UAEBBY invites publishers and creatives to participate in the 15th Etisalat Awards for Arabic Children’s Literature

SHARJAH, Thursday, May 4, 2023 (WAM), – The Etisalat Prize for Arabic Children’s literature launched its 15th edition at the opening of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival on Wednesday. The award recognizes and honors exceptional authors, publishers and illustrators of children’s books. The award is sponsored by etisalat and organised by the UAE Board on Books for Young People. It consists of five categories: Early Reader, Picture Book (for young readers), Chapter Book (for teens), Young Adults Book and Poetry Book.

The announcement states that submissions are open until the 31st of August. Email them to Entries must be originals, written in Arabic in printed form, published in the last five years and not be translated. The jury committee will assess the entries according to specific criteria, and can exclude any submissions that do not meet these conditions. The award also does not accept submissions of electronic, audio or manuscript books, and self published books are not eligible.

Five categories are included in the award, each of which receives AED 188,000, for a total AED 1.2million. The amount for the Young Adult Book is split between the publisher, and the author. The Etisalat Award Workshops are organized by the Warsha Program, and the award includes AED 300,000. The programme, which was launched in 2013, aims to discover and support a new generation Arab writers who are able to create books that reflect the Arabic culture of the region while also meeting international standards.

Early Readers is a category that targets books for children from birth up to five years of age. Publishers are limited to five books per category. The ‘Young Adults category’ (13-18 year olds) accepts sci-fi and novels aimed at this age group. Publishers may submit an unlimited number of books to this category as long as they are new, revised and distinctive. The book should have a compelling story, dialogue, plot and developed characters.

In the category ‘Picture Book (5-9 years), a maximum of five books can be submitted. This allows people to use images to tell stories. Publishers can submit as many books in the ‘Chapter Book” category (9-12 year) that tell stories through text instead of pictures.

Poetry for children and teenagers is now included in the ‘Poetry Book” category (up to age 18). The topics can range from friendship, family and nature to animals and the environment. Publishers may submit an unlimited number of books to this category as long as they have a high level of poetic skill, creativity, originality and appeal.

Abdulaziz Taryam expressed the commitment of the company by saying: “etisalat is committed to serving the community, supporting initiatives that promote education and culture. We believe investing in the development and education of our children will benefit our society in the future. “We are proud to sponsor the annual award. It has become a platform that promotes reading, fosters creativity and highlights the talents of children’s authors, illustrators and publishers.”

Taryam added: “Our support for the award is a result of our recognition of how important it is to preserve our cultural heritage, to pass it on to the next generation, to inspire children, to encourage them to develop their intellectual and creative abilities, to guide young people in discovering their interests, and to pursue their passions.”

Marwa al Aqroubi is the President of UAEBBY and she also confirmed the support for Arabic content by the organization. She said: “We renew commitment to support, develop and expand Arabic content for young adults and children, and broaden their understanding through works of the highest standard. This sector needs constant care and monitoring in order to keep up with global content developments. “We look forward to a brand new edition of this award which will contribute to the development and growth of the children’s book industry, and provide a platform for young authors and illustrators who can showcase their work as well as honour outstanding contributions to the sector.”

The Etisalat Arabic Children’s Literature Award is an acclaimed platform that encourages creativity, nurtures talents, and recognizes exceptional contributions by authors, illustrators and publishers to the sector of children’s literary works. The submissions are open for this award, which offers aspiring authors, illustrators and publishers a chance to show off their talent and make a mark in the literary world.

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