Supporting the UAE’s Year of Reading, top writers and readers from different universities in the UAE were recognized at The Flash Fiction Reading and Writing Awards yesterday.
The event was organized by BrandMoxie in collaboration with The New York University Abu Dhabi. The awards ceremony was held at BrandMoxie’s office in twofour54. Contestants submitted “Flash Fiction” entries composed of less than 750 words, on the theme of “Separation”. Submissions were received from different universities and 16 were selected as finalists for performance at the award events.
Winners were separated in two categories: Best Story and Best Dramatic Reading. The first place was a tie between Aliyah Al Awadhi of Zayed University with her story “After Alice” and NYUAD’s Hannah C Taylor with the piece: “A Notable Life”. In second place was the piece”Eternal Separation” by NYUAD’s Jaewon Yoo while third place went to “Cement” by Rasha H Shraim of NYUAD. Honorable mentions went to Leen Albijawi of Zayed University for "Weib", Supriya Kamath of NYUAD for “Neverland”, and Riva Razdan of NYUAD for “Dancing through Life”
The evening also recognized three winners for the Dramatic Reading category which was judged live at the event. Supriya Kamath’s “Never land” bagged the first place for Best Dramatic Reading, while second place went to Andrew Wani Modi of NYUAD for his piece “Goodbye Dad.” In third place was Nadia Ghaleb Ali Saleh Albreiki of UAE University for “Separation Anxiety”.
The competition&’s jury members were Faisal al Yafei, columnist at The National; Brione LaThrop, instructor at Zayed University; Andrew Keir, writer and adjunct lecturer, Higher Colleges of Technology; and Kamila Anwar, psychotherapist and artist from New York University in Abu Dhabi.
Jim Savio, Senior Lecturer of The Writing Program in New York University Abu Dhabi said: "These writers have stepped out into the stream of their imagination and took that bold step of facing the blank page and filled them up with their ideas. What we just witnessed here was the amazing vibe as you hear the voices and sentiments of each story in the spoken form."
During the event, Faisal Al Yafei, columnist at The National shared inspiring words for the young writers. "What this event shows is the amount of talent there is in all of the universities across the United Arab Emirates. And I think we should all be proud that at such young ages, you have managed to captivate both us as judges, and captivate each other as part of the audience." said Al Yafei.
Sana Bagersh, CEO of BrandMoxie, who organized the event said, "This event is inspired by the Arabian tradition of the 'hakawati' – it is an old practice but one that is more critical now than ever. Our aim through this is to reinforce the importance of storytelling – more so now in the digital age where everything is fleeting and diluted."
The winners of the competitions will enjoy a writing residency at The Art Hub Abu Dhabi. All shortlisted stories will be published in Tempo magazine.
For press inquiries, contact Neil Bie at pr ( @ ) brandmoxie dot com or on 055 831 5298 dot