THE EMIRATES AIRLINE FESTIVAL OF LITERATURE LAUNCHES COMPETITIONS TO PROMOTE LITERACY
THE EMIRATES AIRLINE FESTIVAL OF LITERATURE LAUNCHES COMPETITIONS TO PROMOTE LITERACY
Dubai, 17 September, 2013: The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature continues its mission to promote the love of reading and writing in the UAE and beyond with the launch of its highly popular children’s competitions. The Taaleem Poetry Award, the Oxford University Press Short Story Writing Competition and the Chevron Readers’ Cup Challenge are back, along with ‘Qasidah par Coeur’, a brand new poetry performance competition aimed at the 14-18 age-group.
“An increasing number of schools throughout the UAE and the Gulf Region are offering pupils the chance to enter these competitions as they realise they are a fun way to improve literacy standards and help children develop a greater appreciation of reading and writing. This has always been a central focus of the LitFest,” said Yvette Judge, Head of Education and Children’s Programming at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. “Children do not always have to enter via the schools however, as the poetry and story-writing competitions are open to all children who want to enter individually.”
The children’s writing competitions, now in their third year, have become immensely popular, attracting children from all over the UAE. Over 800 short stories and 600 poems were received in Arabic and English for the 2013 Festival. All information, as well as registration and submission, is on-line at http://www.emirateslitfest.com/writingcompetition.
Oxford University Press Short Story Writing Competition
The theme for the short story competition is ‘Between Hello and Goodbye’, chosen by children’s author, Geraldine McCaughrean. Carnegie Medal and Whitbread Prize-winning McCaughrean suggested a number of themes during her sessions at the Festival and after being put to a vote, it was clear the children favoured this lyrical theme.
The competition is divided into age-specific categories - 11 and under, 12-14, 15-17 and 18 and above. Entries will be judged by an independent panel of judges.
Janet Preston, a Secondary School English teacher from the British School Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi, said of the competition: “The Short Story Competition is meticulously organised and provides the students with opportunities to stretch their creative abilities. The titles are thought provoking and encourage a wide range of original and imaginative responses from students in all years.”
“Short stories are a great way to start writing fiction and there is so much young talent, in both Arabic and English, in the UAE. We are thrilled to sponsor this competition and encourage the talent of young writers in this region,” said OUP Regional Manager Julie Till. “There was such a fantastic response to the 2013 competition and we are excited about what the next Festival will bring.”
Winners in each category will be awarded a certificate by participating international authors at a ceremony held during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, 2014. They receive a complimentary ticket to a creative-writing workshop and copies of a book published specially for the competition which includes the winning entries.
Taaleem Poetry Award
Three years since its inception, the submissions for the Taaleem Poetry Award have increased in quantity and quality across all age groups.
Yvette Judge said of the Poetry Competition, “The Taaleem Poetry Award has always showcased the latent talent present in the UAE. This year’s competition theme is ‘Metamorphosis’, a versatile and challenging theme that will produce many exciting entries.”
“The Taaleem Poetry Award was a huge success in 2013. Each year, the submissions get better and it goes to show just how much creativity exists in this country,” said Clive Pierrepont, Director of Communications, Taaleem.
“Taaleem is focussed on encouraging the vast literary talent that exists in the UAE and to give students the opportunity to express themselves through poetry. We cannot wait to read the entries for 2014 and discover more creative talent in the region,’ he concluded.
Both competitions are held in Arabic and English. The deadline for submissions is November 23, 2013.
Chevron Readers’ Cup Challenge
The ever-popular Chevron Readers’ Cup also returns for the 2014 Festival. The inter-school competition comprises teams of up to four students who study four age-appropriate books together. All the books included in the competition are by authors of the 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 the final round. At the final level, the teams are assigned new books on which to be quizzed on. 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.
“It was a wonderful experience being sponsors and moderators of the Chevron Readers’ Cup Challenge in 2013. The enthusiasm of the students was infectious; they had gone through the stories with a fine-toothed comb and wanted to answer everything,” said Christopher Bradley, Country Chairman UAE, Chevron Alkhalij.
He added, “Chevron’s community engagement goals focus on health, education and economic development and the Chevron Readers’ Cup competition at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is an ideal match.”
The 2013 Chevron Readers’ Cup experienced a number of firsts. Non-fiction books were included and the English competition was won by a team from Oman, Muscat, marking the first time a team outside of the UAE had reached the finals. A second team from the Muscat school placed third in the English competition.
Qasidah par Coeur
A brand new competition will be unveiled for the 2014 Festival. Qasidah par Coeur, meaning ‘Poetry by Heart’, is a performance-based poetry competition. The competition will be open to 14-18 year old students who will perform two poems, either in English, Arabic or the contestant’s Mother Tongue.
Past and present poets of the Festival will contribute their poems to an anthology that will be used by contestants when choosing a Modern Classic to perform. Unlike in recitation competitions, Qasidah par Coeur will require more in-depth understanding of the source material.
More details about the Qasidah par Coeur competition will be released soon.
The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2014 will take place in Dubai next year from 4 to 8 March under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and in partnership with Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority , the Emirate’s dedicated Authority for culture, arts, and heritage. For more details of the Festival please visit www.emirateslitfest.com
About the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is the Middle East’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word, bringing people of all ages and backgrounds together with authors from across the world to promote education, debate and above all else, love of reading and writing.
The Festival creates a wonderful opportunity for UAE nationals, residents and visitors to meet world famous authors, attend literary debates, listen to readings, participate in workshops and experience the exciting fringe and children’s events. Writing competitions and an inter-school quiz are amongst the educational highlights, and children also have the chance to hear and meet some of their favourite writers.
The 2014 Festival will be held between 4-8 March, 2014 in Dubai
The LitFest also hosts a regular series of literary events during the Winter months (October-April) at its home – Dar Al Adaab (House of Literature) in the Al Fahidi Historic Area under the banner The Dar Al Adaab Open Door Series.
For all information and updates about the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature visit the website: http://www.emirateslitfest.com/
About Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. OUP is the world's largest university press, with a wide global reach. It currently publishes more than 6,000 new publications a year, has a presence in around fifty countries, and employs more than 5,000 people worldwide. It has become familiar to millions through a diverse publishing programme that includes scholarly works in all academic disciplines, bibles, music, school and college textbooks, children's books, materials for teaching English as a foreign language, business books, dictionaries and reference books, and academic journals.
Taaleem, which means education in Arabic, has been establishing, operating and managing early childhood, primary and secondary schools in the UAE since its inception in 2004. Taaleem seeks to raise the regional educational standards through the committed development of individual student’s talents and passions, which is in turn facilitated and supported by the recruitment of top international educators and the implementation of international education policies, operations and global best practice.
With quality at the forefront of Taaleem’s offering, each project is tailored to answer the specific educational requirements of a wide range of families by offering top international curricula including British, American, the International Baccalaureate and their proprietary custom early childhood programme.
Taaleem is wholeheartedly committed to creating and implementing benchmark educational initiatives, nurturing educational excellence through the attraction, retention and development of the best educators. The continuous evaluation and improvement of standards across all schools has ensured that the Taaleem schools have been established as valued cornerstones of their communities.
Chevron is one of the world's leading integrated energy companies and conducts business worldwide. Our success is driven by our people and their commitment to get results the right way—by operating responsibly, executing with excellence, applying innovative technologies and capturing new opportunities for profitable growth. Chevron is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. We explore for, produce and transport crude oil and natural gas; refine, market and distribute transportation fuels and lubricants; manufacture and sell petrochemical products; generate power and produce geothermal energy; provide energy efficiency solutions; and develop the energy resources of the future, including research for advanced biofuels.