The UAE’s most popular event for book lovers and cultural enthusiasts, the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2018) is around the corner, and Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has announced a creative story writing competition for children in the 7 - 13 years age group that will be hosted by their leisure and tourism promotion brand, ‘I Love Sharjah’, whose popular mascot, the furry Arabian desert mammal – Yarboa – is an absolute crowd puller who gets along especially well with his young fans.
Titled ‘Yarboa Adventures Story’ competition, the contest challenges young writers to think up an original storyline based on an adventure that involves this small and agile rodent that resembles a kangaroo and is a common sight in the UAE, and draft it in at least 200 to maximum 2,000 words. The story and all its events must be based in Sharjah.
The criteria? All stories must be original; have a beginning, middle and end; and be creative and fun. The objective of the competition is to inspire creativity and uniqueness among young writers, and offer them a prestigious platform to showcase their writing talent, boost their confidence, work on plot and character development, as well as shape skills of students who want to pursue writing professionally in their lives.
The grand prize? Two winners, one for English-language submission and the other for writing in Arabic, will be announced by a panel of judges from Shurooq and Kalimat Publishing. Additionally, and their stories will also be published in the Yarboa book series and on the ‘I Love Sharjah’ website. The first story in this series is titled Who Am I? and introduces Yarboa to young readers; written by Fatima Sharafaddine and published by Kalimat Publishing.
Children are free to submit their stories in Arabic or English language.
Shortlisted candidates will be announced on November 7 and winners will be awarded on November 10, the last day of SIBF 2018. Their names will also be posted on their social media platforms.