International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) announces update to its submissions process


From 2017, the system by which publishers submit books for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) is going to change. IPAF’s board of Trustees have decided to update this system in view of the Prize’s expansion over the last ten years.

The new system is a means of maintaining fairness, and of ensuring continued eligibility for every publisher to submit novels for consideration. The new system also enables the Prize to better fulfil its aim to reward excellence in contemporary Arabic creative writing.

From the 2018 Prize year onwards, IPAF is introducing a new quota system. The number of books a publisher can submit will depend on that publisher’s inclusion in longlists over the previous five years, as follows:

  • 1 submission – publishers with no listing
  • 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

This means that the number of submissions for each publisher may change year on year.

The rule which allows additional submission of any new title by an author who has previously been shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction remains. The judges may also still call in any book which has not been submitted but which they believe worthy of consideration.

Chair of trustees Yasir Suleiman (CBE) comments on behalf of the IPAF board of trustees: “Fairness and excellence are at the heart of this change in IPAF rules. The new rules will allow for breadth with depth in submissions, and they will do so in a manner that builds on the outstanding success of the Prize in promoting Arabic fiction in the original and in translation.”