New ‘Smart’ Category for Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, organised by the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) and sponsored by ‘Etisalat Group’, has unveiled details of its new ‘Digital Book App of the Year’ category.

The AED 100,000 prize will go to the best digital interactive children’s or young adults’ book application.

The prize stresses the emphasis on the Award’s ‘innovation’ theme and the latest trends and developments in children’s digital content, which is thriving in the entertainment and education sectors. It is open to all publishers and app developers whose products are designed for children and young adults aged 18 years and under.

The accolade will encompass all forms of digital Arabic content available as digital books and apps to highlight and reward the work of developers and publishers. The new category aims to be at the cutting edge of Arabic digital publishing, showcasing creative approaches to design, technology integration and e-reading experiences. The category will accept products for Android, iOS, Kindle and ePub3.

All entries must be in Arabic, and should be released before the date of submission. The jury will select the winner based on graphic quality, audio quality, artistic and technical excellence and informational value, with particular reference to overall publishing excellence and innovation.

On the importance of the new category, Marwa Al Aqroubi, President of the UAEBBY Executive Board, said: “The Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature has been constantly developing and expanding its categories. This new category reflects the award’s success over the past eight years, thanks to the support and patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and Patron of the UAEBBY.

“The new category is intended to underscore the new and fast-growing technologies, where tablets, mobile phones and other smart electronic devices have become fundamental to acquire, transfer and exchange knowledge. Digital application developers have become partners and key players in the publishing industry. We hope that the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature will always develop and grow in accordance with the level of ambition and vision it has always shown,” she added.

All entries will be subject to the final decision of the jury, which will consist of publishing sector experts, including graphic designers, interactive design specialists and new media reviewers.

The Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature is distributed in six categories as follows: ‘Children’s Book of the Year’, worth AED 300,000, to be distributed equally between the author, illustrator and publisher; ‘Young Adult Book of the Year’, worth AED 200,000, to be distributed equally between the author and publisher; and ‘Best Text’; and ‘Best Illustration’, worth AED 100,000 each.

The categories also include ‘Best Production’ worth AED 100,000 and ‘Digital Book App of the Year’, also worth AED 100,000 to be distributed equally between the publisher and the application developer, or as the jury sees fit. An additional AED 300,000 will be dedicated to organising workshops to build Arabic people’s ability to write and illustrate children’s literature, and provide publishers with opportunities to participate in international conferences. The Award is worth a total of AED 1.2 million.

The Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature was launched in 2009 by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Founder and Patron of the UAEBBY. It aims to promote a culture of reading and instil a love of Arabic books within children by honouring the creative productions of authors, illustrators and publishers in the children’s book industry. It functions to motivate them to produce innovative texts, productions and designs in order to create unique and high quality Arabic children's books. 

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