Short Stories – Workshops for Young Arabic Writers


In 2014 KfW Stiftung initiated the literature project Cairo Short Stories which aims to strengthen the cultural dialogue with the Arab world by supporting local up-and-coming writers and helping them make international contacts. It consists of workshops for talented young writers in the Middle East and events with these writers in Germany.

After two years in Cairo (Cairo Short Stories 2014 and 2015) the project continued in Beirut (Beirut Short Stories 2016 und 2017). In 2018 the writers’ workshops take place in both cities

Following an open call, talented young authors writing in Arabic are invited to submit samples of their work and apply for writers’ workshops. A local jury of eminent literary pundits selects approximately ten participants for three workshops on the premises of Goethe-Institut Cairo/Beirut, each lasting several days. Directed by renowned authors (such as Abbas Khider, Adania Shibli, Dima Wannous), the participants develop short stories and discuss them with their peers in a protected space. They also improve their writing skills as receive further information on editing, translation and publication. After the workshops the jury meets again in order to review the short stories and to pick the best ones. These stories will be translated into English and published bilingually on “adda”, the online magazine of Commonwealth Writers, for an international audience.

Short Stories is a project by KfW Stiftung in cooperation with Goethe-Institut and Commonwealth Writers, the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation, London. From 2014 to 2016 an additional partner was Litprom –the Society for the Promotion of African, Asian and Latin American Literature, Frankfurt.

Short Stories
Short Stories

Frankfurt Masterclass 2019

Within the framework of the programme series Short Stories, KfW Stiftung in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut in the MENA region will host for the first time a Masterclass in Frankfurt am Main from 11.-14.10.2019.

Finalists from the previous workshops in Cairo, Beirut and Jericho were invited to apply for the workshop which aims to supplement, deepen and further explore topics and methodologies of literary writing. Under the guidance of Palestinian author Adania Shibli questions tied to international publication process of literature will be addressed, such as editing and translation.

As a platform for intercultural encounter, the workshop will offer young writers from different Arabic speaking regions the opportunity to connect with each other, nurture literary networks, discuss their work and exchange ideas.

The authors of the Masterclass will also frame the public event "The Politics of Translation" on 14 October with a performance reading of their own texts. 

The authors of the Masterclass will also participate in the public Event "The Politics of Translation" on October 14 with a performance reading of their own texts.   

Participants:
Salma Alhafi (Latakia), Widyan Almasarani (Beirut/Stuttgart), Asmaa El Shikh (Alexandria), Ameer Hamad (Jerusalem), Camellia Hussein (Cairo), Mai Kaloti (Jerusalem), Nahla Karam (Cairo), Ahmed Lotfy Aman (Mansoura), Abdalmuti I. A.Maqboul (Ramallah), Esraa Mokaidem (Cairo), Mira Sidawi (Beirut), Omaima Sobhi (Cairo)

Workshop leader:
Adiana Shibli (author and cultural scientist)


Jericho und Ramallah Short Stories 2018-2019

As part of the Short Stories Programme initiated by KfW Stiftung in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut, the edition “Jericho Short Stories” addresses outstanding young writing talents who live in Palestine and write in their mother tongue Arabic. In the framework of writing workshops the participants discuss literary examples of short stories and explore writing techniques to develop their own story. A nominated jury of experts evaluates the results. The best texts will be translated into English and published bilingually on ‘adda’, the online magazine of Commonwealth Writers

The writing workshops offer a platform for dialogue as well as professional training on the topics of editing, translation and publication.

Under the direction of writer Adania Shibli, the workshops took place in three parts from October to December 2018.

Jericho Short Stories is a project by KfW Stiftung in cooperation with Goethe-Institut Ramallah and Commonwealth Writers, the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation, London.


Beirut Short Stories 2016-2018

Once again, “Beirut Short Stories” returned in 2018 to promote young writing talents in the Middle East. The aim was to support local up-and-coming writers, i.e. talented young authors living in Lebanon and writing in Arabic, and to help them make international contacts. The writers’ workshops were directed by the author Dima Wannous, who is based in London.

Shortlisted candidates:

Salma Alhafi („Maria“) (Syria)
Ahmad Naji („Shareh Semaan“) (Jemen, based in Beirut)
Wedyan Almasarani („Raqsa“) (Syria)

Jury:
Chaza Charafeddine (Author und Translator)
Hassan Daoud (Author)
Najwa Barakat (Author)
Mazen Maarouf (Author)

Beirut Short Stories is a project by KfW Stiftung in cooperation with Goethe-Institut Lebanon and Commonwealth Writers, the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation, London.

Following the great success of the Beirut Short Stories 2016, the project returns in 2017. The writers’ workshops are directed by the author and translator Dima Wannous, who is based in Beirut and Paris.

The three winning stories selected by a jury were published in Arabic and English in Commonwealth Writers' online magazine "adda":

Shortlisted candidates:
Batoul Fahs (Lebanon)
Marwa Melhem (Syria)
Mira Sidawi (Palestine)

Jury:
Najwa Barakat (Lebanon), writer and critic
Chaza Charafeddine (Lebanon), writer and artist
Hassan Daoud (Lebanon), writer and journalist
Rana Idriss (Lebanon), publisher
Mazen Maarouf (Palestine), writer, translator, critic
Günther Orth (Germany), translator and interpreter

Beirut Short Stories is a project by KfW Stiftung in cooperation with Goethe-Institut Lebanon and Commonwealth Writers, the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation, London.

 

Following the great success of the first two “Cairo Short Stories” writers’ workshops in 2014 and 2015, another writers’ workshop “Beirut Short Stories” was held in Beirut in March 2016. The aim was to support local up-and-coming writers, i.e. talented young authors living in Lebanon and writing in Arabic, and to help them make international contacts. 

The writers’ workshop was designed to assist the participants in writing a short story (under the direction of the author, journalist and translator Hussain Al-Mozany). An expert jury selected the three best stories from the texts created during the workshop. 

The shortlisted candidates presented their stories at the “Weltempfang” event at Frankfurt’s Book Fair and gave readings in Frankfurt and other parts of Germany. The three short stories are translated from Arabic into English and published in close cooperation with the Commonwealth Foundation, London, in the online magazine adda in a bilingual format. The translation and publication in German is made possible thanks to the cooperation with Litprom – Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Literatur aus Afrika, Asien und Lateinamerika, Frankfurt/Main. 

Beirut Jury: 
Najwa Barakat (Lebanon), writer and critic 
Ibrahim Sader (Lebanon), publisher 
Iskandar Habache (Lebanon), writer and journalist 
Dima Wanous (Syria), writer and translator 
Mazen Maarouf (Palestine), writer, translator and critic 
Stephan Milich (Germany), literary scholar and translator 

The three winning stories selected by a jury were published in Arabic and English in Commonwealth Writers' online magazine "adda":

Shortlisted candidates and stories: 
Orwa al Mokdad (Syria), “Madame Suzanne” 
Rola el Hussein (Libanon), “The Dress” 
Ayham Kazoun (Libanon), “The Capital” 

Beirut Short Stories is a project by KfW Stiftung in cooperation with Goethe-Institut Lebanon, Litprom – Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Literatur aus Afrika, Asien und Lateinamerika e.V., Frankfurt/Main and the Commonwealth Foundation, London 

Beirut Short Stories at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2016: 

21 October, 10:30 to 11:30 am, Weltempfang, Frankfurt Book Fair, hall 3.1, L25 
Introduction and discussion with the finalists Orwa al Mokdad, Rola el Hussein and Ayham Kazoun, chaired by: Larissa Bender, translator.
Arabic/English/German 

23 October, 7:00 pm, reading at Die Fabrik, Frankfurt/Main with Orwa al Mokdad, Rola el Hussein and Ayham Kazoun, in collaboration with Salon Ost-West-Passagen, chaired by: Larissa Bender, reader in German: Jochen Nix.
Arabic/German 
Die Fabrik, Kulturwerk Frankfurt, Mittlerer Hasenpfad 1-5, 60598 Frankfurt/Main 

For information on other readings please visit Litprom’s website.


Cairo Short Stories 2014-2019

Once again this year KfW Stiftung and the Goethe-Institute Cairo are offering a writing workshop: Cairo Short Stories is aimed at outstanding young writing talents who live in Egypt and write in their mother tongue Arabic. They are invited to develop and discuss short stories in writing workshops under the direction of writer Wagdy El Komy. In addition, the workshops offer a platform for professional further education on the topics of editing, translation and publication.

Following the workshops, a jury of experts in Cairo will evaluate the texts produced and select the best ones, which will then be published in Arabic and in English and German translation.

Cairo Short Stories is a joint project of KfW Stiftung, Goethe-Institut Cairo and the Commonwealth Foundation to promote young writing talents in Egypt. Following the successful years of the Cairo Short Stories 2014, 2015 and 2018, the highly sought-after project will once again be carried out in Cairo. Further editions of the short stories also took place in Beirut (2016-2018) and Jericho (2018).

Further Information on the Website of the Goethe-Institut Egypt (German and Arabic). 

 

Review of Cairo Short Stories 2019

Following the enormous response of the last years, the literature project “Cairo Short Stories” returns, supporting up-and-coming local writers and helping them to make international contacts. The project was developed in cooperation with KfW Stiftung, Goethe-Institut Cairo and Commonwealth Writers, the cultural initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation, London.

The award-winning writer Wagdy El Komy took over the management of the writing workshop, which offers talented young literary talent in Egypt the opportunity to develop and discuss short stories together.

Following the announcement of the competition, 265 young Egyptians submitted samples of their work that were partly of exceptional literary merit. A jury composed of several eminent Egyptian literary pundits selected twelve participants for the workshops in June and July 2018. 

Shortlisted candidates:
Kamilla Hussein Hafez Ibrahim (Cairo)
Hend Ahmed Gaffer (Alexandria)
Israa Mokaydem (Cairo)

Jury:
Mohamed El Baaly (Publisher)
Shereen Abou El Naga (Author and Professor at University of Cairo)
Mansoura Ez-Eldin (Author and Journalist)
Tarek Emam (Author)
Mohamed Abd El Naby (Author and Translator)
Günther Orth (Translator)

Cairo Short Stories 2018

Cairo Short Stories returns after last year’s overwhelming success: KfW Stiftung, Goethe-Institut Cairo and Litprom – the Society for the Promotion of African, Asian and Latin American Literature are continuing their literary project that supports up-and-coming local writers and helps them make international contacts. 
Award-winning author Abbas Khider will once again direct the writers’ workshop, giving talented new authors in Egypt an opportunity to write their own short stories and to discuss them with their peers. Following the announcement of the competition, 133 young Egyptians submitted samples of their work that were partly of exceptional literary merit. A jury composed of five eminent Egyptian literary pundits selected twelve participants for the workshops in April 2015 and is also responsible for picking the best story. 

Omaima Sobhi is the winner of the KfW Stiftung prize. She receives an invitation to Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2015 to showcase her story translated into German at Litprom's 'Weltempfang – Centre for Politics, Literature and Translation'. 

Jury: Shereen Abou El-Naga (literary scholar), Mohamed El Baaly (publisher), Mansoura Ez Eldin (author), Mohamed Kheir (author), Dr. Stephan Milich (reader in Arabic studies and translator), Karam Youssef (publisher) 

Events at Frankfurt Book Fair: 

Thursday, 15 October 2015, 4.30pm, Weltempfang (Hall 3.1 L 25) 

Award ceremony for the KfW Stiftung prize with the winner Omaima Sobhi 

Welcome 
Dr. Bernd Siegfried, Executive Director of KfW Stiftung 
Johannes Ebert, Secretary General of Goethe-Institut 
Juergen Boos, Director of Frankfurt Book Fair 

Reading and talk 
Stefan Weidner, Islamic studies scholar, translater, critic 
Omaima Sobhi, winner of the 2015 Cairo Short Stories prize 
Abbas Khider, author, director of the Cairo Short Stories writers' workshop 
Karam Youssef, editor, jury member of Cairo Short Stories 
Ingrid El Sigai, actress, reader of the German text 

Followed by reception 

Friday, 16 October 2015, 2.30pm, Weltempfang Salon (Hall 3.1 L 25) 

The next generation: Cairo Short Stories meets sexyunderground 

Talk in Arabic and German with participants in the Cairo Short Stories project and formerly in the Schreibzimmer workshop at Literaturhaus Frankfurt 
Amira El Ahl, journalist (moderator) 
Günther Orth (consecutive interpretation)

Cairo Short Stories is a literary project developed by KfW Stiftung and carried out in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Cairo and Litprom – the Society for the Promotion of African, Asian and Latin American Literature. It supports up-and-coming local writers in making international contacts and is intended to inspire dialogue with the Arab world. Talented new authors in Egypt were given an opportunity to create short stories at writers' workshops and to discuss them with their peers. Under the supervision of award-winning author Abbas Khider, eleven writers spent several days in three workshops at Goethe-Institut Cairo to draft their stories. The six women and five men from different parts of Egypt had previously been selected from among more than 118 entries by an expert jury of Arabic speakers, which was also responsible for choosing the three best stories. The KfW Stiftung prize was awarded to 24-year-old Arig Mohamed from Cairo. She is invited to the Frankfurt Book Fair 2014, where she will present her story translated into German at Litprom's "Weltempfang – Centre for Politics, Literature and Translation". The runners-up, Asmaa Elshikh (26, Alexandria) and Nahla Fahmy (24, Cairo), will likewise receive an invitation to Frankfurt's Book Fair and have their stories translated into German. 

Jury: Ghada Abdelaal (author), Shereen Abou El-Naga (literary scholar), Mohamed El Baaly (publisher), Mansoura Ez Eldin (author), Dr. Stephan Milich (reader in Arabic studies and translator), Karam Youssef (publisher), Jury chair: Abbas Khider (author) 

Events at Frankfurt Book Fair: 

Thursday, 9 October 2014 , 4.30pm, Weltempfang (Hall 5.0 E 81): 

Award ceremony for the KfW Stiftung prize with the winner Arig Mohamed, Dr. Ulrich Schröder, Board of KfW Stiftung (welcome address) Prof. Dr. h. c. Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, President of Goethe-Institut (welcome address) 
Dr. Stephan Milich, reader in Islamic studies (tribute to prize winner) 

Reading and talk with 
Iris Radisch, DIE ZEIT, arts editor-in-chief (moderator) 
Arig Mohamed, winner of the 2014 Cairo Short Stories prize 
Abbas Khider, author and director of the Cairo Short Stories writers' workshop 
Dr. Stephan Milich, reader in Islamic studies and jury member of Cairo Short Stories 
Maria Dragus, actress and reader of the German text 

Followed by reception 

Friday, 10 October 2014 , 2.30–3.30pm, Weltempfang (Salon, Hall 5.0 E 81): 

The next generation: Cairo Short Stories meets sexyunderground 

Talk in Arabic and German, consecutive interpretation by Günther Orth, with Matthias Göritz, workshop director and poet (moderator) Arig Mohamed, Asmaa Elshikh and Nahla Fahmy, participants in the Cairo Short Stories project and formerly in the Schreibzimmer workshop at Literaturhaus Frankfurt.




Programme Management

Daniela Leykam
 


Photo credits:

01. Image: Source: Goethe-Institut, Author / Photographer: Alia Haju
02. Image: Source: KfW Stiftung, Photographer: Salar Baygan
03. Image: Source: Goethe-Institut, Author / Photographer: Ali Zaraay
04. Image: Source: Goethe-Institut, Author / Photographer: Ali Zaraay
05. Image: Source: Goethe-Institut, Author / Photographer: Rabeea Eid
06. Image: Source: Goethe-Institut, Author / Photographer: Alia Haju
07. Image: Source: Goethe-Institut Kairo, Author / Photographer: Arnold Fuad