09 January 2014; Abu Dhabi, UAE: Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister and Chairman of the National Media Council (NMC), twofour54 announced the shortlisted winners of the 'Short Novels' category of the 'Emirates Novel Award' during a press conference held at the Park Rotana Hotel in Abu Dhabi earlier this morning in the presence of Jamal Al Shehhi, Secretary General of Emirates Novel Award, and H.E. Noura Al Kaabi, CEO of twofour54.
Powered by twofour54, the 'Emirates Novel Award' was launched last year with the aim of recognising and supporting Emirati writers, increasing understanding of the important role literature plays in society to create awareness around cultural issues, and inspiring a culture of reading and writing in the UAE.
The shortlisted novels were selected by a judging panel of five Emirati cultural figures including Majed Bushlaibi, AlSaed Alminhali, Mohammad Khamis, Mohammad Al Marzooqi, and Fatima Al Mazroui. The shortlisted novels are now uploaded online, allowing the general public along with the judging panel to vote for the favourite short novel winners ranking, with the audiences' voting will contribute by 50% on the final rankings of the winners. The rankings of the winners will be announced during a special awards ceremony held on the first week of March 2014.
The shortlisted Emirati winners include Khawla Alsuwaidi, Lulwah Al Mansouri, Maitha Al Muhairi for the 'Best Short Novel' category, with Hind ElBar receiving the 'Judges Committee Award'. During the conference, the judges also announced putting the 'Best Novel' category hold.
H.E. Noura Al Kaabi expressed her gratitude to H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his patronage of this important initiative. Al Kaabi also highlighted the success of the award in receiving a large number of submissions from creative individuals across the UAE who were eager to share their stories with the world. She also added that this initiative, like others by twofour54, enables the creation of a sustainable media industry in the UAE through developing the skills of talented Emiratis.
Commenting of the awards, Jamal Al Shehhi, Secretary General of Emirates Novel Awards, said:
"The UAE is committed to preserving its rich culture and sharing it with the rest of the world. This first-of-its-kind initiative, held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has been a great way to encourage talented Emiratis to use literature and literary projects to document and communicate their traditions to the world. We are very proud of all the winners, whose works have been of exceptionally high quality and creativity."
The first prize winner will receive AED 60,000, the second prize winner AED 40,000, and AED 20,000 for the third prize winner. It was also announced that all winning novels will be available in main bookstores across the UAE starting 10 January, while the e-novels being available on iKitab app.
With the launch of the award programme last year, a series of creative writing workshops, seminars and forums were conducted, aiming to polish writing skills relevant to different genres that were delivered by professional writers. The campaign also included workshops on how reading and writing can further contribute to local book fairs programs across the region.
To vote for your favourite novel or to find out more information about this award, please visit: www.emiratesnovelaward.com
© Press Release 2014