I hope that Festival-goers will be adventurous and attend sessions that they know little about. Explore the variety and celebrate the diversity that will be on offer.
With Emirates Lit Fest 2016 fast approaching, B-Change caught up with Isobel Abulhoul, the Founder and Director of the now must-visit for every bibliophile in the UAE: The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.
Here’s our little chat:
1. How is this edition of Emirates Airline Festival of Literature different from previous years?
IA: Every edition of the Festival is different because every year the theme is different. This year the Festival theme is ‘Time’ and as a concept, it has so much potential. Our programme is an extension of this theme, looking back at the past through Shakespeare, and to the future through scientific and technological developments.
In a more tangible sense, we have extended the Festival to 12 days to pack in all the literary delights.
2. What’s in store for budding writers who want to be more involved and want to get published?
IA: One word: Competitions. If you haven’t been able to enter our student writing competitions, the Taaleem Award and the Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition, you have till November 15 to submit.
We also have the hugely successful Montegrappa Writing Prize for unpublished authors in the UAE.
This year we have instituted two new competitions with our sponsors and partners Emirates Airline and Costa Coffee. Capture 380 brings together words and pictures, while the Costa Debate will look to settle the debate on Coffee or Tea.
Of course, at the Festival itself we will have several workshops and panels on the challenges of the publishing world and the Quick Pitch sessions with international literary agent Luigi Bonomi.
3. For all those who are considering attending the event, could you tell us in 40 words or less why they really can’t miss EAFOL16?
IA: The Festival is a true reflection of the place we live in – a multicultural hotpot with authors and audiences from around the world coming together to meet under one roof.
4. What would you like to see change amongst the literary population in the region with this event?
IA: I hope that Festival-goers will be adventurous and attend sessions that they know little about. Explore the variety and celebrate the diversity that will be on offer.