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Registrations are now open for two awards: Sharjah Children’s Book Award and SCRF Visually Impaired Book Award. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: The Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF), organised by Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), has announced the opening of registrations for the Sharjah Children’s Book Award and SCRF Visually Impaired Book Award. The deadline for receiving entries for both the awards is Sunday, March 13, 2022.

The awards aim to encourage authors to produce high-quality works in the field of children’s literature and help develop children’s literary and cultural abilities, improve their literary awareness and enrich libraries with children’s books.

Khoula Al Mujaini, general coordinator of SCRF said: “The awards seek to promote excellence in children’s writing and illustration, and we invite authors, illustrators and children’s book publishing houses to submit entries for the Sharjah Children’s Book Award and SCRF Visually Impaired Book Award. The two awards play a vital role in enriching children’s libraries with diverse and qualitative works that nurture a sense of belonging and forge strong connections with Arab culture.”

‘Celebrating and recognising notable works’

She added: “The criteria for the award’s submissions seek to improve the children’s book industry standards and motivate stakeholders to present works that are rich in editorial and visual content and production techniques. This is in line with SBA’s vision to celebrate and recognise notable works that appeal to young readers.”

The Sharjah Children’s Book Award targets three categories: Arabic Children’s books (4-12 years), Arabic Young Adult books (13-17 years) and English language-based International Children’s books (7-13 years). The award is open to authors, illustrators and publishers. Winners in each category will receive Dh20,000.

Nomination criteria

The submission criteria stipulates that the nominated book must be new and unique in its field. Revised editions are not eligible for nomination and the book ought to have been published any time in the two years preceding the current SCRF edition. Furthermore, only books that have not previously won any literary award can be submitted while the nominated author must not have won a prize for the category in which he or she has applied, in the past two years. Additionally, translated books or those developed from other books are not accepted.

Tactile pictures

The same conditions apply for submitting entries for the Dh20,000 SCRF Visually Impaired Book Award. The criteria further states that all books must feature tactile pictures and use different styles to enable three-dimensional images. All images must be accurately glued and fixed. The text must be printed clearly in large fonts as well as those printed in Braille characters and must facilitate reading without any interruptions. The books must feature different and clear colours to stimulate the sight of partially-sighted children, and should have literary merit.