The Banipal Trust for Arab Literature
The Banipal Trust for Arab Literature

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The Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation

The 2019 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation

Entries are now closed.

Physical copies of the entries will be accepted up until 23 April 2019

See new address of the Society of Authors below

The 2019 Prize

The entry date for the 2019 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation has now passed. This year, 2019, is the 14th year of the prize, dedicated to supporting literary translation of contemporary Arabic literature into English and honouring the work of the translators. 

There were 20 entries for the 2018 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize – 17 fiction titles and three poetry collections. We are expecting a higher number for the 2019 prize, translated from the many interesting and powerful literary works published in Arabic.

We welcome entries of fiction or poetry, translated from full-length imaginative and creative works of literary merit and general interest, first published in their original Arabic after or during the year 1967, and first published in English translation between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019. Entries can have been published in English anywhere in the world, but must be available for purchase in the UK, either through the usual distribution channels or online.? 

The full rules of entry can be found at


New online system for submitting entry forms

The Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize is administered by the UK’s Society of Authors. This year the Society has updated the entry procedure, replacing the printed out PDF entry forms with an easy to complete online form for each entry.

Just go to this link on the Society of Authors website:

It includes all information about the prize. Click on the Enter Now button to access the online form. The rules and criteria of the Prize are given, and the information required at each step is clearly stated. 

For this online entry form, you will be asked to upload a front cover image, give short biographies of both author and translator, and say from where you heard about the Prize.  A copy of each uploaded entry will be emailed to the email address provided at the beginning of the process.

The Society of Authors is moving offices during March and they have asked that no entries arrive at their new address until 25 March 2019 at the earliest. The deadline for receiving copies of the books has been therefore extended until 23 April 2019. For each entry, five copies of the translation and three copies of the original publication should be sent, to arrive on or after 25 March 2019 and up to 23 April 2019, to:




Important Note

As always, we are keen to avoid the mountains of photocopies of the originals that our judges are usually presented with and instead send them copies of the actual Arabic books, directly sourced from the Arab publishers. It is also possible nowadays to get photocopies made into book format.

We know it is likely that as the English publisher you may not have had any contact with the original language publisher and so we are more than happy to source these originals on your behalf through our longstanding contacts with the publishers. If this is the case, do email us directly on:

For more information about the Banipal Trust for Arab Literature, go to