May 23, 2024

Young Winners of the 2022 OUP Story Writing Competition Celebrated at The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

 Young Winners of the 2022 OUP Story Writing Competition Celebrated at The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

Dubai, UAE, 5 February 2022:  The next generation of writing talent, the winners of the Oxford University Press (OUP) Story Writing Competition, were honoured today at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (3-13 February 2022) in a special prizegiving ceremony. The annual competition is a fixture of the academic calendar with more than 3,700 students from the UAE sending in their entries this year. The competition runs in Arabic and in English and is divided into age-specific categories: 11 and under, 12-14, 15-17 and 18-25. Each winner received a book containing their original short stories and a winner’s plaque. Presenting the awards at the ceremony were 2022 Festival authors Ali Sparkes and Nadia Al Najjar.

Students were invited to write their stories prompted by this year’s Festival theme. ‘Here Comes the Sun’. Jennifer Duggan, Oxford University Press, said: “Looking forward to a brighter tomorrow was the perfect sentiment for this year’s competition, beautifully encapsulated by the phrase ‘Here Comes the Sun’. We were uplifted by the many ‘feel good’ variations on the theme, capturing the imaginations of the students who entered. We are proud to give our continued support to young writers through this competition and we hope it leads to many of them continuing to write in the years to come.”

OUP winners – English

11 and under:

  1. Lila Jones from Jebel Ali School, Dubai
  2. Siya Menon from Our Own English High School, Dubai
  3. Tied in shared third place: Hannah Main Garcia from Dubai English Speaking School, Dubai, and Lana Al Khafaji from Dubai English Speaking School, Dubai

12- 14

  1. Alula Grace Marsh from South View School, Dubai
  2. Farah Makni from Brighton College Al Ain, Abu Dhabi
  3. Gianne Eva Mathias from Dubai Scholars Private School, Dubai


  1. Anyka Chakravarty from Gems Wellington International School, Dubai
  2. Dimira Tanna from Ambassador School, Dubai
  3. Chelsie Murielle Manalo Alcantara from Pristine Private School, Dubai


  1. Bee Blake from Repton School, Dubai
  2. Ishrath Tabassum Jaigirdar from University of Sharjah
  3. Mahrukh S. M. from American University of Sharjah

OUP winners – Arabic:

  1. and under:
  2. Tied in first place: Salim Arif Alsulaiman from AlRashed Alsaleh Private School, Dubai and Hussein Nidal Hasan Awad from Al Shola Private School, Sharjah
  1.  Sara Owaily from Al Mawakeb Private School Garhoud, Dubai
  2. Mohammad Yehya Farooq from Cambridge International School, Dubai


  1. Jana Omar Harb Alqaryouti from Dubai National School Al Twar, Dubai
  2. Rita Hussein from Al Mawakeb Private School Garhoud, Dubai
  3. Haifa Omar Saado from AlRashed AlSaleh Private School, Dubai


  1. Rashed Saeed Saaed Alhabsi from Higher Technology College, Ras Al Khaimah
  2. Lara Zaid Qasim from Al Mawakeb Private School Al Barsha, Dubai
  3. Jana Imad from Liwa International School, Abu Dhabi


  1. Sheikha Hamad Al Rahmani from Sharjah University
  2. Noor Imad Idlbi from Umm Al Emarat High School, Abu Dhabi
  3. Saeed Aswad Anbar Alamri from Higher Technology College, Abu Dhabi

The competition entries in English were judged by Kathleen Butti, April Hardy, Kathy Hoopmann and Rehan Khan. Competition entries in Arabic were judged by Nadia Al Najjar, Muhannad Al Akouse, Sana Shabbani and Manea Al Maeni.

The Festival programme is brimming with sessions to engage, entertain and inform, with topics encompassing fiction, history, current affairs, food, health, travel, biography, business and more.  There are opportunities to appreciate poetry, take part in creative writing workshops and generally indulge in intelligent and articulate discussion on a wide range of topics. Sessions appeal to all ages and nationalities, featuring outstanding authors, thinkers and opinion formers.

Other initiatives celebrated at the Festival includes the Voices of Future Generations, which launches its second anthology of winning stories; the School Librarian of the Year; RGS Guildford Dubai Children’s Letter Writing Competition; Chevron Reader’s Cup; ENBD Poetry For All; Emirates LitFest Writing Prize; and the announcement of the first 10 fellows for the First Chapter: ELF Seddiqi Writers’ Fellowship.  

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Festival is held with Founding Partners Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated authority for heritage, arts, and culture. It is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.

To buy tickets and for the full list of authors, visit

More information about the Emirates Literature Foundation can be found online and year-round news of #EmiratesLitFest on LinkedInFacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube. The Foundation also has two podcasts; the Best of the Emirates LitFest, and the Boundless Book Club