The Emirates Literature Foundation’s search for young writers is launched


Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The Emirates Literature Foundation’s search for the country’s best young writers has begun, with the launch of its annual creative writing competition for students, the Story Writing Competition.

A staple of the academic calendar, the competition is accepting entries in Arabic and English from full-time students at schools, colleges and universities in the United Arab Emirates. It is divided into categories according to age: 11 and under, 12-14, 15-17 and 18-25. The winners will be honored at an awards ceremony held during the Emirates Airline Literature Festival in 2023, and the winning works will be published in an anthology.

The competition is hugely popular, with over 3,700 stories registered last year. This year, the theme of the competition is “Old Friends”. The deadline for submission is October 24, 2022.

Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation, said: “Creative writing is such an important skill, for students and for life. The contest themes are designed to ignite students’ curiosity and allow their imaginations to explore an endless variety of ideas. “Old friends”, like real friends, can refer to a favorite book or character, a beloved pet, a comforter: the list is endless. I look forward to seeing the joyful and creative interpretations of our young storytellers on the theme.

For more information on the theme, deadlines and submission guidelines, see

More information can be found online and year-round on #EmiratesLitFest news on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. The Foundation also has two podcasts; the Best of the Emirates LitFest and the Boundless Book Club.


About the Emirates Literature Foundation:

The Emirates Literature Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports and nurtures the love of literature in the United Arab Emirates and the region, through a program of varied cultural initiatives.

Established in 2013 by royal decree issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, the Foundation aims to foster a love of literature, with a focus on the Arabic language.

In line with the National Reading Policy of the United Arab Emirates, the Foundation has implemented several long-term projects, including the School Librarian of the Year Award, Kateb Maktub and From the Inside Out, as well as education programs year-round students, book clubs and mentoring programs. The Foundation’s previous initiatives included the 2020 International Literary Festivals Conference, the 2017 Dubai International Publishing Conference and the 2016 Dubai Translation Conference.

The Foundation is also the governing body of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the premier literary festival in the United Arab Emirates.

About the Emirates Airline Literature Festival:

The Emirates Airline Literature Festival is the Arab world’s largest celebration of the written and spoken, featuring international and regional writers, poets, thinkers and speakers from around the world. Over the past 14 years, more than 1,800 authors from more than 100 countries have spoken at the Festival. In 2022, the Festival reached more than 105,000 people, in person and via live broadcast. Sessions included multi-talented children’s author David Walliams, entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck, World’s 100 Most Powerful Women Executives Indra Nooyi and Bridgerton author Julia Quinn, and the education program featured featured kid favorites Ali Sparkes, Rob Biddulph, Sanaa Chabbani, Gulnar Hajou and Ken Arto.

The Festival’s goal is to develop a culture of reading as an enjoyable habit in the UAE, and its efforts have been recognized with numerous awards over the years. By providing an equal platform for international and local talent, the Festival continues to build the literary landscape in the UAE and beyond. Alongside the main program, the Festival organizes an education program, reaching students from the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates. There are also student competitions, held in Arabic and English, which allow young people to show off their skills through poetry, creative writing and reading.

Organized under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, the festival is a key part of the Emirates Literature Foundation, established in 2013 by royal decree. In partnership with Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the authority dedicated to the heritage, arts and culture of the Emirate, the Emirates Airline Literature Festival will be back in 2023. For more information and updates on the Emirates Airline Literature Festival visit the website:


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