The craft of fine handwriting was celebrated today at The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature with a special ceremony to honour the winners of the Royal Grammar School (RGS) Guildford Dubai Children’s Letter Writing Competition.  

Celebrating beautiful penmanship, the RGS Guildford Dubai Children’s Letter Writing Competition gives young people the chance to show off their letter-writing skills, recognising both the aesthetic of fine handwriting and the art of composing a well-crafted message. Participants were asked to write letters to authors suggesting an alternative ‘beginning’ to an already published story/book. The competition was divided into three age categories and saw a record number of entries with over 1,500 letters received, all handwritten by UAE students. Winners of the competition had a private meet-and-greet with Phil Earle and Doha Khassawneh, complimentary invites to the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, and book vouchers from Magrudy’s.

Clare Turnbull, Principal, RGS Guildford Dubai praised the participants and said: “Over the past few years, we witnessed remarkable penmanship from pupils across the UAE with their exemplary letter-writing skills. This year’s entries have been truly outstanding, not just the care taken in the physical act of handwriting, but also in presenting imaginative alternatives to beginnings of published stories. We extend our gratitude to all participants who dedicated their time to enter the competition, and heartfelt congratulations to the winners. May this be an inspiration to keep writing letters throughout the year!”

The winners in the different categories are:

RGS Guildford Dubai Letter Writing Competition Arabic Winners -2024

8-10 Age Group

  1. Badr Zayed Qasim, Al Mawakeb School, Al Barsha, Dubai
  2. Jad Hadi Jafrawi, Wesgreen International School, Sharjah
  3. Leanne Ahmad Khalil Wahba, Wesgreen International School, Sharjah

11-13 Age Group

  1. Anas Majdy Assam, Emirates National School, Sharjah
  2. Abdul Moeen Basel Annahas, Dubai National School, Dubai
  3. Feras Fahad Hanadi, Greenwood International School, Dubai

14 – 18 Age Group

  1. Reem Abdulaziz Yousef Altanak, Dubai National School, Dubai
  2. Hoor Ali Hage Almaliki, Al Dhait Secondary School for Girls, Ras Al Khaimah
  3. Loujain Mohamed Ahmad Mashaly,Madinat Baniyat School C3, Abu Dhabi

RGS Guildford Dubai Dubai Letter Writing Competition English Winners – 2024

8-10 Age Group

  1. Nuha Danish, Arcadia Global Schools, Dubai
  2. Karim Labib, Kings’ School Dubai, Dubai
  3. James Richard Latto, Kings’ School Dubai, Dubai

11-13 Age Group

  1. Mir Faraz, GEMS The Winchester School, Jebel Ali
  2. Jaimee Felysse Almendares Reyes, GEMS The Winchester School, Jebel Ali
  3. Saishivani Srinivasan, GEMS Our Own English High School, Dubai

14 – 18 Age Group

  1. Hala Faisal Al Futuhi Al Jundi, Dubai National School – Al Twar, Dubai
  2. Gaurika Gautam, Delhi Private School, Sharjah, Sharjah
  3. Hend Abdulaziz Mohammed Ahmad Albafta, Dubai National School – Al Twar, Dubai

The public programme of the Festival ran from 31 Jan – 4 Feb and the Emirates LitFest will host students from the school programme at the Intercontinental, Dubai Festival City.  RGS Guildford Dubai is a valued partner of the Festival that participated in the education outreach programme by hosting actress and author Baroness Floella Benjamin at their school. Floella had an interactive session where she read from her children’s books Keep Smiling and Coming to England and had the pleasure of a campus tour and a meet-and-greet with a student who published his book this year.

Other initiatives celebrated at the Festival included the Voices of Future Generations, which launched its fourth anthology of winning stories; the School Librarian of the Year; OUP Story Writing Competition; Chevron Reader’s Cup; ENBD Poetry For All; Book in a Box Competition; Digital Storytelling Competition; and the announcement of the third year fellows of First Chapter: ELF Seddiqi Writers’ Fellowship.

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Festival is held with Founding Partners Emirates Airline and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated authority for heritage, arts, and culture. It is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.