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First Chapter: ELF Seddiqi Writers Fellowship Details

Youth Advisory Group

A career development opportunity that gives six book lovers between the ages of 18 to 22 a chance to explore possible career paths in publishing and arts and culture.

About the Group

The group will meet every month to:

  • Meet with professionals who work in publishing, marketing, and more to gain valuable career advice
  • Discuss advanced reader copies of books that have yet to be released
  • Help develop a programme of events for the 2025 Emirates LitFest

When is the deadline?

Submit your application by midnight on 31 May.

Application Form

Apply for the Youth Advisory Group

Important dates*

Monday 13 May Applications open

Friday 31 May Applications close

Friday 7 June Applicants notified

Tuesday 2 July Welcome and Session 1

Tuesday 6 August Session 2

Tuesday 3 September Session 3 (in person)

Tuesday 1 October Session 4

Monday 11 November Session 5 (in person)

Tuesday 7 January Session 6

Wednesday 29 January – Tuesday 4 February Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

Tuesday 18 February Session 7

*Changes to these dates may occur due to unexpected circumstances or scheduling challenges, and we will endeavour to communicate any adjustments to the schedule as early as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Of course! You don’t need to be a writer to participate in this programme. We are looking for a diverse range of experiences and interests related to the publishing or creative sectors. This programme might be for you if you’re interested in working:

  • For a cultural organisation as a curator or events producer
  • With books themselves, like librarians and booksellers
  • More closely with authors as a literary agent, an editor, or publisher.

You might even be an avid reader who wants to discuss books with a group of peers!

We will accept up to six (6) participants to take part.

The group will meet once a month between June 2024 and February 2025, except for the month of December. These monthly sessions will generally last about an hour, and we will communicate with you ahead of time should we expect any session to run longer. Successful applicants are expected to attend all sessions however flexibility will be afforded should you be unable to attend any due to extenuating circumstances. Participants will also be expected to read at least one book a month between each session.

Successful participants will also need to be reasonably available during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2025, which runs Wednesday 29 January to Tuesday 4 February. Further details about your participation in the Festival will be discussed closer to the time.

Each monthly session will include a book group discussion, opportunities to inform the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature programme, and some sessions will include a workshop or discussion led by an industry professional from the publishing or creative sector. In between sessions, participants will be encouraged to read widely (and may even get access to advanced copies of books not yet published), write book reviews or other content which will be shared through Emirates Literature Foundation channels, and support the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature marketing team in creating original content for social media to promote the 2025 Festival.

The monthly sessions will be held online through Zoom, except for the sessions in September and November which will be held in person in Dubai. The exact location for these in-person sessions will be shared closer to the time.

Your participation in Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will vary depending on your availability and the needs of the Festival but could include supporting the Festival team with duties such as checking in speakers to the green room or showing them to their venues, hosting events, accompanying speakers for their school or university campus visits, or helping manage book signing queues. Exact details will be worked out closer to the time of the Festival.

Much of the Festival takes place at the IHG Event Centre at Dubai Festival City, though a small number of satellite events take place at various locations throughout Dubai.

We will expect you to commit yourself to exploring and developing your knowledge of the publishing and creative sectors, be respectful towards everyone involved in the programme, be open to new ideas, perspectives, or opinions that are different to your own, share your learning with your friends and communities, tell us if you need support or guidance, and provide us with constructive feedback at the end of the programme.

We will also ask that you become “ambassadors” for the Festival and support us with promoting it throughout your network and community, family and friends.

You will need to seek advice about this from the appropriate person at your university. This programme is not accredited or attached to any existing university course outcome.

After successfully completing the programme, all participants will have a developed knowledge of the publishing and creative sectors, and will receive a certificate of participation and a professional reference upon request.

Of course, the programme has been designed to build professional competencies and offer the opportunity for anyone to learn more about the work of Emirates Literature Foundation and the creative and publishing sectors. Your current employment or education status will not impact your application. What is most important is that you can prove to us in your application that you have a genuine interest in learning about the publishing and creative sectors and will use that learning in your future endeavours, whatever they may be.

Once you submit your application, we will send you an email acknowledging that we have received it. A panel of selectors comprising Emirates Literature Foundation staff and at least one external publishing or creative sector professional will then assess the applications. Applicants will be notified by email in early June as to the outcome of their submission. Those successful will then need to sign a letter of agreement including a non-disclosure clause, after which more information about the programme will be shared.


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