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The winners of the Montegrappa Writing Prize, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature’s prestigious competition to discover unpublished novelists, have been announced today. Recognised as one of the most successful writing competitions in the region, the competition has a proven track record in finding new writing talent, producing nine published authors in the last six years.
This year’s first place went to Stacey Siebritz for The Leap. The runners up were: Nassma Al Bahrani: The Stars Among Us, Celina Teague: The Uncoming of Age, Michael Lynes: Blood Libel, and Priyanka Pradhan: Stories from the Himalayas
All entries were judged by international literary agent Luigi Bonomi, founder of Luigi Bonomi Associates (LBA) and literary agent for several previous Festival authors, including LucyStrange and Tamsin Winter.
They were both discovered as a result of entering the competition and joined Bonomi on the stage to discuss their paths to writing success.
“This competition provides aspiring writers with a real chance of getting their work noticed,” said Bonomi. “The fact that so many finalists have won publishing deals in the past shows how high the standard of writing in the region is. Every year I am astonished by the level of skill and imagination that we discover and I hope that this year’s crop of talent will go on to join our list of published authors”.
Novelists that have never been published are eligible to enter, providing that they are 21 years or older and resident in the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman or Saudi Arabia. Entrants had to submit a 400-word synopsis of the book in English and the first 2,000 words of their almost completed manuscript.