Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Literary Awards and Prizes in Algeria


Several lit prizes have begun to (re)emerge over the last two to three years in Algeria. Here are three new prizes I've come across looking to recompense and support our very own Algerian lit.

 

The Assia Djebbar Prize for the Best Novel















This year will mark the first award of the Assia Djebbar prize for the Best Novel. The prize was created by ANEP [the National House for Publishing and Publicity] in March 2015, in memory of Assia Djebbar and her legacy to literature - the prolific Algerian author and member of the prestigious French Academy passed away on 6 February 2015.

The AD prize will reward an Algerian novel written in Arabic, French or Tamazight. The AD award will be given during SILA, Algiers' International Bookfair. SILA opens its massive doors every year for a week. This year it will run from 29 October to 7 November. 2015 marks its 20th edition.


The Best Fantastique genre Short Story

The Prize for the Best Fantastique genre Short Story was created last year, in 2014, by the French Institute in Algeria. in partnership with BNP Paribas and Media Plus editions. The prize aims to reward the best Sci-Fi, horror or fantasy short story, written in French,  and wants to promote young authors. The winner is awarded 200.000 DA.  10 short stories are selected, and once the winner is announced, they are all published in an anthology - where the winner's story appears first. Each short is submitted on the basis of a theme that the French Institute has selected.

In 2014, the theme was Nuptials.
 




















In 2014, the prize was awarded to Assia Bougherra for her short story Conte insolite et noces fantastiques [Unusual and fantastic wedding tales]. See here the list of the other 10 winners. For its first edition, the jury had received 111 short stories.



In 2015, the theme was Climate(s).


 
















2015 marked the second edition of the Prize. The Best Fantastique genre Short Story was « les carnets du Wasteland » [Notes from the Wasteland] by Walid SIDI SAÏD. Here is the list of the soon to be published stories and authors for this year.

The anthology and its authors will be present during SILA also.



The Literary Stopovers Prize Algeria (Prix Escales Litteraires)


























This Literary Stopovers takes place in several countries, hence its title Stopover. It was created by Sofitel hotels (Accor Group), and operates in Algeria in partnership with the European Union delegation in Algeria since 2013. Each year, 8 novels (written in French) are selected.

Intially, the prize aimed to award a "Best First Novel" and a "Best Confirmed Author". During the second edition, the award titles changed somewhat and are now set as the Prix Escale, and the Crush of the Jury (Le coup de coeur).
 
2013 marked the year of this prize's first edition. Algerian Habib Ayyoub in the "Confirmed novelist" category, was awarded for Le Remonteur d’horloge [The Clock Winder] (Barzakh eds., 2012), and Sarah Haidar won the "Best First novel" category for her Virgules en Trombe [Commas' whirlwind] (Apic eds, 2013) (she had already published two novels in Arabic, Commas' whilwind is her first in French. Here is a list of the other selected novelists.

In 2014, the Prix Escale was given to Kamel Daoud for his Meursault contre enquête. The Crush was given to Mohamed Magani for his novel Rue des perplexes [Perplexed Street] (Chihab eds, 2013). See here for other selected novels.

This year, the Prix Escale was given to Leïla Hamoutène for her novel Le châle de Zeineb [Zeineb's shawl] and the Crush was given to Youcef Tounsi his novel Face au silence des eaux [Before waters' silence] (APIC eds, 2014). See here for the 2015 other selected novelists.  


Other prizes

There are supposed to be other Literature Prizes in Algeria.
 
MnarviDZ in his comment below gives further and very useful information on other literary prizes that once were and still are:

"There was the Librarians' award (dunno what it's become of it), and Mosteghanemi's Malek Haddad which stopped because, they say, the animosity between Mosteghanemi and former minister of culture, Khalida Messaoudi. Apuleius Of madauros prize stopped when Amin Zaoui left the BNA, and Moufid Zakaria award (poetry) stopped after Tahar Ouettar's death. So basically none is/was really an institution as they depend on the man/woman who started them.

I believe the Ali Maachi prize is still alive. And I think I read that Azzeddine Mihoubi would relaunch the Mohamed Dib Award but I cannot find the article."


The Mohammed Dib prize, was launched in 2001 and gave a prize every two years. The last Mohammed Dib prize was supposed to have been given in 2014, it was then pushed back to May 2015 due to lack of funds and has not been heard of again.  There also seems to be a Best Novel Prize but I haven't yet found information on it yet than a mention.

Now, the big question is: are there Literature prizes that award Algerian literature (specifically written) in  Arabic today ? And what about Kabyle !



3 comments:

MnarviDZ said...

Hi,

Literary prizes in Algeria go through the same process as everything, absolutely everything, in Algeria, i.e. they don't last. Too much for our rulers who keep using the "continuity" word.

Wanted to say that Assia Djebbar prize is not dedicated to literature written in French. Any language can compete. So this is one awarding literature in Arabic :)

There was the Librarians' award (dunno what it's become of it), and Mosteghanemi's Malek Haddad which stopped because, they say, the animosity between Mosteghanemi and former minister of culture, Khalida Messaoudi. Apuleius Of madauros prize stopped when Amin Zaoui left the BNA, and Moufid Zakaria award (poetry) stopped after Tahar Ouettar's death. So basically none is/was really an institution as they depend on the man/woman who started them.

I believe the Ali Maachi prize is still alive. And I think I read that Azzeddine Mihoubi would relaunch the Mohamed Dib Award but I cannot find the article.

MnarviDZ

PS: IS it becaue you left Twitter that you have time to blog? :)

Nadia Ghanem said...

Hello Mnarvi ! Thanks for coming by and for all this very useful info :) I'll correct the Fr re the Assia Djebbar's prize, cheers for pointing that out !

Yes they probably won't last, which might be a good thing lol, as long as they're replaced and continue the trend. I bet there's soon going to be a prize created for detective novels :p

I became a lazy blogger with Twitter. Now all the hours I spent on Twitter I spend reading and writing. I can't seem to handle both!





MnarviDZ said...

Hmm are you going to create your detective novels prize? Make sure it's worth $$$$$ to encourage the folks out there :)

Re Twitter/Blogging (and reading), I am experiencing the same thing but I am still having some fun on Twitter... and blogging about DZ politics, well, it is not the most attractive activity.

PS: Welcome :)