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The Abdul Hameed Shoman Children’s Literature Award

We believe in the importance of enriching Arabic content for children, to stimulate their creative thinking, and encourage them to read. In 2006, this resulted in the launch of the Abdul Hameed Shoman Children’s Literature Award aimed at elevating the quality of children's literature and developing and enhancing its imaginative qualities while supporting their learning creativity. 

The Abdul Hameed Shoman Children’s Literature Award is an annual Arab award organized and managed by the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation. The award is given to literary works targeted at children and articulated in the types of literature determined by the award's scientific committee each year. 

Target group 

The award targets Arab creatives interested in children's literature and creating content targeted at children.

The Award's Scientific Committee

The Abdul Hameed Shoman Award for Children's Literature is managed by a scientific committee, which is composed of a chairman and several members experienced and knowledgeable in the award topic. The committee is responsible for drafting the application form, opening the door for submission, setting the deadline, deciding on the award topic, and appointing a qualified judging board experienced in the topics presented each year. Ahead of announcing the winners, the committee shares the winner's names through the appropriate channels after studying the judging board's conclusion. 

The current scientific committee for the 2020 Award consists of: 

Minister Haifa Najjar, President 

Jordanian Minister of Culture, recipient of the Award of a founding member of the Board of Trustees of the King Academy presented by His Majesty King Abdullah II and the King Academy (2006), the French Legion of Honor, Knight Rank, presented by the French government in recognition of its efforts and role in strengthening Jordanian-French relations (2018), and the Civil Merit Medal presented by King Philip VI of the Kingdom of Spain, in appreciation of her outstanding efforts in strengthening relations between Jordan (2017), the French Legion of Honor with the rank of Knight, presented by the French government in appreciation of her efforts and role in strengthening Jordanian-French relations (2018),The European Council of International Schools International (ECIS) (2009), the Lanfranc Award for Education and Scholarships presented by the Archbishop of Canterbury in recognition of her efforts in education (2017), and other awards and certificates of appreciation, as she was chosen as one of the ten most influential figures in Jordan in the year 2008, based on Jordan Business Magazine Poll. she is also a member of many local and international educational institutions.

Ibrahim Ali Ibrahim Nasrallah, Member 

Poet and novelist, he has published 15 collections and 21 novels, including the project (The Palestinian Comedy, 12 novels covering 250 years of modern Palestinian history). He translated five novels and a collection of poetry into English, and four books into Italian. A novel into Danish and another into Turkish and Persian. Nasrallah won 9 prizes, including the Sultan Al Owais Prize for Arabic Poetry in 1997, and the Jerusalem Prize for Culture in 2012. He climbed the top of Mount Kilimanjaro accompanied by Palestinian children who lost some limbs and wrote a novel about this experience (The Souls of Kilimanjaro) in 2015. The novel won the Katara Prize for Arabic Fiction In 2016. In 2018, his novel (The Second Dog War) won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (Booker).

Taghreed Arif Ali Al-Najjar, Member 

One of the pioneers of modern children's literature in Jordan. She published her first book, "Safwan Al-Bahlawan" in 1978. She graduated from the American University of Beirut with an English Language BA and Diploma in Education and Psychology. She worked in teaching, then at the Haya Cultural Center, heading the Center for Childhood Studies. She established "Dar Al Salwa for Studies and Publishing" in 1996. She targets her stories to children from the age of 3 years to young adults. She has received several awards, the most recent was the Communications Award for Young Adult’s Book of the Year for the novel "Who Is This Doll?" She was nominated for the Anna Lindt International Prize and the Hans Christian Andersen Prize. Her publications are part of the school curriculum in many Arab countries. A few of her titles have been translated into different languages, including English, Turkish, Swedish, French, Chinese, Greek, and Danish.

Dr. Shahla Abdul Azeem Ali Alajeeli, Member 

Professor of Modern Arabic Literature and Cultural Studies at the American University of Madaba - Jordan. She has in the short story the Mashrabiya collection 2005, and The Bed of the King’s Daughter 2016, and the recipient of the (Al-Multaqa - The American University in Kuwait award) for the Arabic short story in 2017. She published her novel (The Cat’s Eye) in 2006 and 2nd in 2009 she received the Jordanian State Prize in Literature in 2010. She had Persian carpets in 2012, and the novels (A Sky Close to Our Home) and (Summer with the Enemy) shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (Booker) in 2016 and 2019.

Dr. Alajeeli published in criticism and studies (Mirror of the Stranger: Articles in Criticism of Culture), (The Syrian Novel: Experience and Theoretical Statements), (Cultural Specificity in the Arabic Novel: Feminism - Nationalism - Ethnic - Religious), and she has joint books on identity and narrative, and a group of refereed research and writes in the Arab press.

Haya Saleh Odeh Ibrahim, Member 

Haya Ibrahim is a Jordanian novelist, critic, author, and screenwriter. She has published several literary books for children and young adults. She published in criticism: “Exiting to Self”, “Narrative of Life”, “The Source and Its Shadows”, “Doors of Memory”, and “Distance Zero”, which won the Nasir al-Din al-Assad Prize for Critical Studies 2016.
She has received many prizes, including the Katara Prize for Arabic Novel (2018), the State Encouragement Prize (2017), the Best Arabic Book Prize for Children (2013), the Children's Theatrical Script Prize - Third Place (2013), and the Naji Noaman Literary Award (2013). She is a member of the Jordanian Family Library Higher Committee (2018), the Technical Committee for the Selection of Performance Scripts at the Festival for Jordanian Children’s Theater (2018), the Editorial Board of “Wissam” Magazine (2009-2011), and the editorial board of “Madarij” Magazine (since 2017). In addition to serving on judging panels for literary and theatrical competitions and prizes.

The Award's Past Scientific Committees

Award's Scientific Committee  (2013-2019)

  • Senator Haifa Najjar, President 

  • Rawda Fahim Mohammed Al-Farkh, Member 

  • Wafaa Tawfiq Al-Qusous, Member 

  • Lina Al Tal, Member 

  • Hashem Gharaibeh, Member 

Award's Scientific Committee (2006-2012)

  • Prof. Dr. Nasir al-Din Muhammad Ahmad al-Assad 

  • Prof. Dr. Salah Mohamed Mahmoud Jarrar 

  • Prof. Dr. Ali Mufleh Abdullah Mahafza 

Our Partners 

Since the award launched, we are proud to have collaborated with local partners: 

Alaan Publishers

An Arab cultural project, founded in Jordan in 2013, seeking to develop the publishing industry, popularize reading and localize knowledge. AHSF collaborated with them to print and publish the winning work for the first edition of the 2015 year award cycle on the subject of "Theatrical Text for Children", and print and publish the first edition of the winning works for the 2016 award cycle on the subject of "Poetry for Children", and print and publish the first edition of the winning works for the year 2017-2018 award cycle on the topic "Story targeted to age group 8-12 years". 

Jabal Amman Publishers

A Jordanian publishing house and creator of original Arabic content, founded in 2009 in Jordan. They believe that knowledge is the key to building civilization and human progress. Their books are distributed in Jordan and several other countries in the region. AHSF cooperated with them to publish and print the first paper edition of the winning works for the 2019 award cycle on the topic of "Science Fiction for Boys and Girls", in addition to publishing the work electronically after one year of paper printing has passed and for a total of five years. 

The Abdul Hameed Shoman Children’s Literature Award Manual

Award areas 

The Story 

The story is one of the most influential arts on a child, as their awareness begins to form, it creates an enduring relationship between the child and the book and works to stimulate imagination and creative thinking in children. 

Poetry 

Poetry works on building a solid linguistic foundation that connects children's minds with their souls and expresses their emotions. Poetry is stimulating and full of ideas and imagination and helps introduce children to the beauty, breadth, and music of the language. 

The Novel 

The novel comes as an advanced step for young adults. The novel writer respects young adult minds to transform them into a more extensive and diverse world of storytelling. Young adults will analyze the environment, reformulate it, and adapt it to glorify the Arabic language while using its varying tools. 

Theatrical Script 

The theatrical script is valuable because it builds a correlation between the graceful language of dialogue and dynamic movement. Writing scripts with visual images brings characters alive to interact with children face to face. Language, sound, and form transform children into another world that corresponds to their imagination, leading to the mix of ideas and entertainment that children crave. 

 

General Terms & Conditions for the Award

The applicant must be of Arab nationality or of Arab origin.

• The age of the applicant should not be less than 18 years.

• The work submitted for the award must be original and not translated from another language.

• The work submitted for the award must not be published in newspapers, periodicals, websites, or other media outlets.

• The work must not be submitted for another award or a previous award winner.

• Incomplete works are excluded immediately.

• Works outside the specified iteration topic will be excluded.

• The applicant is not entitled to make any change or modification to the nominated work after reaching the award committee.

• The Foundation has the right to withhold the award for this session.

• The Foundation is not obligated to return the submitted works, whether they won or not.

• The Foundation is under no obligation to provide applicants with any feedback about their ineligible works after the results are in.

• The Foundation has the right to subject the winning work to discussion and re-editing by specialists in consultation with the author, according to the opinion of the award body and the publishing house to which the print is referred.

• The Foundation has the right to publish and produce the first edition of the winning works in paper form for one year, and electronically and audio for five years, and the winner receives (50) copies of the publication.

Award Components

The Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation grants each winner a certificate in his name in the literary area he won, in addition to a shield bearing the name of the prize and the foundation’s logo, and a total financial reward of (18000) Jordanian dinars divided into three categories: 

• First place: (10000) Jordanian dinars 

• Second place: (5000) Jordanian dinars 

• Third place: (3000) Jordanian dinars 

Award Evaluation 

The Scientific Committee of the Abdul Hameed Shoman Award for Children’s Literature appoints judging panels annually made up of experts in the award subject field based on the criteria set for this purpose.

Winners Announcement 

The award winners are announced by the AHSF Foundation through the appropriate channels at a date set in advance every year and the awards are handed out during a special ceremony. 

Award Submission Process 

The duration for each iteration is ten months, held through several stages: 

The First Stage: Preliminary Screening 

Competing works submitted online go through the initial screening stage, overseen by the award committee, per the set criteria; participants must be at least 18 years of age, of Arab nationality or origin, with the relevant files attached. 

Stage Two: Preliminary Evaluation 

The submissions complying with the first stage of the award criteria move on to the second stage, which is the preliminary evaluation stage, where the Scientific Award Committee takes into consideration the determination of the judging panel per the award criteria set and the number of conditional words for each cycle before reaching a decision. 

Stage Three: Judging of Submissions 

Contingent on the award’s scientific body decision, the jury evaluates the submitted work based on the criteria specified below. Judging Criteria: 

• Development of the idea creation.  

• Language and style 

• Content and Ideas 

• Innovation and creativity 

• Originality of submitted work 

Stage Four: Winner Announcement 

The jury panel meets at the beginning of September to select the longlist and shortlist (winners), followed by an announcement of the winners in October of each year. 

Award Related Activities

 

Professional Meeting

The Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation organized a two-day “Professional Meeting” event for the 2014 participants in the Children’s Literature Award “A Story for Early Childhood” on November 28-29, 2015. The event contributed to the development of children’s written literature by taking part in experience and knowledge sharing with experts in the field of Children's literature, managed by Ms. Nabiha Al-Muhaidli and Ms. Lujaina Al-Aseel. 

“Theatrical Script for Children” Symposium

The Abdul Hameed Shoman Award for Children’s Literature 10th award session was held in 2015 and entitled “Theatrical Text for Children”, the event was an interactive symposium to put forward a national strategy for producing professional theatrical works for children. 

The following professors were invited to speak: Ms. Lina Al-Tal/Jordan, Ms. Wafaa Al-Qusous/Jordan, Ms. Hala Khoury/Jordan, Ms. Nada Thabet / Egypt, Ms. Sirsa Qorsha/Jordan. 

Seminar program

 Creative Thinking in Children's Theater (Workshop) Presented by Hala Khoury 

Methods and forms of child theater in terms of content and privacy. Introduced by Ms. Lina Al-Tal 

Writing for puppet theater. Presented by Ms. Wafaa Al-Qusous 

Street theater and sensitive child topics. Presented by Ms. Nada Thabet 

 Child Psychology and the stages of development. Introduced by Professor Sirsa Qorsha 

 Proposing recommendations for an “All-encompassing artistic production for children’s” submitted and presented by the participants and speakers 

“Script Writing for Children’s Theatre" Workshop

The Abdul Hameed Shoman Prize for Children’s Literature organized a workshop titled “Theatrical Script Writing for Children”, presented, and directed by Ms. Samar Dudin. The workshop was presented by Asmaa Qassem, Emad Al-Shaer, and Mufleh Al-Adwan experienced professionals in the field of theater and children's theatre. 

Workshop Components

Introduction to theater and playwriting techniques, presented by Professor Mufleh Al-Adwan 

Elements of Drama as an Art Form Presented by Professor Imad Al Shaer 

• The essentials of writing children's theater presented by Ms. Asmaa Qassem 

 Round table discussions and splitting the participants into three groups to construct a theatrical script (first draft) 

Participants share their scripts and read them out loud.  

References were shared with the participants to read ahead of the workshop

Expressions in playwriting: 

• The human experience from artistic production to aesthetic perception. 

• The visualization of the story in exploring the narrative and constructing meaning. 

• The art of theatrical playwriting. 

• The art of children’s theatrical playwriting. 

Theatrical scripts: 

• Saadallah Wannous: The Elephant, O King of Time, and the Adventure of Mamlouk Jaber (two plays) 

• Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice 

• Zakaria Tamer: Tigers on the Tenth Day (Stories) 

Arabic and International Children's Literature: 

• Zakaria Tamer: Tigers on the Tenth Day (Stories) 

• Ghassan Kanafani: The Little Lantern 

• Oscar Wilde: The Happy Prince 

• Astrid Lindgren: The Brothers, Lionheart 

• Elsa Beskow: The Sun Egg 

• Henning Mankell: Secrets in the Fire 

• Jens Ahlbom: Johnathan of Gull Mountain 

Winners of The Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation Award for Children's Literature

Previous winners 

Since its inception in 2006 and until 2021, the Abdul Hameed Shoman Award for Children's Literature winners reached 41 creatives from all over the Arab world – their names are listed in the attached file below. 

To access the list of previous winners please click here.

Award Publications 

The total number of award publications is 17 publications, please click here to review.

The Abdul Hameed Shoman Children’s Literature Award Publications

To view all publications for the Abdul Hameed Shoman Children’s Literature Award in Arabic, click here.