x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Get involved with The National’s short-story competition

Writers have two weeks to craft a winning submission, under the title and theme "The Turning Point".

Hajer Almosleh, the winner of the last year's short story competition, at her home in Dubai. Duncan Chard for the National
Hajer Almosleh, the winner of the last year's short story competition, at her home in Dubai. Duncan Chard for the National

It’s time for the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair and The National’s short-story competition. You’ve got two weeks to submit your mini masterpiece – the deadline is Saturday, April 19, with prizes being awarded on the last day of the fair, Monday, May 5 – so get writing! But first, here are all the details you need to enter:

Today we launch the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair and The National’s short-story competition, giving you two weeks to craft and hone your original tale. The story, which should be no fewer than 1,500 words and no more than 2,000, must be titled Turning Point and tackle the theme of a turning point. We welcome all content that is original and unpublished, written in English, and intended for an adult audience – although we ask that it not be of an adult nature. And please don’t just alter a story you already wrote, slap the title on it and submit it – we promise you, we’ll know.

Authors must be 18 years old and above, living in the UAE and not related to anyone working at Abu Dhabi Media or the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. Only one entry per person is allowed.

The deadline

The story must be emailed to artslife@thenational.ae via a readily readable text document by Saturday, April 19, before midnight. Best to paste your story in the body of the email, too.

The judges

The first round of entries will be judged by an in-house panel of The National’s Arts&Life editors. Five to 10 shortlisted works will be chosen and forwarded to the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, where the Emirati short-story author Mariam Al Saedi will choose the winner and runners-up. In total, five short stories will be recognised.

The prize

The first-prize author will win an iPad Air and a Montblanc writing instrument. The second-place winner will receive an iPad. The third, fourth and fifth prizes will each receive an iPad mini. Winning entrants will receive the prizes during a ceremony at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair’s discussion sofa from noon to 1pm on May 5.

The first-place entry will be published in The National’s Arts&Life section the same day, while all top five entries will be posted on The National’s website.

The fair

The capital’s premiere book gathering returns for its 24th edition with hundreds of guests including esteemed international authors and publishers. The fair’s literary focus this year is Abu Al Tayeb Al Mutanabbi, so expect much discussion surrounding the famed 10th-century Arab poet by leading scholars and writers throughout the week-long event.

Other authors on the bill include the celebrated Canadian short- story author Alice Munro and the influential Lebanese musician Charbel Rouhana, who will sign copies of his latest album, Tashweesh. Sweden is the festival’s guest of honour, so expect sessions on the Swedish noir-fiction genre with the best-selling author Kristina Ohlsson in attendance.

The details

Organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and Kitab, the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair will run from April 30 to May 5 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. It will be open from 9am to 10pm, except for Friday when it will be open from 4pm to 10pm. Entrance is free.

For more details and session timings, visit www.adbookfair.com. For the full terms and conditions of the 2014 short-story contest, visit www.thenational.ae/terms-and-conditions.

artslife@thenational.ae