Sekka Literary Prize 2022

*Submissions for the competition are now closed, and are being reviewed by our panel of esteemed judges. Thank you to everyone who submitted their work for review. For those looking to take part in next year’s competition, stay tuned for additional details.

As part of our efforts to support talents from the Gulf region and wider Arab world, and introduce their works to international readers, Sekka is happy to launch, for the first time, its annual literary prize. There will be three winners, one for each category: fiction, non-fiction and poetry. There will also be a runner up in each category.

Submitters are welcome to send in fiction or nonfiction works and poetry works, in English or translated to English.

Submission Guidelines:

  1. To be eligible to enter the competition, participants must be 18 years or older. Participants must also be of Arab ethnicity/nationality, or residents of an Arab country.
  2. Submitters do not have to be previously published writers or authors. However, all submitted work must be previously unpublished, original and exclusive to the prize at Sekka. Translated works can be previously published, but only in the original language, and this must be declared when submitting.
  3. Applicants must only submit under one category: fiction, non-fiction or poetry.
  4. All fiction and non-fiction submissions must be between 1,500 to 5,000 words. Submitters may only send in up to two pieces of prose in English, or translated to English. No resubmissions will be allowed.
  5. For poetry submissions, each submission can include up to 3 poems in English, or translated to English. Poetry subsmissions can be in structured or free form. The maximum length of the poems in total cannot exceed 12 pages. Please be mindful, however, that each poem must be complete and representative of its own. No resubmissions will be allowed.
  6. For translated submissions (whether fiction, non-fiction, or poetry), the name of the translator must be included alongside the writer’s.
  7. Sekka does not publish works that are political or religious in nature . We also do not accept any work with reference to profanity. Any submission that does not abide by the guidelines may result in the submissions not to be considered. Submissions must be in Microsoft Document format, follow a double-spaced format and use Times New Roman of 12-point font. Submissions must also include a creative title that well represents the theme of the work.
  8. Along with your submission, please include a 150 word overview of the work and a 200 word bio of yourself that includes your full name, age, nationality, educational and professional background and other notable information, written in third person. For translated works, the translator’s bio should also be sent over. All bios may be edited by the Sekka team.
  9. Sekka does not provide translators to translate works, nor will it compensate writers for getting their works translated whether they are successful in the competition or not.
  10. Any submissions that do not adhere to these guidelines will not be reviewed.


The submissions will be reviewed and selected by our respected panel of judges:

Shahd Alshammari, PhD.
Author, Assistant Professor of English Literature
Gulf University for Science and Technology

Jonas Elbousty, PhD.
Author, literary translator, and academic
Yale University
Afra Atiq, PhD.
Award-winning poet and scholar
Amal Al Sahlawi
Author and poet

How to submit

Submissions will be received through email: Please use the title “Submission for Annual Literary Competition.”

For translated works, please cc the translator in the e-mail.


The competition will take place over the course of two months. The deadline for submissions is 11:59 PM BST, December 31, 2021. Please take a note of the deadline as any submissions made after the deadline will not be accepted.

The winners and runners up will be personally notified through email, announced on our social media platforms and their works will be published in a special issue of Sekka Magazine. If the participants do not hear back from Sekka within four months after the submission deadline, they should assume that, unfortunately, their work did not make it through to the final stages of the competition. Participants are welcome to take part in next year’s annual competition.

Awards and recognitions

Winners will be awarded USD 500 each, and will have their work published and featured in a special issue of Sekka Magazine. Runners up will be awarded USD 250. In the event the work is translated, the award will be equally split between the writer and the translator . Winners will also receive online certificates to honor their creative works and establish their notable participation.

It must be noted that there can only be one winner for each of the categories in the competition; participants cannot win in two or more categories. Once decided, the winning submissions will be subject to edits before being released and published in Sekka.

We look forward to receiving your submissions. Good luck!