First Fiction Competition to be published author

Emirates litfest beckons all budding writers

GMT 10:47 2014 Monday ,29 December

Arab Today, arab today Emirates litfest beckons all budding writers

UK Literary Agent Luigi Bonomi (R)
Abu Dhabi - Arab Today

Do you have a passion for putting pen to paper? Whether a full time job or part time hobby, The First Fiction Competition is calling on all budding writers in the UAE to put their best foot forward and be eligible to become a published author.
Would-be novelists have the opportunity of taking that first step on the publishing ladder thanks to the competition, which is organised by the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.
With more than 100 entries flooded in last year from writers of all nationalities living in the UAE, the stories encompassed a variety of genres and experiences, with many of the writers now published novelists themselves.
Sponsored by Montegrappa and judged by top UK Literary Agent Luigi Bonomi, The First Fiction Competition offers a platform to people with a passion for writing and steers them towards making that passion a career reality.
Previous winners have included ‘stay-at-home mums' who dare not dream of a literary career, but the quality of their ‘doodling' has since proved good enough, with several competition winners and runners up securing publishing deals.
So what are the mechanics?
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Montegrappa Middle East's managing director Haytham Nasr said the terms of the competition are easy to meet.
"We ask for a 400-word synopsis and a 2,000 word chapter (s) submission. We're very much about encouraging UAE residents who have a passion for writing and some may even have a chapter or more written, just lying somewhere, to give it a shot.”
Participants are not required to have a full novel written before entering the competition and the 2,000 word submission can be from any section of the manuscript, he said.
"Essentially, this is a pitch, so the idea is to pick out and submit the most compelling 2,000 words in the manuscript. For most people, in most books, this is likely to be the beginning.”
Following the deadline for entry on January 11, 2015, a multistage process will follow.
"All the entries submitted are read by the judging panel, who then shortlist the entries, and from them go on to select the winner and two runners-up whose names are announced during the festival.”
Nasr said last year's competition drummed up a "really talented pool of people” and looking at the winners and runners up from the previous two editions, diversity is what makes the competition a success.
"Add to that the tremendous success previous entrants have seen since winning the competition — getting publishing deals, and seeing their work printed — it's easy to understand why we're so excited about this competition, and the potential of budding writers here.”
Now in its third year, The First Fiction Competition has seen 2013 winner Annabel Kantaria secure a three-book deal with Harlequin on the strength of her competition novel Coming Home; while 2013 runner-up Rachel Hamilton received a two-book deal with Simon & Schuster based on her competition entry The Case of the Exploding Loo — a book for children aged 10-13.
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Who can enter?
> Adult writers over 21 and of any nationality currently residing in the UAE
> The novel can be of any genre, but must be in English
> Entrants must not have had a novel published before
What's the prize?
The winner receives:
> A trip to the London Book Fair, including flights with Emirates and accommodation
> Lunch with a top UK literary agent
> A Montegrappa pen
> One copy of the current Writers' and Artists' Yearbook
Two runners-up will receive:
> A Montegrappa pen
> One copy of the current Writers' and Artists' Yearbook
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Source: Khaleej Times

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