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Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

It’s that time of year when we are busy finalising our international author line-up for the next Festival and finding it hard to not let slip who has said yes! But finding the best international talent to speak at the Festival is not all we do. Part of our mission is finding and nurturing local talent. We know from our past success stories that there is talent right at our doorstep.

The Montegrappa Writing Prize for first-time novelists has seen seven talented writers from the UAE secure publishing deals so far! This month, we are featuring a few of our success stories to encourage you to make this year the one where you follow your writing dream.

And there are plenty of writing opportunities for young talent too, with our annual Student Writing Competitions already open for submissions.

So, if you are an aspiring author, or know any talented young writers, take a look at our writing competitions.

Montegrappa Writing Prize

‘I had never written a novel until I entered. Winning first place was incredibly exciting and all of a sudden I had an amazing agent, Luigi Bonomi of LBA Books.’ Karen Osman, Montegrappa Writing Prize 2016 winner.

Karen is the latest Writing Prize winner to become a published author and we are excited that this year, for the first time, the competition will be open to new writers in the GCC (Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait) as well as the UAE. Find out more about the competition and pre-register so that you know when the competition officially opens.

Montegrappa Writing Prize Success Stories

Born in Sweden, Jessica Jarlvi moved to London before her career in publishing, editing and PR took her to the USA and the Middle East. After winning the Montegrappa Writing Prize in 2016, Jessica secured a multiple book deal and her first novel, When I Wake Up, was published in June.

Lucy Strange worked as an actor, singer and storyteller before becoming a secondary school English teacher. Her debut novel, The Secret of Nightingale Wood, was selected as one of the winners at the third Montegrappa Writing Prize and went on to become one of the Top 10 books in the UK in 2016.

Click here to read more about our success stories.

Luigi’s Writing Tips

Lost for a story idea? International literary agent Luigi Bonomi, our Montegrappa Writing Prize judge, knows the ins and outs of what the publishing industry is looking for. Head over to our website to read his guide to the best genres and styles most likely to get you published.

Student Writing Competitions

We have both short story and poetry writing competitions for students 25 and below. Why not encourage a young writer to enter the Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition or the Taaleem Award for poetry? There are prizes for all age categories, including the chance to see their writing in print!

There is still time to get them to enter before the 16 November deadline, and you can read more about it here.