Oxford University Press Story Writing Competition

Arts, Language & Culture


The Story Writing Competition is held annually by the Emirates Literature Foundation for school and university students. The inspiration for 2024 is ‘Beginnings’.

  • ‘Beginnings’ are very important for books and stories. They set the scene for what is to come and hook the readers in. They invite readers to stay and read till the end – making ‘beginnings’ count is crucial for an author.
  • ‘Beginnings’ are also very meaningful in life. We cannot start new life adventures unless we take that first step and begin!
  • This theme encourages you to explore any experience that you/your character(s) may have had with ‘beginnings’.
  • ‘Beginnings’ are different for everyone, tell us what is yours?
  • Participants must be full-time students in schools, colleges and universities.
  • For more competition details and the full list of T&Cs visit the competition page.
3 October - 30 October 2023
Free of charge
  • Arabic
  • English

Awards & Winners


The winners from each age category will receive:

A plaque

Five copies of the anthology of published stories (A PDF version of the book will be available on our website to download and share)

The opportunity to attend a Festival session

Winners will be honoured in a prize giving ceremony during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in February 2024.

Hints & Tips

  • How the Competition Works

    Write your story – use your imagination and creativity to the full, but do remember that your inspiration is ‘Beginnings’.

    You may choose your own title in keeping with the theme.

    Complete all sections of the online entry, attaching your story as a Word document. Entries can be in Arabic or in English.

    You should submit under the appropriate age category: –

    Ages 11 and under (maximum of 500 words)

    Ages 12-14 (maximum of 1000 words)

    Ages 15-17 (maximum of 1500 words)

    Age 18-25 (maximum of 2000 words)