Arab American Book Awards

The Arab American Book Awards is a literary program created to honor books written by and about Arab Americans. The program generates greater awareness of Arab American scholarship and writing through an annual award competition and educational outreach.

Winners and honorable mentions may be presented annually in these categories:

Adult Non-Fiction – Scholarly/Academic (The Evelyn Shakir Non-Fiction Award)

Adult Non-Fiction – Memoir/Creative

Adult Fiction

Poetry (The George Ellenbogen Poetry Award)

Children/Young Adult, Fiction or Non-Fiction


Each winter, the Arab American National Museum’s Library & Resources Center issues a call for award submissions. To be eligible for consideration for the 2020 awards, a book must comply with the following criteria:

  • The book must be written, edited or illustrated by an Arab American, or address the Arab American experience.
  • The book must be an original work and published in English between January 1 and December 31, 2019.
  • The portrayal or representation of Arab Americans should be accurate and engaging, avoid stereotypes and reflect rich characterization.

Submissions are reviewed by committees that represent a variety of constituencies: previous winners, librarians and Arab American scholars. When selecting winning titles, reviewers take into account a book’s overall quality, including its writing and originality. For non-fiction titles, reviewers also consider the relevancy, sufficiency and accuracy of a book’s information. After verifying a submission’s eligibility, Arab American National Museum staff takes no part in the reviewers’ deliberations.

The Arab American Book Award winners and honorable mentions are celebrated in a ceremony each Fall.

Past Arab American Book Award winners: 

20192018  – 2017  – 2016 –  20152014  – 20132012  – 20112010 –  200920082007

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