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Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature opens for entries for its 16th edition

Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature, which is overseen by the UAE Board on Books for Young people (UAEBBY)and sponsored by e& UAE, the world's leading technology and investment group, has announced that the 16th edition of the award is now open for entries from children's and young people's book creators from around the world. This came during Etisalat’s participation in the 15th edition of the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF) 2024.

The Award is divided into five categories: 'Early Reader', 'Picture Book', 'Chapter Book', 'Young Adult's Book' and 'Poetry Book', the biennial rolling category for the 15th and 16th editions of the award.  

Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of UAEBBY, stressed that the 16th edition of the award is looking forward to a new phase of growth and expansion by attracting a larger number of outstanding entries that include more diverse titles in terms of topics to keep pace with the development of the Arab child's knowledge and interests.

Al Aqroubi added that this year’s edition also aims at increasing children and young people's interest in reading and strengthening their sentimental attachment to books. “This requires greater attention to the quality of themes and texts, as well as the illustrations featured in the books competing for the award,” she said.

"The Award will continue to provide all possible support and care to those involved in the Arabic children's book industry, including authors, illustrators and publishers. It also contributes to developing their talents and intellectual capabilities by providing them with appropriate training to enhance the quality of their literary production, enabling them to enrich the Arab children's library with globally competitive titles that are worthy of translation into various languages ​​of the world, in line with the highest international standards in this industry,” the UAEBBY President added.

HE. Abdulaziz Taryam, CEO, Advisor and General Manager of Etisalat UAE by e& - Northern Emirates, said: "We are delighted to continue our sponsorship of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature, which over the past 15 years has made a significant impact on Arabic children's literature. The award has always been a vital source of supplying the Arabic library with hundreds of diverse titles, both in form and content, produced by hundreds of distinguished Arab authors, illustrators and publishers. Indeed, the award played a pivotal role in developing the capabilities of those involved in children’s books, and provided them with all possible care and support, in order to advance the children’s and young adult’s book industry in the Arab world."

Taryam added: "For nearly five decades, Etisalat UAE by e& has played a major role in building bridges of communication between people, and we are really proud to join UAEBBY’s efforts to bring children and books closer together through this award, which has been instrumental in increasing children's interest in reading and learning more about different cultures and civilizations through the expressive texts and beautiful illustrations that have adorned the pages of the award-winning books over the past editions."


Award Categories

The ‘Early Reader’ category targets children's books from birth to five years old, and publishers can submit a maximum of five books in this category. The ‘Young Adult’ category (13-18 years old) targets fiction, nonfiction, and fantasy books directed to young adults, and publisher can submit an unlimited number of books in this category, provided they are distinctive, new or adapted, and the books should feature a story, dialog, an engaging plot, and well-developed characters.

Participants in the ‘Picture Book’ category (5 years old) can submit a maximum of five books. The ‘Chapter Book’ category (up to 21 years old) aims to tell the story through prose rather than pictures, and publishers can submit an unlimited number of books in this category, provided they are original, new or adapted. The ‘Poetry’ category (up to 18 years old) targets poetry books for children and young adults, and can cover a wide range of themes, from nature and animals to friendship and family, among others. Publishers can submit as many books as they wish for this category, provided that each book is creative, original and engaging, and has a high level of poetic skill, both in terms of poetic meter and meaning.

The total value of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature Award is AED 1.2 million, with AED 180,000 allocated for each of its five categories, divided equally between the author, illustrator and publisher, AED 60,000 for each winner, with the exception of the Early Reader category, where the author and publisher share the prize money, with AED 90,000 each. This is in addition to AED 300,000 allocated for the workshop program, which aims to discover and nurture new Arab talent in the field of children's and youth books and develop their creative abilities to deliver books that are in harmony with the local Arab cultural identity and in line with the highest international standards.

Authors, publishers and illustrators of Arabic-language books for children and young adults from all over the world are invited to submit their entries until August 31 by sending photocopies of the nominated books to, indicating the name of the applicant. In terms of participation requirements, nominated books must be original works in Arabic, published in paper form, and not violating intellectual property or publishing rights, and must not have won another award or been published more than five years ago.

The award excludes publications in the form of book series, educational, scientific, school, electronic, audiobook, or manuscripts, as well as story collections, articles, or biographies.

Entries must be submitted from an officially registered publishing house, and resubmission of books that have previously won the award is not allowed. The jury reserves the right to withhold the award or disqualify any work that does not conform to the conditions, and its decisions in this regard cannot be appealed. Winners of the 16th edition will be announced and honored during the next edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair 2024.


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