Outstanding Young Writers Awarded During UAE 2017 Month of Reading

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04-03-2017

Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition Winners Announced

Dubai, 4 March, 2017: A new generation of writers took their first steps on their writing journeys today at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. The winning short story entries for the Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition 2017 were announced and winners received trophies and a commemorative dual-language book containing the winning stories.

The Festival, which will continue until 11 March, is one of the first international literary events in the UAE’s Month of Reading.

Presenting the awards at the ceremony were Festival favourites Lebanese children’s author Sahar Naja Mahfouz and previous winner of the Montegrappa Writing Prize and author of the Unicorn in New York series, Rachel Hamilton.

The theme for the competition this year was ‘Journeys’, which was explored by the contestants through their stories in both Arabic and English. This year, more than 2200 submissions were received, making 2017 the competition’s most successful edition. Competition judges this year included Festival authors Maitha Al Khayat and April Hardy.

‘The competition is a wonderful challenge,’ Julie Till, Head of Business Development, Central Asia, Middle East & North Africa, Oxford University Press, ‘that showcases the extraordinary talents on display. Each year the creativity of the stories surpasses the years prior. With imaginations like this, you can tell that these young people have incredible futures ahead. Oxford University Press appreciates the opportunity to work together with the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature to propel the literary interests of the students of the UAE. We hope the winners and all the participants continue writing.’

The winners – English language:

11 & Under Age Group 12 to 14 Age Group
1.    Gautam Nambiar

2.    Shreya Kopuri

3.    Morgan Dean

1.    Sofya Yaritsyna

2.    Sebastiaan van der Boom

3.    Gianna Elizabeth Mathew

3.    Suha Omar

15 to 17 Age Group 18 to 25 Age Group
1.    Rameen Aslam

2.    Nikhil Abhayan Pillai

3.    Caitlin Adonis

1.    Ashisha Ann Itty

2.    Haleema Adi

3.    Salma Abdussalam

The Festival continues till 11 March with more sessions, panels and workshops for all age groups.

Ticket prices start at AED 40 and many children’s events and activities are available free of charge. Tickets can be purchased on the Festival website (tickets.litfest-archives.com/2017) or via the ELF Dubai app, available on the iOS and Google Play app stores and at Magrudy’s outlets around the UAE. Become a Foundation Friend and enjoy benefits throughout the year, including priority booking on Festival tickets, as well as exclusive discounts at selected Emirates Literature Foundation events and workshops and retail outlets in the UAE.

More information about the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature can be found online. Fans can keep up to date with #DubaiLitFest action on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and year-round news of #ELFDubai on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

ENDS