Have a way with words? This could be your big break…

Ever thought you ‘had a book in you’, just itching to get out? Now’s the time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, at least), with the launch of the Emirates LitFest Writing Prize for 2021.

Previously branded the Montegrappa, the prize recognises up-and-coming writers in the region, providing a fast-track to publishing via mentoring and support.

Although winning the Emirates LitFest Writing Prize doesn’t guarantee you a coveted publishing deal, it does put you in very good stead. According to the Emirates Literature Foundation, over the past seven years, the prize has produced nine internationally published authors, with 24 books between them.

How to enter the Emirates LitFest Writing Prize

If you’re a first-time novelist living in the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman or Saudi Arabia, now is your chance to sharpen your syntax and make those words sing.

  • The competition is open to writers aged 21 and above, who have never published a novel before
  • Entries can be any theme, but the format must be fiction and in English
  • You’ll need to provide a 400-word synopsis and the first 2000 words of an almost completed manuscript
  • You must submit your entry by December 19, along with a Dhs200 entry fee

The entries will be judge by international literary agent Luigi Bonomi. The winner will then have the chance to discuss their finished manuscript with Luigi Bonomi.

Past winners

According to the Emirates Literature Foundation, the latest winner to get a book deal is Polly Phillips, whose debut novel My Best Friend’s Murder is to be released next year by Simon & Schuster. Previous winner Charlotte Butterfield has just announced a second publishing deal, this time with Hodder & Stoughton, for her book, My Second-Chance Life, due out in April 2022. Other alumni of the competition include Annabel Kantaria, Rachel Hamilton, Lucy Strange, Tamsin Winter, Karen Osman, Jessica Jarlvi, and Farzeen Ashik.

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To find out more about the Emirates LitFest Writing Prize, including details on how to enter, visit: elfdubai.orge

Images: Unsplash