UPEM President Abdelkader Retnani welcomed this « important decision » from the region, which is « a first of its kind at the regional level ». These four literary prizes reward an essayist work, which can include sociological, anthropological, societal, socio-political, or a novelistic writing, said Abdelkader Retnani, pointing out that the competition is open to all writers of Morocco and all works printed and published by publishers from January 1st to November 30th, 2018.
The winner of each category will receive a prize of MAD 50,000, he said, noting that for each category, the Literary Prize will bear the name of an emblematic figure of Moroccan culture, namely: « Mohamed Zefzaf » in the category of Arabic language, ‘Driss Chraïbi » in French language category, « Mohamed Zerktouni » and « Tayeb Saddiki » respectively in the Amazigh language and translation categories.
Regarding the rules of the contest, open to any Moroccan author, whether or not he/she previously published, will only be admitted books printed and published by publishers in French, Arabic or Amazigh. All books must include the ISBN number, the legal deposit number and the price, said the president of the UPEM.
The jury members for these awards have been selected from among intellectuals and cultural professionals who will hold shortlisting, coordination and finalist meetings. The four prizes will be awarded on the sidelines of the Casablanca International Book and Publishing Fair (SIEL), to be held in February 2019.