Calling all young writers
Litfest competition should keep the youngsters busy
Budding young wordsmiths in the UAE have a great summer project to take on, after the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature launched its 2017 Student Writing Competitions.
The Taaleem Award for poetry and Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition opened for submissions yesterday, and the theme for both competitions this year - as well as the 2017 Litfest itself - is ‘journeys’.
More than 2,000 entered last year’s competitions, with budding writers able to enter four different age groups.
Isobel Abulhoul, OBE, CEO and Litfest director, is delighted and encouraged by the response from the UAE youngsters. She said: “It is exciting to see how these competitions have fired the imagination of our student population.
It certainly seems to have encouraged many more of them to try their hand at creative writing, setting them on the path to a lifetime of appreciation of the written word.”
There are four different age groups for both competitions: 11 and under, 12-14, 15-17 and 1825 (undergraduates in full-time education).
Winners will have their entry published in a commemorative dual-language book, which is presented by international writers at a privileging ceremony during the 2017 festival.
Isobel said: “For most, it will also be the first time that they will see their work in print; a thrill for any writer.”
Nancy Smith, who won the 15-17 age group in the 2016 story writing competition, received her award from acclaimed author Gill Lewis.
She said: ‘The competition is a fantastic opportunity which allows young writers to express and exhibit creative writing skills.”
Over a third of last year’s 2,000 entries were in the form of poetry for the Taaleem Award and Chloe Elliott, winner of the 15-17 age group, said: “I think poetry is one of the more elusive exchanges of thoughts; every line is incredibly deliberate. The festival is like this mass culmination of phenomenal minds.” Entries close on November 20, emirateslitfest.com