Taaleem Poetry Award
This is the second year for the Taaleem sponsored poetry writing competition. This year's poetry theme is 'Hero or Villain?' although young poets can choose their own title within this theme. The competition is staged in Arabic and English and divided into age specific categories. The best entries will be published in dual language book. Winners will be honoured by visiting authors and title sponsors Taaleem at a special ceremony during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in March 2013. Prizes include copies of the specially published book and and an invitation to a creative writing workshop. The deadline for submission is 25 November 2012.
Ziad Azzam, Chief Executive Officer, Taaleem, said, "The Taaleem Poetry Award could not have yielded a more positive and encouraging result last year especially as it was the inaugural. The remarkable calibre of submissions in both English and Arabic was indicative of the wealth of young creative talent we have in the country."
"Taaleem is both dedicated and committed to nurturing and nourishing the creative literary talent not only within its own extensive school network, but also to extend the platform to all students who want to find their voice through poetic expression."
"We believe that The Taaleem Poetry Award will continue to draw unbelievable regional talent to the forefront and we are all eagerly awaiting the pleasure of reading the submissions this year," he concluded.
Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition
This competition traditionally attracts thousands of entries and with submissions already flooding in, 2013 is likely to be a bumper year for young talent.
The title of this year's story writing competition is 'Seeking the Truth'. The title was chosen by Carnegie Medal winning author Tim Bowler during the 2012 Festival. The competition is held in Arabic and English and divided into four age specific categories. The best entries in both languages from each category are published by the LitFest as a book. Winners will be honoured at the 2013 Festival by international authors and receive a selection of prizes, including copies of the specially published book and an invitation to a creative writing workshop. The deadline for submissions is 25 November 2012. All details are on-line at www.emirateslitfest.com.
OUP Regional Manager Julie Till said, "It is a privilege to sponsor this competition and see the stories turned into a published book. The pool of talent, in both Arabic and English, is quite outstanding and we hope this competition is an inspiration for all budding young writers in the region."
"We are home to some amazing emerging talent - it is no exaggeration to call it world class - so we are really excited about the response this year," she continued.
Readers' Cup Challenge
This popular inter-school competition comprises teams of up to four students who get together and study four individual age appropriate books written by authors who are attending the 2013 Festival. The Readers' Cup Challenge is staged in both Arabic and English and has two entry categories: Primary Schools (up to age 11) and Secondary Schools (ages 12-16). The teams are quizzed on the books they have read and the top eight advance to a final round and are assigned new books. These eight teams then meet head to head to compete against each other in an action packed, live 'read-off' during the Festival Education Days - 6 March 2013 for the English teams and 7 March 2013 for the Arabic teams. The Award Ceremony is also held at the Festival on one of the Main Programme Days and the winning team in each language receives the Readers' Cup Challenge trophy for their school.
"All three of these competitions are now established fixtures on the Literature Festival calendar and act as a keystone of the educational platform," said Isobel Abulhoul, OBE, Festival Director. "All of the LitFest team consider reading the submissions, one of the great perks of Festival life. It would be hard to over-state the importance we place on education at the Festival. We are so appreciative of the support we get from visionary sponsors such as Taaleem and Oxford University Press. They permit us to bring to life these kind of initiatives which inspire young people and help them on their way to fulfilled, constructive adulthood."
"We must also acknowledge the enormous support we get each year from the educational community. Teachers across the country embrace these competitions as well as our Education Days and the Fringe Festival. They also encourage their students to come and participate at our sessions, join in the workshops and masterclasses and even volunteer to help during the Festival itself."
Last year the Festival had more than 4,000 entries to the student competitions and organisers hope to surpass that number in 2013. Overall the Festival aims to touch directly some 20,000 students across the UAE.
Winners of the competitions will be honoured at The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature which takes place in Dubai 5-9 March 2013 under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, The Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and in partnership with Emirates Airline and Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture).