It’s that time of year again folks, when Dubai – and most importantly, Dubai’s kids – re-discover their love of all things literary. With its star-studded line-up, the 2011 Lit Fest is the perfect place for parents to help inspire their budding, school-age authors and illustrators. Not only is the event peppered with the heavyweights of the literary world, there are loads of fun performances, workshops and events for schools too. Parents and teachers, take note!
The Fringe parade
This annual festive extravaganza is always popular, and is made up of school children and performers from arts and cultural groups – accompanied by camels and costumed characters. Ostensibly, they come together to celebrate the talent and enthusiasm of the UAE’s diverse population, but that sounds a lot more serious than it is, and lots of laughs and fun are had by all.
Starts 10am on Saturday March 12, on the waterfront outside the Event Centre at the InterContinental Hotel Dubai Festival City. Everyone is welcome to join in!
The Reader’s Cup
So you think you know everything about your favourite books? And you think you read more carefully than your friends? Well, this year, there’s a chance for champion bookworms to enter the Readers’ Cup – a quiz where four selected books are presented to participants, who must read the texts, and answer all sorts of questions on the stories in the form of a team quiz. The winners will receive tickets to the author events – and their school will keep the Reader’s Cup for a year. So far, 20 schools have signed up to participate this year.
The Education Day
At Dubai Cultural and Scientific Association in Al Mamzar on Wednesday March 9, six prominent children’s authors, Morris Gleitzman, Francesca Simon, Eoin Colfer, Philip Ardagh, Gillian Cross and Roger McGough will entertain children. Others – including Charley Boorman, Margaret Atwood, Michael Morpurgo, Charlie Higson, Kate Adie, Ghada Abdel Aal and Leila Aboulela – will be visiting schools the following day.
The Lit Fest runs from March 8-12. Tickets for all workshops and main programme events are now on sale. Main programme sessions are all priced at Dhs35. Workshops cost Dhs50-Dhs150. Tickets can be purchased from www.emirateslitfest.com or from Magrudy’s book stores.
Children’s Lit Fest workshops to watch out for
Play time theatre games
Run by Fiona Lindsey: Hone their dramatic ability through a fun look at improvisation and performance skills. Ideal for budding thesps with a love of literature.
Fri March 11, 1pm-3pm for 7-10 year-olds. Dhs150.
Run by Fiona Lindsey: Help your little bookworms to appreciate the art of poetry with this ‘inside out and back again’ workshop that brings poetry to life.
Sat March 12, 10.30am-12.30pm for 8-12 year-olds. Dhs150.
Run by Fiona Lindsey: Having trouble getting your tweens to write their homework neatly? Perhaps they just need to appreciate the art of beautiful writing at this hour-long workshop.
Fri March 11, 10am-11am, and Sat March 12, 3pm-4pm, for 8-12 year-olds. Dhs50.
Run by Morris Gleitzman: Think you may have a young Hemingway or Austen in your midst? Harness that special talent with this 60-minute creative writing class.
Sat March 12, 4pm-5pm for 8-12 year-olds. Dhs100.