted finalists each receive $10,000 US Dollars and the winner an additional $50,000 US Dollars. Authors can look forward to increased book sales both within the Arab world and internationally through translation.