Emirates Literature Foundation Blog (ELF)

LitNews: A Monty Python In Residence, Student Competitions, National Novel Writing Month & More

Your weekly guide to the weekly happenings in the world of books

Halloween may be over, but that doesn't mean we can't keep the goosebumps going a little longer. However, if spooks and scares are not your cup of tea, we also have a round up of myth-inspired books that highlight just how modern mythology can be, along with some book reviews from our younger (but no less passionate) readers. So once you're done checking out girl detectives solving a murder, the account of UAE astronauts preparing to go to space, or even the experience of a young South Asian boy living in London, check out what else caught our eyes this week: 

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition — or comedian John Cleese to move to Dubai, but that's just what's happened! The former Fawlty Towers and Monty Python writer and performer will be temporarily residing in the Emirate as he works in conjunction with Motivate Media Group's talent and training division. But if that's not an option for you, check out his latest book, Creativity: A Short and Cheerful Guide (or this Forbes articlefor a few tips on how to activate your funny bone and channel your most creative self.

Young authors take note! The Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition is nearing its deadline on Nov. 18. Also set to close later this month is the Montegrappa Letter Writing Competition, which wraps on Nov. 22. All you have to do for a shot to win is write a 200-word letter to one of your favourite book characters in your best handwriting. (Parents and adult family members are also welcome to enter! You can learn more about the adult version of the contest here.)

Elsewhere, it's not too late to show some appreciation for the amazing librarians in your life! The window for the School Librarian of the Year Award has been extended to Mar. 14, 2021. Nominate your school librarian, or even yourself (if you are one) here.

It's also National Novel Writing Month! (Or NaNoWriMo for short!) But whether you're a first time attempt-ee or a seasoned pro, everyone can use a bit of writing advice — even if it's about how to get started! Luckily, fantasy writer (and former Emirates Airline Literature Festival author) Brandon Sanderson has put together some helpful advice (below) for anyone looking to join the challenge.

Sharjah International Book Fair is back and in full swing! Among their various sessions on offer, is a talk with Life of Pi author Yann Martel, this Friday at 4 p.m. You can read more about it here.

Who do you think will win the Booker Prize this year? Join us and special guest Saeed Saeed, the Arts and Culture features writer for The National, as we share our thoughts and predictions on the latest episode of The Boundless Book Club podcast (which you can find below). You can also read a review of Burnt Sugar, by Dubai's very own Avni Doshi here

London Book Fair has announced that it will be postponed to June next year. It will run from June 29 to July 1, 2021, a three-month shift from its original dates of Mar. 9-11, 2021. Learn more about that here

How has the pandemic affected Arab publishers? Read more about their experiences here

Perk yourself up with one of these excellent recommendations for feel-good graphic novels. Check out these stress-busting, smile-inducing titles here

As it turns out, people have always had an opinion on books, even writing reviews as far back as 1897! The book in question here is none other than Bram Stoker's seminal vampire tale Dracula, check out what that enthralled reader had to say here. (On a related note, the Emirates Literature Foundation blog is always looking for book reviews, so feel free to send over one for a book you've read recently!)

From Madame Bovary, to Olive Kitterige, here aresix anti-heroines that test the limites of morality

Instead of judging a book by its dust cover, learn more about the history of the practice as it's veered from disposable to collectible. 

For more news on what the Emirates Literature Foundation is up to, follow us on Twitter and Instagram. And to keep up with the rest of our book-filled discussion, you can listen to the latest episode of our Boundless Book Club podcast, featured down below!