Dubai Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and Costa Coffee Open Door Programme have a busy schedule for November for budding writers and non-writers.

Activities include writing workshops, musical evenings, reading groups and an Arabic Language course.

On November 12 Humza Yousuf, Minister for External Affairs and International Development for the Scottish Parliament, will speak of literature and politics at 9.30am at Dar Al Adaab at Al Fahidi Historic Area.

Words and music have always gone hand in hand and thus, the LitFest will hold two Musical Evenings during the Open Door Series.

On November 16 at 7pm at Dar Al Adaab, Al Fahidi Historic Area, students and teachers of music will perform operatic and classical pieces in the starlit Literary Square in the Al Fahidi Historic Area. On January 25, same time and place, Trinity College London (UAE) will hold “A Night of Distinction”, a night of music and drama featuring young performers from the UAE.

Jem Poster, renowned contemporary novelist and poet, will take participants of his fiction-writing workshop through the workings of memory and examine its relationship with imagination. The workshop will take place on November 21 and 23 at 8am on the 33rd Floor of the World Trade Centre and on November 22 at 8am at Dar Al Adaab, Al Fahidi Historic Area.

Participants will also learn how to make their characters more distinctive and give them an individual voice. The three-day workshop will further examine great introductions and conclusions in literary fiction and the importance of location in a narrative.

The popularity of the Festival Reading Group has led to the launch of Children’s Reading Groups in Arabic and English which is open to 10-12 year olds, and had started in September and will continue to take place till June. The meetings take place on one Saturday a month at 10-11am at Costa Coffee in the Arabian Ranches. The next meeting will be on November 23.

The Open Door Programme is held during the winter months in the Festival’s permanent home at Dar Al Adaab in the Al Fahidi Historic Area. The picturesque heritage area is a perfect setting for the myriad events that make up the Open Door Programme.

Costa Coffee came on board as sponsors of the Open Door Programme in early June to realise their goal of promoting children’s education. Costa will also be sponsoring the Children’s Workshops at the 2014 Festival.