I’ve just got back from the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and wanted to share a little bit about this SUPER beautiful event.
First, let me just say I’m very rubbish at posting consistently - well, I instagram kind of consistently, but here am I trying to keep a blog again. I used to have one a while ago and I probably posted there three times in two years. 🤦🏽♀️
Anyhoo, that was the first time I ever visited Dubai and that was also my first time going to a real desert. 🏜🐪 Here’s the one ok picture I’ve got. It was dark and my phone camera isn’t the best, so you’ll have to trust me, it was magical!
That particular night we attended the Desert Stanzas, which is a night of poetry with typical Emirati food and music, it’s part of the festival and it’s unique to Dubai.
I found Dubai very international, there are people from I-don’t-know-how-many different nationalities living and working there. The literary festival was no different: the organisers, volunteers and the guest authors were from everywhere! And one of the best things was definitely getting to meet many of them.
So jumping to the topic of school visits and my main festival events (because I’m not gonna bore you with my poolside pictures or tourist shots), I was amazed at how enthusiastic the children are about books. And the schools staff too. I can’t even describe the level of attention and care, which makes all the difference for everyone involved, especially the children. (looking at you all, UK schools!🧐) It’s a much more rewarding experience when the children have the chance to hear about the author WELL BEFORE the visit, and have time to read the stories, do some activities and build anticipation.
To prove my point, here are some brilliant illustrations and parallel-universe versions of my stories created by the children at Horizon English School in Dubai:
You can find more illustrations and crafts that the children made based on my books on my Instagram. 🧞♂️
Apart from the events, which were obviously the main thing, I got to see a bit of Dubai, enjoy the pool (did I mention that?), eat amazing food and hang out with lovely people I met at the festival. I’m resisting dumping 100 pictures on here and mentioning everyone, so I’m just going to leave this shot, because I look good in it and the lanyard sort of makes me look professional:
Also, I was joking about the pool picture. Of course I’m posting it. ☀️
Thank you EAFL for inviting me and thank you everyone who made it the more special! 🏜🐪🐪