Emirates Literature Foundation Blog (ELF)

LitNews: A Million-Dirham Book Heist, The Arthur C. Clarke Award & The Barefoot Bookseller 

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

With all of the Emirates Literature Foundation's competitions open for the coming year, we've been doing our best to find some inspiration — be it deep in the pages of an inspiring memoir by a Former First Lady, or tucked within the beloved words of J.R.R. Tolkein. When we weren't doing our best to kickstart our creativity, here's some of the LitNews that captured our imaginations this week:  

Over 11 million dirhams worth of rare books which were stolen in a mission-impossible style heist in 2017, have just been found buried under the floor of a rural Romanian house. It took police three years but they finally tracked down the 200 books that had been stolen by an organized crime group. They included first editions of works by Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton. Hence the hefty price tag.

When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone? The Montegrappa Letter Writing competition is open for entries. For a chance to win a Montegrappa pen all you need to do is write a letter of 200 words in your best handwriting. The competition is open to anyone from the age of 9 and above. Check out the competition information on the Emirates Airline Festival of Ltierature website. and pay close attention to the criteria for the letter depending on your age category. 

A luxury resort in the Maldives is looking for a ‘Barefoot Bookseller’ again to run their pop-up bookshop for six months from November. Talk about a dream job!

Attention all aspiring novelists!Also open for entries is the Emirates LitFest Writing Prize – our writing competition for unpublished authors is now open for 2021. You can submit your entry between now and 19 December, 2020 for a chance to have your writing judged by an international literary agent. The Writing Prize has produced nine internationally published authors in just seven years with 24 books between them. More details in the events section of the Emirates Literature Foundation website.    

But what would I write? I have no ideas, I’ll never get it done in time, I have the cat to feed, the dog to walk, and the pigeon to train…um…anyway. You’re busy! I hear you! With all these competitions available to enter and those closing dates not as far off as you think…freelance journalist Shane McGinley is one of the latest contributors to our blog with some solid writing advice to help you on your journey to creativity and maybe even competition victory.

The Arthur C Clarke award is the UK’s top prize for Science Fiction. This year’s winner is debut novelist Namwali Serpell with The Old Drift, a tale of three families over three generations that mixes historical fiction, magical realism and sci-fi, and will transport you to the 1960s among other places and times, as Zambia tries to send a woman to the moon. 

We’re giving young people a voice on some of the most pressing issues on the planet. This is all part of our Voices of Future Generations writing Project under the patronage of UNESCO where children between the ages of 8 and 12 have submitted stories that incorporate issues like poverty, hunger, education and more. 20 talented children will be recognised for their outstanding stories this Sunday at 11:00AM. Tune in and watch the ceremony live (with some surprise guest speakers) to find out who the winners are. 

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!