At the initiative of His Excellency Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Hamad Al Thani, Minister of Culture, The Ministry of Culture is accepting submissions for the 9th State Award in Children’s Literature. Submissions are accepted until the end of April 2022. All entries should be submitted electronically through the online application form on the award’s website.
Applicants can learn more about the competition through the guide available on the website, which includes eligibility and selection criteria. The award committee also uses social media platforms to promote the award and publish previously winning works, as well as to communicate with the public and respond to their questions.
This year’s award has five categories: novels, poetry, drama, children’s songs, and literary studies. Maryam Yassin Al-Hammadi, Associate President of the State’s Award in Children’s Literature, and Director of the Culture and Arts Administration at the Ministry of Culture, commented that submissions for the competition are already being received. She added that this comes at a time of significant increase in the numbers of literary works for children, hence the importance of honoring leading creative writers in this area. She emphasized the benefits of children’s literature and its role in promoting the values that are critical for the preservation of communities and identity. In Al-Hammadi’s view, parents are not the only ones who raise children, as cultural products, such as TV shows and programs, books, stories, songs, poetry, and children’s theater, all contribute greatly to the preservation of social values, identity, and heritage.
Al-Hammadi further explained that the award aims to promote Arabic and Islamic identity and heritage, which requires special attention to the Arabic language and its arts. “We welcome creative writers to submit their contributions to be considered for the different categories of the award. This is an excellent opportunity to have their works published and for us to honor our authors and publishers. This is an invitation for all Arab writers to share their works and to help us construct a creative space,” said Al-Hammadi.
To be eligible for the award, candidates must be Qatari or Arab and at least 18 years old. Academic and cultural organizations can nominate candidates according to the award guidelines, and individual writers can nominate themselves. Candidates can submit works for only one of the award categories in any year. Posthumous submissions are not accepted.
The award is intended to encourage Qatari and Arab writers to produce outstanding literary works for children that enrich Qatari and Arab libraries, reinforce the concepts of national identity and a sense of belonging, promote humanitarian values, and establish communication channels across generations. The award also aims to promote Arab literary production, particularly in areas that do not often receive much attention, such as children’s plays and literary studies on children’s literature.
A specialized committee selects winning submissions based on a rubric of criteria. In case two submissions tie for highest score, the award can be shared. The award committee is dedicated to the highest standards of transparency and fairness.
The award is intended to support writers and publishers, especially given the challenging impact of COVID-19, hoping to bring forward new literary works that will set the standard of future literary production.