Young Writers Shine in 2016 Year of Reading

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Winners of Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition 2016 Declared

Dubai, 12 March, 2016: Seeing your work in print for the first time is an unforgettable experience and many young writers in the UAE were granted this opportunity today with the announcement of the winning short stories of the Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2016.

The expansive theme of ‘Time’ for the competition entries ensured a varied and remarkable set of stories in both Arabic and English with judges for the competition stating that this year’s contest was especially hard-fought with over 1500 entries received. Winners received a dual-language book containing the winning entries, along with trophies, signed books, tickets to writing workshops at the Festival and a creative writing workshop with Pobble, an online platform for young writers.

The award ceremony capped off a superb closing day for the Festival, which was the UAE’s first international literary celebration of 2016, declared by UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the Year of Reading. The prizes were awarded by acclaimed children’s writer Gill Lewis, who followed the ceremony with a talk on her new book Gorilla Dawn.


Julie Till, Head of Business Development, Central Asia, Middle East & North Africa, Oxford University Press, who attended the event, had this to say about the competition: ‘It is remarkable to see this level of talent and creativity in such young people. Choosing the winners is becoming harder every year. Oxford University Press could not be more proud of the achievements of the contestants, not just the winners, but also the incredible number of participants and we cannot wait to see what more they make of their literary careers.’

The winners – English language:

11 & Under Age Group 12 to 14 Age Group
1.    Tushar Rathore

2.    Aaditya Gandhi

3.    Maya Nola Bridgman

1.    Diptasri Gupta

2.    Alice Hautvast

3.    Shayaan Khan

15 to 17 Age Group 18 to 25 Age Group
1.    Nancy Smith

2.    Devaki Vadakepat Menon

3.    Malika Yasmine Khodja

1.    Jumana Al-Basyouni

2.    Sophia Karzai

3.    Joanna Justin

The winners – Arabic language:

11 & Under Age Group

1.    Mais Nureddin Musbah Idris

2.    Maria Mohamad Hawa

3.    Rayah Mohammad Shafiq Abed El Khalik

12 to 14 Age Group

1.    Taim Jamal Saeed

2.    Sura Salahuddin Salih

2.   Sarah Mohsen Allinjawi

3.    Jomana Hany Mohammad

3.   Fatima Ghulam Mustafa

15 to 17 Age Group

1.    Amna Baqer Abdulwahid

2.    Falak Mohamed Kassab

3.    Sheikha Meera Majid Rashid Mohamed Al Mualla

18 to 25 Age Group

1.    Sara Tamimi

2.    Sara Sidi Mohamed Alsalik

3.    Munira Abdulkareem Abduallah AlQassab AlAli