The Emirates Literature Foundation 2022 Competitions for Schools Now Open

The Readers’ Cup, Emirates NBD Poetry For All, the Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai Children’s Letter Writing Competition and The Story Writing Competition all open for entries
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The Emirates Literature Foundation has announced that the popular competitions for schools are now open for 2022, celebrating champion readers, story tellers, poetry performance and the craft of fine handwriting. Schools can compete against each other in the Readers’ Cup to show who comes top with their knowledge and understanding of selected books, while budding young authors can show off their writing skills by entering the Story Writing Competition. Students with a talent for poetry performance can showcase their interpretation of a favourite poem in the Emirates NBD sponsored ‘Poetry For All’, and the competition launched last year to celebrate beautiful penmanship returns with a new sponsor, the Royal Grammar School (RGS) Guildford Dubai Children’s Letter Writing Competition.

All competitions are open to full-time students and are held in Arabic and English.

“It is wonderful to announce that our schools’ competitions are back, bigger and brighter than ever,” said Ahlam Bolooki, festival director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. “These competitions are hugely popular because they are creative and make learning fun. The enjoyment gained in taking part paves the way for a life-long appreciation of books, poetry and composition, in addition to reinforcing skills that will enhance students’ learning right across the curriculum.”

Participants can register online via the Emirates Literature Foundation's website. The finals and award ceremonies for the competitions will be held during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, 3-12 February 2022.


The RGS Guildford Dubai Children’s Letter Writing Competition

The RGS Guildford Dubai Children’s Letter Writing Competition gives young people the chance to show off their letter writing skills, celebrating both the aesthetic of fine handwriting and the art of composing a well-crafted message. Letters should be written to an author who has inspired the entrant, taking into account the positive theme of this year’s Festival, ‘Here Comes the Sun’. The competition is divided into two categories: Ages 9-13 and 14-18, and entries must be submitted before 8 December 2021.

“A hand-written letter conveys so much more than any digital message could, so we are delighted to be sponsoring this competition which celebrates the joys of elegant handwriting and eloquent letter writing,”  said Craig Lamshed, Principal, RGS Guildford Dubai.  “These are skills that are going to continue to be important in the future, the art and creative flair required are all characteristics of an excellent, well-rounded education.”


Readers’ Cup

This is the tenth year of the inter-school Readers’ Cup competition, which is divided into two age categories – Primary Schools (up to age 11) and Secondary Schools (ages 12-16). Teams are provided with books written by a variety of celebrated authors on which the quiz questions are based. After an elimination round, the top 20 teams from each age category will advance to the final, battling for first place in a live ‘read-off’ held at the Festival.

Teams can register for the competition online at Registrations close on 13 October 2021.


Poetry For All

The Poetry For All competition, sponsored by Emirates NBD, is open to students across two age group categories, 8-13 and 14-18.

Performers compete in several preliminary rounds, with the grand finals held during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in February 2022.  Registration for the competition is open online until 15 November 2021 at  

This is the sixth year that Emirates NBD has sponsored the competition. “It is amazing to see the calibre of these young poetry performers, and the passion they display,” said Moadh Bukhash, Chief Marketing Officer, Group Marketing & Customer Experience at Emirates NBD.  “This competition is the perfect way to celebrate Emirati culture and the oral tradition of verse in a modern way that is so clearly loved by the young participants.”  


The Story Writing Competition

Young storytellers have the chance to shine by entering the Story Writing Competition, taking their inspiration from this year’s Festival theme, ‘Here Comes the Sun’, looking forward to a brighter future.

Entries are invited from full-time students in schools, colleges and universities in the UAE with the competition divided into age-specific categories: 11 and under, 12-14, 15-17 and 18-25.  The winners will be honoured in a special ceremony held during the Festival and the winning entries published in a commemorative book.

The deadline for submission is 3 November 2021. For the guide on requirements and submission details, see

More information about the Emirates Literature Foundation can be found online and year-round news of #EmiratesLitFest on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Fans can also tune in to the Foundation’s two podcasts; the Best of the Emirates LitFest, and the Boundless Book Club.

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