x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Emiratis' novel chance for fame the write way

Organised by Twofour54, the Emirates Novel Awards is intended to unearth the next generation of local writers, with winning works published.

ABU DHABI // A new literary competition aimed at aspiring Emirati writers was launched yesterday.

Organised by Twofour54, the Emirates Novel Awards is intended to unearth the next generation of local writers, with winning works published.

Supported by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Foreign Minister and National Media Council chairman, the competition was launched at Twofour54 in the capital.

"This is our first real effort in supporting novel writing in the UAE," said Noura Al Kaabi, the Twofour54 chief executive.

"The Emirates Novel Awards will introduce the work of Emirati writers to a growing audience, while encouraging others to contribute to the UAE's literary history."

Open to published and unpublished Emiratis of any age, the competition holds three categories: Best Novel (minimum 40,000 words), Best Short Novel (17,000 to 40,000 words) and Special Writer.

Those interested have until the first week of September to submit entries. The following stage will see a judging panel choose the three finalist for the Best Novel and Best Short Novel categories respectively.

Shortlisted authors in both categories will have their work published as part of the Sharjah International Book Fair, in November. The shortlisted novels will be announced online, although no date has been given.

Readers will then nominate their favourite works with their recommendations forming 50 per cent of the vote, alongside the judging panel.

The top three entries from both categories will be announced in a ceremony held later in the year. The Special Writers Award will be chosen by the judging panel.

Although details of the prize are yet to be confirmed, Emirates Novel Awards secretary general Jamal Al Shehhi said it would include cash and foreign translations.

Mr Al Shehhi said: "Initiatives such as this underpin Abu Dhabi's commitment towards preserving and raising awareness of the UAE's rich culture through literary projects," he said.

For further details on the competition go to www.emiratesnovelaward.com

sasaeed@thenational.ae