SIBF 2021 panel convenes jury of 13th Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature to evaluate submissions
A session organised by UAEBBY also offered advice to professionals working in the field of children’s and young adult’s literature on how to make their books more appealing
For immediate release
Sharjah, November 08, 2021
The UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) recently hosted four jury members of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature in a panel discussion organised at the ongoing 40th edition of Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), to evaluate the submissions and winning entries of the 13th edition of the Award.
The participants included Dr Bushra Al Akaishi, specialist in Educational Psychology and Early Childhood from Iraq; Dr Susanne Abou Ghaida, specialist in in Children’s and Adolescent Literature, from Lebanon; Yasser Juaisa, artist and illustrator of books for children and young people from Egypt; and Tamer Saeed, General Manager of Kalimat Group, UAE. Dr. Lina Ghaibeh, graphic designer and comic book artist from Syria, who is also on the jury was unable to attend. The session was moderated by Eman Mohammed from UAEBBY.
The jury members highlighted the strengths of the winning entries, while commending the quality of the submissions to the 2021 edition. They also made a series of recommendations to publishers of Arabic books.
Tamer Saeed highlighted the importance of the annual evaluation of each edition of the award in offering effective recommendations to professionals involved in producing children and young people’s books. He called upon publishers, writers and illustrators to collaborate on choosing cover illustrations to ensure that it reflected the book’s content and to avoid plagiarism.
Dr Susanne Abou Ghaida noted that all children and young adults’ books should be reviewed by experts to ensure they are suitable for the targeted age group, while Yasser Juaisa praised the quality of the illustrations of this year’s submissions and said that the winning titles of the 13th edition were authentic and reflected the unique artistic identity of each illustrator.
Dr Bushra Al Akaishi said: “Authors of children’s books should be aware of the importance of aligning the illustrations with the subject of the book. They should be clear about the intent of their books, the age group they are targeting and be written in the style suitable for the targeted group.”
The participants recommended that publishers of children’s books should engage expert editors to ensure the text was of the required quality and employ professionals to design and print them.
Highest number of submissions
Eman Mohammed from UAEBBY noted that the 13th edition of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature had received 276 submissions from 17 countries compared to 221 last year, marking the highest number of submissions since its launch in 2009.
She added that the award saw the participation of 78 publishers, 185 writers, and 169 illustrators, with 75 submissions in the ‘Early Reader’ category; 115 submissions under the ‘Picture Book’ category; 22 submissions in the ‘Chapter Book’; 60 under the “Young Adult Book’ and 4 in the ‘Comics Book” category. The increasing number of entries each year reflected the growing interest in Arabic children’s books, she said.
The Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature has introduced a new category for Comic Books this year to encourage writers, illustrators, and publishers in the genre.
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Images during the session