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Qatar tribune

Meriam Jelliti


Katara Cultural Village is witnessing an overwhelming response from those wishing to enter the competition for its ninth annual Katara Prize for Arabic Novel. Applications are open until January 31.

Through its official website, Katara has renewed the invitation to novelists to participate in this great Arab literary event in accordance with the conditions specified for all categories of the award. The Katara Prize for Arabic Novel includes five categories: published novels (must be published during the current year), unpublished novels, studies of “novel research and criticism”, unpublished works by young novelists, and published Qatari novels.

Omar Atallah, a novelist and applicant for the prize, believes that the impact of the programme has begun to show among young novelists. “This competition is one of the best ways for creative Arab novelists to move forward towards broader horizons of creativity and excellence; towards transforming distinguished novels into drama; for discovering promising talents and honing their innate talent. This is what Katara is doing through its cultural and artistic activities.”

Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, Katara General Manager, said that the award has been able, within a short period of time since its inception in 2014, to become a creative platform for Arab novelists and publishers. It is an incentive that leads writer with steady steps towards globalisation. It also contributes to international cultural communication by supporting translation of the winning works into foreign languages.

Al Sulaiti also expressed confidence that the Arabic novel will witness an unprecedented success, and that the ninth session will be a milestone as the first session of the “International Novel Week.”

“The fact that the Katara Prize for Arabic Novel has 13 winners in five categories makes it a great incentive for novelists. Through translation of the winning novels into languages like English and French, it serves to introduce Arab novelists and critics to a wider global audience.”

The total prize money for the Katara Prize for Arabic Novel in its various categories is 345,000 US dollars, of which 90,000 US dollars is for the published novels category, where each of the three winners receives a financial prize of 30,000 US dollars. There is a similar amount for the unpublished novels where too of the total prize money of 90,000 US dollars, each of the three winners getting 30,000 US dollars. Similarly, in the unpublished studies category (novel research and criticism), three prizes are given away, each with a value of 30,000 US dollars, with a total of 90,000 US dollars. The total prize money for unpublished works of young novelists is 45,000 US dollars, divided equally among its three winners. The winner of the published Qatari novel category receives a prize of 30,000 US dollars.

In its eighth edition, the Katara Prize for Arabic Novel witnessed 1,483 entries. The number of unpublished novels participating was about 800, while the number of published novels was 474 (published in 2021). There were 150 entries in the category of unpublished works of young novelists, 52 entries in the category of unpublished studies and seven entries in the published Qatari novels category.

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