With 221 submissions from 22 countries, the judging panel for 12th edition of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, with award money on offer totaling AED 1.2 million ($325,000) has had a hard time narrowing down the entries to thirteen titles, but we now know the shortlist, and the Etisalat Awards have been sharing the news on twitter this past week.

The Award, organised by UAEBBY (UAE Board on Books for Young People) and sponsored by Etisalat Group, will be delivered at a virtual ceremony in November, when we will learn which of the 13-title shortlist from 11 publishers across 7 countries, takes the prize.

From the Etisalat Awards website:

The Etisalat Award comprises of six categories: Children’s Book of the Year valued at AED 300,000 and distributed equally between the author, illustrator and publisher; Young Adult Book of the Year worth AED 200,000 and distributed equally between the author and publisher; three awards of AED 100,000 each for Best Text, Best Illustration and Best Production; and AED 100,000 for the ‘Silent Book’ category.

Additionally, as part of the award’s ‘Warsha’ programme, which aims to discover and nurture a new generation of writers, illustrators and publishers, AED 300,000 will be dedicated to workshops that harness people’s ability to write and illustrate children’s books.

The Etisalat Award has kept us informed via twitter (@EtisalatAward):

@EtisalatAward Oct 16

Al Balsam Publishing House in #Egypt submitted “Shahrazizi’s Nights: a tale within a tale within a tale”. The book has been shortlisted for Best Text, Best Production, and Best Children’s Book of the Year for the #EtisalatAward for Arabic Children’s Literature 2020.

@EtisalatAward Oct 17

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Deep in My Heart by Hussain Al-Mutawa and illustrated by Leena Nadaf, for Arwa Al-Arabeia for Publishing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, makes the shortlist for the #EtisalatAward’s Best Illustrations, and Best Production categories.

@EtisalatAward Oct 20

Writer Jacar Khorshid, and illustrator Maha Daher have captured the hearts of young people with their magical tales & stories many times before.

“Kalimat” by Dar Najma in Syria joins the shortlist of the #EtisalatAward for Arabic Children’s Literate in the category of Best Text.

@EtisalatAward Oct 21

Congratulations to ‘The Wings of My Kite’ by Rajaa Mallah and illustrated by Amir Alayi, from @Daralmoualef publishing house in Lebanon.

This book made the #BestIllustration category. 

@EtisalatAward Oct 22

A circle of good deeds in a wordless book.

“The Apple” by the author Asma Amara and illustrator Atef Abdullah, published by Dar Al Buragh in Iraq, is one of the silent books nominated for an #EtisalatAward for Arabic Children’s Literature.

@EtisalatAward Oct 22

The book “I Caught a Moon” by Arwa Khamees, illustrated by Israa Haidari and published by Arwa Al-Arabeia for Publishing in the KSA, deserves a place on the shortlist of the #EtisalatAward for Arabic Children’s Literature in the Children’s Book of the Year category.

More shortlisted titles being added to twitter as this post goes live.