Etisalat Award receives entries from US, UK and Cyprus

Awards programme to promote Arabic children’s literature catches attention of publishers in more countries

Staff Report
15:07 August 23, 2017

Sharjah: The Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature (Etisalat Award) has announced that its ninth edition has received entries from the UK, the US and Cyprus.

The award, organised by the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and sponsored by Etisalat, has confirmed this is the first time that entries have been received from these three countries since its inception in 2009.

The US has submitted three entries for this year’s Etisalat Award, with the UK and Cyprus submitting one entry each. Organisers said the receipt of entries from publishing houses based outside the Arab region reflects the growing stature of the award. According to UAEBBY, the award has been increasingly successful in promoting Arabic children’s literature at a global level. Organisers said this has resulted in European and American publishing houses being keen to publish titles specifically for Arab children and young adults.

Marwa Al Aqroubi, president of the UAEBBY, said: “Our ongoing efforts to advance the Etisalat Award have contributed to a highlighting of Arabic children’s literature. This is reflected by the enriching of homes and libraries with high quality Arabic children’s titles, which nurture youngsters’ intellect and attract them to the world of reading. For the first time in the history of the Etisalat Award, we have succeeded in attracting publishers from the USA, the UK and Cyprus, which is an important outcome that aligns with our mission, vision and objectives. We would like to reiterate that all publishing houses that publish Arabic children’s books from around the world are eligible to participate in the Etisalat Award.”

She added that the competition is open to all participants, whether based in the region or elsewhere across the globe. Publishers, authors and illustrators interested in taking part in the ninth edition of the Etisalat Award must send in their applications before August 31.

Each year, the award sees a growing number of entries and the last edition witnessed the highest rate of participation, with 151 entries submitted by 53 publishing houses from 13 countries.

The Etisalat Award comprises six categories: ‘Children’s Book of the Year,’ valued at Dh300,000 distributed equally between the publisher, author and illustrator; ‘Young Adult Book of the Year’ worth Dh200,000 distributed equally between the author and publisher; and ‘Best Text,’ ‘Best Illustration,’ ‘Best Production’ and ‘Digital Book App of the Year,’ worth Dh100,000 each. Also Dh300,000 from the award is dedicated to organising workshops and international conferences to help develop the talent of promising Arab writers, illustrators and publishers through its ‘Warsha’ programme.