The Judging Process

The judging process of the Etisalat Award for Children’s Literature is conducted with full transparency and the utmost professionalism. This has served the Award’s prestige and provided publishers with a greater incentive to submit their best books to the Award. Entries are evaluated by an independent judging panel, which chooses the shortlist and winner.  

The judging process is conducted according to the clauses listed below.


To ensure transparency in the selection of the members of the judging panel, the following will be taken into account:

  1. Members of the judging panel are not allowed to enter any of their works for the Award. 
  2. To the fullest extent possible, the judging panel will be composed of members with a broad and diverse range of qualifications and specializations, such as publishers, authors, critics, illustrators, and other experts.
  3. The jury may seek the assistance of experts in the fields of science, literature or the arts when needed in so far as this remains in compliance with the principles of confidentiality and full neutrality and is in full adherence to the points above.
  4. The composition of the judging panel is completely confidential, and the names of the members will not be revealed before the winners of the Award have been announced.
  5. The members of the judging panel should be diverse in terms of geographical and national backgrounds.


The Award’s management shall form a judging panel each year, provided that it includes a minimum of three members with relevant expertise, competence and integrity.


The names of the members of the judging panel and the content of their discussion during their meetings shall remain confidential.  The Award's management may announce the names of the members during the final awards ceremony.


The panel’s work begins the day after the signing the agreement with the Award’s management.  It shall end upon their submission of a report on a date determined by the Award’s management.


The judging panel shall present a written report presenting the results of their discussions.  The report should specify the reasons behind the choice of the winning books in each category.


The choice of winning books shall be decided by majority vote.


If any member of the judging panel cannot attend a meeting due to an emergency, his or her written report shall be considered sufficient. He/she shall have no right to object to the decision(s) made by the judging panel during the meeting. The choice of winning books shall be decided by majority vote.


The constitution of the judging panel is secret, and the names of its members should not be revealed before the announcement of the winning book. Judges are not permitted to announce or reveal that they are members of the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature judging panel. Nor are they allowed to disclose the results of the deliberations of the judging panel to any external party. The choice of winning books shall be decided by majority vote.


A judge shall withdraw from the judging panel if one of his/her relatives of the first or second degree has a work submitted for the award. The choice of winning books shall be decided by majority vote.


The judging panel shall evaluate the books submitted for the Award in accordance with the rules and criteria specified by the Award's management.


The jury reserves the unequivocal right to transfer submission from one section to another, if deemed necessary. The choice of winning books shall be decided by majority vote.


If a winning book has more than one author, the prize money will be divided equally between them or as per the judging panel’s decision. The choice of winning books shall be decided by majority vote.

Evaluation Criteria:

The following set of criteria represents the basis upon which the submitted entries are evaluated by the judging panel. Books are evaluated based on the external appearance of the book, text, illustrations (if any), layout, and production.

1General Appearance of the BookGeneral Appearance of the Book

- Quality of the bookbinding and ease in opening the book
- Paper quality
- Suitability of the size of the book to the target age group
- Suitability of the book's weight to the target age group

Printing and production quality

- Suitability of the font used for the target age group
- Organisation and sequence of the inside pages
- Clarity of the colours
- Quality of the paper used for the inside pages

Book cover

- Consistency between the cover illustration and the subject of the book
- Creativity of the cover artwork
- Quality of the paper used for the cover
- The front and back cover of the book should include the basic bibliographic information about the book, such as:

  • Name of the Author
  • Name of the Illustration
  • Name of the Publishing House
  • Year of Publication
  • Place of Publication
  • ISBN Number
  • Classification Number
  • Name of the Printing Press

- Choice of title and the extent of its reflection of the book's subject
- The phrasing of the title
- The legibility of the book title


- Suitability of the content to the target age group
- Creativity in addressing the topic
- Presence of cultural authenticity and modern elements
- Credibility and logic in the presentation of the subject
- Incorporation of elements of suspense or elements that would stimulate the reader to continue reading
- Clarity and accessibility of the manner of delivering information

Information Presented

- Accuracy and precision of information presented
- Comprehensiveness in tackling the book's subject
- Suitability of the content and information presented for the target age group

Language and Style

- Suitability of the language and choice of words for the target age group
- Avoidance of unnecessary jargon and pretentious language
- Adherence to the rules of Arabic grammar
- The text should not contain spelling or typographical errors.

3Artistic Elements
Layout, Production, and Illustrations (if any)

- Expressive quality of the illustrations
- Choice of space allocated to the illustrations and quality of the layout
- Clarity and neatness of illustrations
- Suitability of the illustrations to the target age group 
- Harmony of the colours used in the illustrations
- Quality of the layout and design

The jury also establishes general standards for chapter books and young adult books as follows:

• Characters

• Plot and suspense elements

• Thread

• Time and place

• Text and the language used in terms of vocabulary, compositions, methods used and language compatibility with the target age group.