Welcome to the Emirates LitFest Student Edition 2022!
After the success of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature’s Virtual Student Edition last year, the Emirates Literature Foundation is delighted to, once again, announce virtual sessions for schools. With these virtual sessions, you can bring the thrill of discovering a new or a favourite festival author or illustrator direct to your schools!
The sessions have been curated to be accessible and captivating for a diverse range of interests and age groups.
The sessions will be made available to watch online throughout the Month of Reading, starting from 10 February – 31 March 2022. During this time, students will be able to watch the sessions at their own convenience, either with their class, or at home, in the case of distance learning.
Polly Dunbar: Penguin
I bet you can walk like a Penguin but can you TALK like a penguin? Polly Dunbar will be reading her much loved story about a silent penguin who has a very special way of expressing himself. Polly will be putting on a happy hat, doing a dizzy dance and there will be a chance to blow raspberries at her rather shy Penguin puppet. Have your pens at the ready so you can draw along with Polly and create a perfect Penguin of your own!
Layne Redman: Luam’s Balm
Would you like to join author Layne Redman in a race of a lifetime, featuring a young boy, a magical tree, the gift of friendship and the delight of the great outdoors.
Layne will read his fabulous story in a unique style, along with a catchy theme song. Join him if you want to know more about what (or where) Alkeubulan is, the enchanting powers of the Shea tree and a healing balm. Also, meet some very special people on the way.
Erin Entrada Kelly: Creating Your Own Characters
A great story needs a great cast. Think about your favorite books, TV shows, and movies. They all have characters that you find interesting. What makes them interesting and realistic? How are characters created? How can YOU create your own characters? In this session, Erin Entrada Kelly will show you how the characters in Hello, Universe were created–and how you can do the same thing.
This session is sponsored by the United States mission to the UAE.
Nayanika Mahtani: Writing in a Historical Setting
As the author of two award-winning novels with a historical setting – Across the Line and The Gory Story of Genghis Khan (a.k.a. Don’t Mess with the Mongols) – Nayanika Mahtani is excellently placed to present to young audiences the techniques needed to write in a historical context. The most obvious one is research – but how do you go about this, and is it different for non-fiction and fiction? Nayanika is an engaging presenter who will help explore how history depends on who is telling the story, and demonstrate how to bring history to life.
Carlos Andrés Gómez: Power with Words
Wherever you are on the writing spectrum – if it comes to you as instinctively as breathing or finding out about a creative writing assignment makes you anxious – you have landed at the right place.
Link with highly acclaimed poet Carlos Andrés Gómez in this special and supportive session of weaving poems and stories through the power of words. Here, Carlos will take you through an inspirational read of his select poems and give you stimulating writing cues that will help to propel you towards expressing yourself more compellingly and profoundly.
This session is sponsored by the United States mission to the UAE.
Buy the Books
Students are encouraged to read the books before attending the sessions (but that is not necessary!).
All the books are available for sale on the Magrudy’s website, as they are the official bookseller for the Emirates LitFest and will be offering competitive prices for the books. There will be a limited number of signed copies of each book available if ordered ahead of time.
The full list of books is available in the order form below.
Buy Now Order Forms Delivery Guidelines
Polly Dunbar is an author and illustrator working in the UK, she has created many much-loved books for children. After school, she completed a foundation course at Norwich School of Art and then went on to do a degree in illustration at Brighton University. Polly’s bestselling book, Penguin, has won numerous awards including the Book Trust Early Year’s Award 2007, the Nestle Silver Children’s Book Prize 2007, the Practical Pre-School Award 2007, the Red House Children’s Book of the Year Award 2008 and was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal. In 2009 Polly was chosen as one of Booktrust’s Ten Best illustrators and in 2011 she was Booktrust Writer in Residence. She is also co-founder of Long Nose Puppets, the award-winning theatre company.
Layne Redman is a presenter, actor and writer who loves eating, dancing and his children. Don’t be too surprised if you find Layne at Expo 2020.
Erin Entrada Kelly
New York Times bestselling author Erin Entrada Kelly was awarded the Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe. She grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and now lives in Delaware. She is a professor of children’s literature in the graduate fiction and publishing programs at Rosemont College, where she earned her MFA. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Philippines Free Press Literary Award for Short Fiction and the Pushcart Prize. Erin Entrada Kelly’s debut novel, Blackbird Fly, was a Kirkus Best Book, a School Library Journal Best Book, an ALSC Notable Book, and an Asian/Pacific American Literature Honor Book. She is also the author of The Land of Forgotten Girls, winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, You Go First, a Spring 2018 Indie Next Pick, and Lalani of the Distant Sea.
Nayanika Mahtani once harboured dreams of becoming a stage actor, but she followed the proverbial left side of her brain to do an MBA at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore – and became an investment banker instead. A decade later, she followed her heart to live in Africa. In a slight change of career, she is now an award-winning author and screenwriter, based in London. Nayanika’s books are published by Penguin Random House. With genres ranging from historical fiction to multi-generational family sagas, her books have received critical acclaim, ranked as bestsellers on Amazon and won awards (including the South Asia Book Award 2020). Nayanika’s latest YA novel, Across the Line, is presently in development as a film, for which she is adapting the story for screen. Nayanika has also co-written the screenplay for the film, Shakuntala Devi (a biopic drama available on Amazon Prime Video), starring leading Indian actor Vidya Balan.
Carlos Andrés Gómez
Carlos Andres Gomez is a Colombian American poet, speaker, actor, and educator from New York City. The dominant themes around his work are of identity, diversity, equity and inclusion. His honors include the Sandy Crimmins National Prize for Poetry, the Atlanta Review International Poetry Prize, the Foreword INDIES Gold Medal, and the International Book Award for Poetry. He has been published in New England Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Yale Review, BuzzFeed Reader, CHORUS: A Literary Mixtape (Simon & Schuster, 2012), and elsewhere. Carlos is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.
With a nominal registration fee you can get access to one of the following packages for your entire school.
Receive access to all sessions in English.
Receive access to all sessions in Arabic.
Arabic & English Sessions
Receive access to all sessions in English and Arabic.
If you have any further questions regarding the event, you can email us at email@example.com.
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