Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre opens nominations for Golden Narrative Award

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The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre (ALC), part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has opened nominations for the first edition of its Golden Narrative (Sard Al Thahab) Award, which honours notable works of Arab prose by local and international creative minds.

The Award aims to shed light on Emirati folk tales and narratives, highlighting inspiring works in this field and celebrating the talented narrators who, through this art form, have helped to preserve the UAE’s history, lifestyle, and popular heritage over the decades. It derives its name from a poem by the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and seeks to drive an artistic movement that builds on Zayed’s legacy of creativity.

The Award is accepting submissions across six categories. The Short Story Prize for Unpublished Stories honours and publishes unpublished works by talented authors; the Short Story Collection Prize for Published Stories recognises published stories that draw inspiration from the nation’s heritage; the Popular Narratives Prize honours collections of popular folktales that build collective memory and contribute to cultural identity, or notable studies that analyse these tales; while the Narrators Prize celebrates narrators of popular literature and biographies from the UAE and the wider Arab world, who recite these works orally.

The categories also include the Illustrated Story Prize, which honours narratives that rely on images in their structure, blending narration and graphic arts, and the Emirati Storytelling Prize, recognising literary works in Arabic and other languages that explore Emirati identity and are inspired by the UAE’s history, geography, and other values.

Abdulla Majed Al Ali, Chairman of the Golden Narrative Award’s Higher Committee and Director-General of the National Library and Archives, said, “Inspired by the creative journey of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his efforts to nurture cultural consciousness and artistic expression in the UAE community, the Award aims to showcase these works of collective memory and strengthen our national identity.”

Individuals, literary unions, cultural institutions and universities can submit work to one of the six categories. Nominations for the Emirati Narratives category must come from academic, research, and cultural institutions and from the Higher Committee of the Award.

The criteria for nominations include the candidate’s contribution to building Emirati narratives through creative or research work that explores various aspects of the history and present of the UAE.

Nominees can apply to a category with one work only as long as said work has not been nominated for another award in the same year. Nominated works must be written in Arabic, except for the Emirati Narratives category, where entries in other languages are accepted. The narrative and research works may be published no more than five years ago or unpublished.

The Award is not open to works that have previously won a major Arab or international award. It is possible to re-nominate a work after fulfilling the criteria relating to the set timeframe.

Applicants must choose the category that best suits their work and fill out the Nomination Form that can be obtained through the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre’s website (
https://ddei5-0-ctp.trendmicro.com:443/wis/clicktime/v1/query?url=www.alc.ae&umid=57F1BFC4-FEB1-9905-B239-FA6E574963AA&auth=d95b31bf228f812d834cf2cf03f5e34fa7215184-ace840b111f35bc012fe94bee7a3af027f4a4f51) or by writing to sardalthahab@dctabudhabi.ae.

The completed form should be attached with five copies of the proposed work, the resume and biography of the nominee, a copy of his/her passport and a personal photo.

The total prize pool for the six Gold Narrative Award categories amounts to AED2 million.