Winners of Annual Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Writing Competition Announced
5 March 2018| Last updated on 5 March 2018
Five aspiring writers from the GCC were recognised at the annual Montegrappa Writing Prize award ceremony, held by the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. The Prize is considered one of the most successful writing competitions in the region, with eight past winners and runners-up already becoming internationally published writers.
Winners received their awards from top UK literary agent at Luigi Bonomi Associates (LBA), Luigi Bonomi and Festival 2018 authors Jessica Jarlvi and Karen Osman, both of whom are previous winners of the Montegrappa Writing Prize.
- Winner - Jillian Fox (Otherworld)
- First runner-up - Johara Almogbel (The Nothing File)
- Second runner-up - Catriona Riordan (Echo)
- Third runner-up - John Weston (Where The Mountains Kiss The Sun)
- Fourth runner-up - Eric Hilgendorf (Hard Water)
For 2018, the competition was expanded to include entries from the UAE and the GCC (Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait). Bonomi, who has been a judge of the competition since its inception, complimented the quality of the submissions this year: ‘The calibre of entries continues to make judging this competition a welcome challenge. The skilled writing on display combined with the range of diverse topics and innovative plotlines is a literary agent’s dream come true. Reading the entries has been a substantially rewarding experience for me, and I would like all the participants to take heart from the immense struggle I faced in shortlisting only five eventual winners. There is no stopping your writing journey now – never give up, the world needs to read your novels.’
To enter the competition, unpublished authors over the age of 21 and based in the GCC submitted the first 2,000 words of their manuscript and a synopsis of 400 words, which was read and judged by Luigi Bonomi. Jillian receives the Montegrappa prize, a limited edition Khalil Gibran ‘The Prophet’ fountain pen, as well as individual sessions to discuss her manuscript with Bonomi, a two night stay at InterContinental, Dubai Festival City including breakfast and dinner for two at Anise restaurant, a meeting with an editor to discuss the manuscript and one copy of the current Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook.
The runners-up receive Montegrappa fountain pens, copies of the current Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook and individual feedback sessions with Luigi Bonomi at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.
Operational since 1912, Italy’s oldest manufacturer of hand-crafted writing instruments, Montegrappa, has played an integral part in fuelling many a writer’s love of words. Charles Nahhas, Montegrappa’s Middle East distributor, said, ‘The success rate of this competition is unparalleled in the region. As creators of luxury writing instruments, Montegrappa is proud to be working with the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature to tap into the latent literary abilities of aspiring writers in the Gulf region and provide participants and winners a stepping stone in achieving their writing dreams.’
‘One of the goals of the Festival has been to provide a focus and encouragement for the multinational writing community in the UAE and wider Arab region,’ said Isobel Abulhoul, OBE, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. ‘With the support of Montegrappa’s sponsorship of this competition, we continue to discover the next generation of writers and encourage those on the fence to put their pens to paper and finish that next great novel. You could be just one win away from starting your journey to becoming a published author.’
The 10th Emirates Airline Festival of Literature continues till 10 March with more sessions, panels and workshops for all age groups. Tickets can be purchased at the Festival website or via the ELF Dubai app, available on the iOS and Google Play app stores and at Magrudy’s outlets around the UAE. Become a Foundation Friend loyalty member and enjoy benefits throughout the year, including priority booking and discounts on select Festival tickets, as well as exclusive discounts at several retail outlets in the UAE.