Sponsored by Dar Akwan Publishing, the first edition of the Mohammed Abdul Moneim Zahran Award for Short Story kicked off in Cairo, with a jury headed by novelist Ibrahim Abdul Majid, winner of the Nile Award for Literature.
Zahran died in March, he was in his 50s, and left various literary works such as stories, plays, novels, and children literature, including “Things of the Night”, “Confusion of the Creature”, “Next to You When it Rains”, “Seven Traveling Carriages”, and “The Rabbit and The Parrot”.
He received several awards including the “Souad al-Sabah Award for Best Play” (Kuwait, 2001), and Sharjah Award for Arab Creativity - short story (2002).
The jury announced in a statement that applicants for the award should be Egyptians who have never had their work published and have never received an award before.
The award includes two categories: the “Full Story Collection” targeting writers aged 30 years and older; and “The Individual Short Story” targeting writers between 18 and 30 years.
The winner will receive a small cash prize, and their winning work will be published by Dar Akwan. Hopefuls should submit their application before mid-August.
Author Sumaya Abdul Moneim, wife of the late writer and secretary general of the award, said this award is a merited tribute to Zahran’s creative and unique journey.
She added that the idea was inspired by Zahran himself, who sponsored and oversaw many literary awards in the Upper Egypt district. The award aims at crowning the journey of a writer who devoted himself to story writing despite his remarkable talent in other literary forms.
Mahmoud Shawki, director of Dar Akwan, said: “Storyteller Mohammed Abdul Moneim Zahran is a distinct, pioneering talent in the world of storytelling that can be compared to Youssef Idris and Yahya al-Taher Abdullah.”
The coming editions of the award will be expanded with a bigger cash prize, and other categories alongside the short story, he revealed.