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Author School Visits

One of the highlights of the Education Programme is the authors’ visits to schools and colleges. We are looking forward to revealing the authors available, who will be listed below from 20 November. Visits will be scheduled from Sunday 3 to Thursday 7 March, depending on the authors’ schedules.

Much as we would love to find an author for every academic institution, there are more institutions than visiting authors. We try incredibly hard to be fair and accommodating, balancing the preferences of authors with your requests.

We want to hear how your students and your school would benefit from a visit from a particular author through the form below by Monday 3 December. For your first-choice author, we would like you to explain this in 150 words. While we cannot accept photographs or videos sent to us directly, we are happy to receive links to your YouTube videos and external websites supporting your request. For your second- and third-choice authors, we are happy that you simply make a request.

Author School Visits normally take place in the morning. Typically an author will deliver a one hour session, which includes a talk or workshop, followed by a book signing. Some workshops may last longer, and if so we will let you know the timing in advance. The host school is responsible for collecting the author from the Crowne Plaza, Dubai Festival City, taking them to school for their session and returning them to the hotel after the session.

We have put together the following Author Visit Guidelines so that your school is aware of the commitment that they make to both the Author and the Festival.

Author School Visit Guidelines

Please read our Author School Visit Guidelines carefully and click to confirm that you have understood and agreed to them.

Collecting your Author

Each author should be collected from the Crowne Plaza, Dubai Festival City or other agreed location at the time arranged, by a designated member of staff. The person collecting must be a teacher, not a driver alone or a taxi, unless an alternative arrangement has been agreed with the Festival (for example, if the author is providing their own transport).

The person collecting the author should use valet parking at the Crowne Plaza, Dubai Festival City. They should report to a member of the Festival Education Team in the foyer.

The Festival Representative will introduce you to your author and the Festival Volunteer accompanying the author in the car and during the visit.

The drive to the school is a chance for you to give some background on the school and students, and resolve any queries about the session.

Book Sales

The authors participating in the Education Programme are offering their time and expertise to inspire students. In return, it is very important that they have the opportunity to sell books to the session audience and, if possible, other students and staff. Authors want to sell their books; this is how they make a living and we want them to feel appreciated.

The Festival bookseller Magrudy’s will arrange the delivery of the author’s books to you for your author visit. Once we allocate an author we pass your contact details onto the bookseller, who will be in touch with titles and prices of available books for you to promote to your students and staff. The Magrudy’s team have many schools hosting authors to work with. Please contact them as soon as possible to allow time for orders and deliveries of books.

If the books are not age appropriate for your students, please at least ensure some teachers buy a copy and have it signed.

Students wishing to have a book signed should have their name on a sticky (Post-it) note on the front of the book to show the author. No long dedications please.

Before the Visit

Please note the age group, suggested audience size, topic and equipment required in the confirmation email that you have been sent. If it is not possible to meet these requirements, or there are any changes, please consult with a member of the Festival Education Team well in advance of the author’s visit.

Please do not contact the author directly unless otherwise agreed. Authors have full schedules whilst here for the Festival and any questions regarding their visit can be directed through us.

Please make sure students are prepared for the visit and have thought of some relevant questions. In previous years, schools have successfully prepared for author visits by displaying the author’s books or creating displays about their books. They have focused lessons around the author’s books before the visit and prepared questions, written book reports and produced creative writing and art work inspired by the author’s work.

Author Session

Sessions are for your students and teaching staff only and should not be open to parents.

Please do not leave authors waiting around to start their sessions or let students leave before the session is over. Timings will have been communicated through us in advance.

Should you wish to take any photos or videos, please check with the author in advance and respect their wishes.

Please make sure that the audience has researched the author and read any relevant material communicated in advance by the Festival. All authors have a brief biography on the Festival website.

When you introduce the author, please acknowledge the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.

While the author gives their talk or workshop, teachers in attendance are expected to fully engage in the presentation. By showing interest in the talks (not difficult, as they are fun and engaging!) this sets the perfect example to students of all ages.

Refreshments and restroom facilities should be offered.

A microphone and PA system should be available, along with facilities for PowerPoint, should the author have requested this; please test it beforehand to ensure that it is all working correctly. If the author has any special requests we will pass these on well in advance.

The session should last around 45 minutes, unless otherwise specified, followed by Q&A and a book signing opportunity. The book signing should be controlled and managed by your staff, with an orderly queue and pens provided.

End of the Session

The author should be accompanied back to the hotel by 12:45 unless another time has been communicated to you.

Please don’t ask the authors to do anything extra – they all have very full schedules that have been planned in advance!

Marketing and Promotion

Please help to build up student excitement well in advance by communicating the visit and promoting the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.

Authors love a mention on your social media before they even arrive in Dubai! Tag us and we will ensure they see it.

Help us promote the Festival to students, parents, colleagues and friends by sharing our links on your communicator, newsletter and communications:

Website: https://www.emirateslitfest.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emirateslitfest

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EmiratesLitFest/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/emirateslitfest/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/EmiratesLitFest

Media Permissions

We often have requests from registered media to cover the authors participating in our Education Programme, and appreciate the opportunity to show the wide range of educational opportunities the Festival offers. Media do not attend every author visit, but a request to visit your institution may come at short notice and we therefore require your permissions for the below: 

  • Access for media to attend the session. Typically this would be one journalist, accompanied by a photographer or colleague.
  • Photographs at the session of the event, large groups of students and of individual students.
  • Audio interviews/ soundbites of author with some of the students – if required
  • Permission for video recording – if required

Please note that other than in the case of student interviews, photography and video will predominantly be focused upon the author. Shots of the students will be of the audience as a whole, rather than close ups of individuals. We will alert the media that there may be students who do not have permission or do not wish to be photographed/videoed, to ensure they are not included. We will ask them to work closely with you to make sure there are no permission violations, and that they are aware of any relevant school policies regarding photography. We will work to ensure the media presence does not intrude on the student session and that they carry out their work in a way that ensures both the school and the students feel comfortable.

Whether or not external media attend, we ask our Festival Volunteer to take a few photographs of the session for our media team to publicise the event and for our archives. As with external media above, before the session, please make the volunteer aware of any relevant school policies regarding photography and any students who should not be photographed.

Please note – the visit should not be seen as a chance to market the school. The authors are with you by kind arrangement of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature; this should always be acknowledged, and any media involvement MUST go through the Festival and be pre-approved. The event itself is for students and teachers, not for a wider audience.

Authors Available for School Visits

* Please make sure to choose your authors from the lists below:

I confirm that I have read and understood the Author School Visit Guidelines. Our school commits to following these guidelines

What our teachers are saying

“We were amazed at how Floella Benjamin managed to keep the attention of ALL of our students for well over an hour. She did not require any technology etc. and managed to achieve this purely by talking and sometimes singing. The presentation was so inspirational and we are very grateful for being selected. The feedback from students mirrored our feelings. We made it a requirement that students buy the book before they attended the talk and this was very beneficial as they could relate to what the author was saying.”

Chris Hagen, Director of Communication Faculty, Horizon International School

“Nnedi Okorafor was very inspirational in her presentation. She totally captivated the girls, not easy to do as our students are second-language English speakers. I think because she made the talk very personal about her life she hooked them in rather than give a lecture about writing. The girls found her fascinating and asked great questions about her writing and advice she could give.”

Maura Gibbons, Teacher, Latifa School for Girls

“Levison Wood planned the activity with students in mind, rather than focusing solely on the travel writing process as discussed, he introduced funny and engaging stories alongside video clips and images. These supported with telling ‘his’ own story. The author was particularly interested in answering questions regarding his travels.”

Luke Mchale, Director of Humanities and Art Faculty and Secondary Lead for Fusion (MyLearning), Gems First Point School The Villa

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