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Etisalat Award For Arabic Children’s Literature Receives 166 Entries From 15 Countries
(18 September 2017)

 

The ninth edition of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, organised by the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and sponsored by Etisalat Group, has received 166 entries from 15 countries. This is an overall increase of 10% from last year’s submissions, when 151 entries were submitted.

The AED 1.2 million Award, the Arab world’s most prestigious children’s literature prize, aims to develop the Arabic children’s book industry and enrich its culture and knowledge with outstanding, modern publications that meet international standards.

The Award’s administration received 166 entries from 61 international publishing houses, including 100 children’s books, 45 young adult books, and 21 digital book applications. Most entries came from Egypt with 31 submissions, followed by Lebanon with 30 entries. The UAE submitted 28 entries; Jordan 16; Palestine 11; Iraq 7; Saudi Arabia 5; Morocco 4; Syria 3; the US making its debut with 3; Kuwait and Tunisia, 2 each; Oman with one entry; and the UK and Cyprus – who are both participating for the first time – also with one each.

Marwa Obaid Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY, said: “The Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature continues to achieve the vision of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and Patron of the UAEBBY, by developing the Arabic children’s book industry, striving to help children expand their imaginations, open the doors to new lands, quench their thirst for knowledge and stir their curiosity about the world around them.”

She added: “This year, the entries we received were of outstanding quality signaling the Award’s success in encouraging publishers, authors and illustrators to produce the very best material possible.”

Al Aqroubi partly attributed the increase in entries for this year’s edition to the introduction of the Digital Book App category, which captivated the attention of digital application developers and indicated the eagerness of children's book publishers to embrace digital publishing.

In April, the Award’s administration invited publishers, writers and illustrators of Arabic children’s and young adult books across the world to submit their entries and provided them with the Award’s terms and eligibility criteria, deadline for submission, and rules for application. This year’s edition has received significant interaction from experts and specialists in the field of Arabic children's literature. It closed the call for submission on 31 August.

With representations for the first time from the US, the UK and Cyprus, organisers said the receipt of entries from publishing houses based outside the Arab region reflects the growing stature of the Award and its success in promoting Arabic children’s literature and encouraging European and American publishing houses to demonstrate interest in publishing titles specifically for Arab children and young adults.

The AED 1.2 million Etisalat Award is divided into six categories: ‘Children’s Book of the Year’ valued at AED 300,000, distributed equally between the author, illustrator and publisher; ‘Young Adult Book of the Year’ worth AED 200,000 distributed equally between the author and publisher; and four awards of AED 100,000 each for ‘Best Text’, ‘Best Illustration’, ‘Best Production’ and ‘Digital Book App of the Year’. 

AED 300,000 from the Award is dedicated to organising workshops to help develop the talent of promising Arab writers, illustrators and publishers through the ‘Warsha’ programme.

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