Buy Event Tickets

Workshops

This year's masterclasses and workshops range from from writing picture books and writing memoir and biography to workshops on Arabic Script-writing, poetry, music, calligraphy and more!

Please note that workshops do not feature simultaneous translation; the language of instruction is listed in the event details.

The cost of all materials is included in the ticket price.


Strand: Workshops
Page: Move Previous 1 2 3 4  Move Next
Creative Writing Course - Editing, Evaluation, Conclusion and Q&A (Arabic)

Event 929 Tuesday 7 March, 2.30pm-6pm Al Majlis, InterContinental

Are you interested in writing for children or young adults? And do you want to take your writing to the next level? Join Fatima Sharafeddine, author of more than 100 books for children and young adults, a number of which have been translated into different languages. 

The three day course will cover writing for children and young adults. Fatima will help you to bring your ideas to reality, building the plot, style and characters while creating a story that has a sense of place and is engaging for the appropriate age group. She will also instruct on editing and advise on how to submit your book to a publisher.

You are required to submit an example of your writing in advance. If you are writing for children, then you need to submit the full story; if writing for young adults you need to submit a representative sample of 500-1000 words.

Highlights of the three days include being part of a small group (maximum 15) with Fatima as the tutor. There will be time for quiet writing, as well as the chance to hear from and engage with top editors, agents and publishers, who will all be in Dubai for a Publishing Conference.

No event in Dubai would be complete without an opportunity to visit the desert, and you will have the chance to join us for an evening amongst the dunes under the stars, enjoying dinner in the company of some of our Festival authors.

The fee includes the writing workshops, talks, lunch and dinner, including the desert trip.

Click here to book accommodation at the 5* Crowne Plaza Festival City and the course takes place in the adjoining Event Centre

Fatima Sharafeddine is a Lebanese author and translator of books for children and young adults. She has run workshops in several countries to help aspiring authors improve their writing in Arabic.

She has won several literary prizes for her work, including her YA novel Faten (The Servant) being chosen as one of the best five YA books of 2015 by Norway’s National TV Channel and her children’s book Semsem in Mom’s Tummy was shortlisted for the 2015 Etisalat Award.

Click here to download the course outline. 

If you have any questions, please contact: Hend.Saeed@emirateslitfest.com

Language: Arabic

Creative Writing Course - Editing, Evaluation, Conclusion and Q&A (Arabic)

This event is no longer available

Become a Foundation Friend
and get 10% off
Powerful Presence, Clarity and Success

Event 840 Wednesday 8 March, 9.30am-2pm Al Rimal, InterContinental

In today’s world, it is essential to present yourself well if you want to succeed, whether you’re speaking to an audience, a boardroom – or a literary agent!

Mai El Khalifa’s two decades of experience in the world of television means that she knows the importance of achieving competitive presence through how you speak and how you act. In this half-day workshop, she will teach the principles of presence and clarity that are required for success.

This workshop is for executives, authors, speakers and anyone who wants to boost their confidence and obtain the skills they need to promote themselves in today’s world.

The tutor: Mai El Khalifa is a TV broadcast professional and certified professional coach with an in-depth understanding of the issues facing international businesspeople.

Language: English

Powerful Presence, Clarity and Success

This event is no longer available

Become a Foundation Friend
and get 10% off
Fiction Some More: A Generative Workshop

Event 814 Wednesday 8 March, 10am-1pm Al Waha, InterContinental

Trying to ignite your inspiration? You need to Fiction Some More!

This interactive and generative workshop from writer and editor Hananah Zaheer is designed to boost your writing skills, push you past writer's block, and get you writing stories.

Using a range of exercises and techniques, this workshop will focus on discovering how putting restraints on creating new work can enhance creativity. Some feedback will be provided in class, and participants will leave the workshop with one short story draft in hand.

The tutor: Hananah Zaheer is Fiction Editor for the Four Way Review and the Potomac Review. She earned an MFA in creative writing from the University of Maryland. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart prize. She has also been awarded a fellowship by the Virginia Center for Creative Arts (VCCA) and was a finalist for the Doris Betts fiction prize 2014. She is currently working on a collection of short stories.

Language: English

Age: 18+

Fiction Some More: A Generative Workshop

This event is no longer available

Become a Foundation Friend
and get 10% off
How to Self-Publish Your Book

Event 818 Wednesday 8 March, 6pm-8pm Al Waha, InterContinental

If you’re thinking of self-publishing your writing, you have an unprecedented range of opportunities open to you – some of which will be much more suitable than others. Alexander McNabb will help you make sense of the options!

McNabb will take you through the key steps of a successful self-publishing career: choosing the most suitable platform for your work, how to go about editing and design (or how to hire people to help), uploading your book and the important but challenging business of marketing, public relations and promotion – making your book stand out in a crowded market.

This workshop combines advice and tips with practical work; you should leave the workshop with a better grasp of the challenges and opportunities on offer.

The tutor: Alexander McNabb has been living and working in the Middle East for 30 years and currently divides his time between consulting on media, publishing and digital communications, and writing and self-publishing his books.

His most recent books are the gripping, disturbingly plausible thriller Birdkill and his first children’s book, Nanny’s Magical Cheese Box.

Language: English

How to Self-Publish Your Book

This event is no longer available

Become a Foundation Friend
and get 10% off
Creating and Publishing Your Comic

Event 833 Wednesday 8 March, 6pm-8pm Al Rimal, InterContinental

Khaled bin Hamad is passionate about comics and he works hard to encourage young people who share his interests to develop their own skills. In this masterclass he will talk about all aspects of his work in the comics and animation business and answer your questions on how to make your own comic – and how to make it a success!

After an introduction and team building, he will look at the unique nature of comic book storytelling and how to tell a story successfully. He will follow this with an introduction to the business side of comics, how to get published and how to stay successful once you’re there!

The tutor: Khalid bin Hamad has loved drawing manga since his childhood – he started out drawing on walls, tables and books, and eventually left his job to travel to Japan to study manga and obtain a master’s degree in marketing. The result was Nasser’s Secrets, a graphic novel that combined Emirati and Japanese influences to tell a unique sci-fi story.

In 2014 he put his skills to use and established his own animation and design company, Moving Reflection Productions, and started to pursue his dream in creating his own characters. He is currently working on launching an Emirati Sci-Fi anime, Empire of N.

Language: Arabic

Age Group: 16+

Creating and Publishing Your Comic

This event is no longer available

Become a Foundation Friend
and get 10% off
Making Myths with Candy Gourlay

Event 838 Thursday 9 March, 3.30pm-5pm Al Waha, InterContinental

Authors: Candy Gourlay

Candy Gourlay's novels are laced with legends and myths from her native Philippines. In a short presentation, Candy will describe how geography influences the mythology of a people, telling delightful origin myths such as the giant turtles of Indonesia, how the New Zealand came to be, and the origin of the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. She will then lead the children in making their own myths using comics techniques and narrative structure.

The tutor: Candy Gourlay's novels for young people have been nominated for the UK's top children's book prizes such as the Carnegie, the Guardian Prize, the Waterstone's and the Blue Peter Award. Candy grew up in the Philippines but now lives with her family in North London. She loves dogs, babies, drawing, photography and gardening.

Language: English

Age Group: 8-12

Making Myths with Candy Gourlay

This event is no longer available

Become a Foundation Friend
and get 10% off
The Reeve & McIntyre Comics Jam

Event 852 Thursday 9 March, 3.30pm-5pm Al Rimal, InterContinental

Have you ever heard of a comics jam? If so, you know you’re in for a treat – and if not, then you’re about to take a step into a wild world of illustrated teamwork that will end in the creation of a brand new comic!

Master illustrator Sarah McIntyre is in town to share her comic skills, and she and Pugs of the Frozen North co-creator Philip Reeve will lead 90 minutes of full-on audience-participation shenanigans. A workshop like no other!

The tutors: Sarah McIntyre is an illustrator and writer of books and comics who works out of the Fleece Station studio in London. She is the author and illustrator of Dinosaur Police and has collaborated with Giles Andreae, David O’Connell and Gillian Rogerson.

Philip Reeve is the author of the award-winning Mortal Engines and Railhead series, among others, while his illustrator credits include several Horrible Histories and Murderous Maths books.

As Reeve & McIntyre Productions, they have collaborated on four quirky and hilarious books, most recently Jinks and O’Hare Funfair Repair.

Language: English

Age Group: 6-10

The Reeve & McIntyre Comics Jam

This event is no longer available

Become a Foundation Friend
and get 10% off
Chemistry of Letters

Event 835 Thursday 9 March, 4.30pm-6.30pm Al Khayma, InterContinental

If you are between 12 and 17 and would like to learn how to write a short story, then this workshop is the place for you! Hooda Al Shawa Al Qaddumi will put the letters in front of you in the word lab so you can start mixing up words and building your short story.

In this workshop, participants will first take a look at the ‘chemistry’ of letters in making words, and then will develop a short story with the theme of ‘running away from the garden’.

The tutor: Writer Hooda Al Shawa Al Qaddumi won the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in 2008 for The Birds’ Journey to Mount Qaf. Her book The Animals vs the Humans at the Court of the King of the Jinn reached the short list for the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in 2001.

Language: Arabic

Age Group: 12-17

Chemistry of Letters

This event is no longer available

Become a Foundation Friend
and get 10% off
100 Things Successful People Do

Event 830 Friday 10 March, 10am-12pm Al Rimal, InterContinental

Do you want to succeed in life – and find happiness in what you are doing? Leadership and coaching expert Nigel Cumberland, author of 100 Things Successful People Do, is here to help! In this workshop he will teach you how to identify what makes you happy, what you are aiming to succeed at, and what you can change to make it happen.

The tutor: Nigel Cumberland is the co-founder of Silk Road Partnership, a leading global provider of executive coaching and leadership training solutions. In addition to 100 Things Successful People Do, he is the author of several management and leadership books, including Secrets of Success at Work: 50 Techniques to Excel and Finding and Hiring Talent in a Week.

Language: English

100 Things Successful People Do

This event is no longer available

Become a Foundation Friend
and get 10% off
My Alien and Me

Event 841 Friday 10 March, 10am-11am Al Waha, InterContinental

Have you ever wanted to meet an alien? This workshop with Smriti Prasadam-Halls is a great chance to prepare for first contact, as she reads from My Alien and Me – now available in both Arabic and English! An interactive session of fun and games for younger children.

The tutor: Smriti Prasadam-Halls is the author of Jingle Jangle Jungle, Don’t Call Me Sweet, T-Veg, I Love You Night and Day and most recently, My Alien and Me. She previously worked as a children’s book and TV commissioning editor before turning to writing books of her own!

All materials provided. Adult helpers may accompany for free!

Language: English

Age Group: 4-7

My Alien and Me

This event is no longer available

Become a Foundation Friend
and get 10% off
Writing a Thriller with Character

Event 857 Friday 10 March, 10am-11:30am Al Khayma, InterContinental

What is the key to a good thriller? Eric Van Lustbader says that the character is key – a hero who is well-developed enough for the audience to believe in no matter how deep the conspiracy goes or how dangerous the action gets.

In this writing masterclass, Lustbader will introduce the class to the techniques used in constructing a gripping, character-driven thriller.

The tutor: Eric Van Lustbader is the author of the long-running Ninja series starring Nicholas Linnear. His friendship with Robert Ludlum began with their shared interest in writing strong characters, and led to Lustbader being chosen to continue the epic Jason Bourne series. The stars of his latest thriller, Any Minute Now, follow in this tradition – heroic, damaged and determined to finish their deadly mission.

Writing a Thriller with Character

This event is no longer available

Become a Foundation Friend
and get 10% off
Peter Dale’s Crossword Enigma (beginners)

Event 842 Friday 10 March, 12pm-1.30pm Al Waha, InterContinental

Authors: Peter Dale
Cryptic crosswords are a great way to sharpen your mind and widen your vocabulary, but getting started can be more than a little intimidating. Peter Dale, back after a sell-out workshop in 2016, will provide practical guidance in the wordplay and hidden meanings of this classic puzzle’s befuddling clues – this time with a distinctly enigmatic twist!

This workshop is beginner level. If you are already a cryptic crossword enthusiast looking to improve your skills, why not check out Peter Dale’s Advanced Enigmas?

The tutor: Peter Dale spent 25 years teaching mathematics at Dubai College; now retired, he has time to enjoy the Guardian’s cryptic crossword at leisure alongside gardening and golf.

Language: English

Check out Peter Dale’s Advanced Enigmas (intermediate/advanced).

Peter Dale’s Crossword Enigma (beginners)

This event is no longer available

Become a Foundation Friend
and get 10% off
Photography on the Move: Turning Journeys into Visual Stories

Event 856 Friday 10 March, 12.30pm-2.30pm Al Rimal, InterContinental

Michael Freeman has made a career of telling powerful visual stories. In this masterclass he will share what he has learned from his experiences producing photographic narratives from his journeys all over the world.

Michael has long argued that composition matters a lot more than hardware when it comes to taking top-quality photos. Even your phone’s camera can be used for a whole lot more than selfies – if you develop a photographer’s eye for capturing a story in a picture.

No camera equipment required; notepads will be provided.

The tutor: Michael Freeman is one of the most widely published photographers worldwide. He has lectured and taught workshops on photography all over the world. He was awarded the Prix Louis Phillipe Clerc by the French Ministry of Culture. His latest photography book is Fifty Paths to Creative Photography and his latest book of reportage is The Tea Horse Road.

Language: English

Photography on the Move: Turning Journeys into Visual Stories

This event is no longer available

Become a Foundation Friend
and get 10% off
Peter Dale’s Advanced Enigmas (intermediate/advanced)

Event 844 Friday 10 March, 2pm-3.30pm Al Waha, InterContinental

Authors: Peter Dale
Are you a cryptic crossword fan looking to take on tougher challenges? If so, then Peter Dale, whose beginner-level workshop sold out at the 2016 festival, is back with further training for people who have mastered the basics and now want to crack the most intricate clues.

This workshop is intermediate/advanced level. If you are just starting out, you should first check out Peter Dale’s Crossword Enigma.

The tutor: Peter Dale spent 25 years teaching mathematics at Dubai College; now retired, he has time to enjoy the Guardian’s cryptic crossword at leisure alongside gardening and golf.

Language: English

Check out Peter Dale’s Crossword Enigma (beginners).

Peter Dale’s Advanced Enigmas (intermediate/advanced)

This event is no longer available

Become a Foundation Friend
and get 10% off
Drawings That Tell Stories

Event 845 Friday 10 March, 3pm-5pm Al Rimal, InterContinental

In this workshop author-illustrator Ibtihaj Al Harthi will help children to enrich their imagination and hone their talent by wearing both their storytelling and illustration hats at once!

Ibtihaj will help the children tell their stories and, in just a few simple steps, turn them into a series of five interlinked illustrations with a clear beginning, middle and end, which the children will then be able to take home.

The tutor: Ibtihaj Al Harthi is an author and illustrator of children’s books. Her book Mah and Me, published by Bloomsbury Qatar, won the award for Best Text in the Etisalat Award for Children’s Literature. Her other books include Ghosoun’s Gazelle Sister and The Boy and the Sea.

Language: Arabic

Age Group: 7-10

Drawings That Tell Stories

This event is no longer available

Become a Foundation Friend
and get 10% off
Creating Meaning in Your Writing

Event 823 Friday 10 March, 4pm-5.30pm Al Waha, InterContinental

When we speak, we can correct or clarify our words, but when we commit words to the page we must make sure that our writing truly conveys every layer of meaning. A skilled writer moulds each sentence to convey all kinds of subtlety, while a bad writer might turn a tragedy into a joke – or just leave the reader helplessly confused!

In this workshop you will learn six creative writing techniques to master writing at the micro level – sentences and paragraphs. It is a practical workshop and participants will go through different samples from international and Arabic books to learn what works and what doesn’t. You will learn to analyse text as a reader and thus refine your abilities as a writer.

Bothayna Wail Al Essa is a Kuwaiti author who has published nine novels, including the popular I Grew Up and Forgot to Forget and The Map of Wondering. She also created the literary platform Takween to help aspiring writers.

Language: Arabic

Creating Meaning in Your Writing

This event is no longer available

Become a Foundation Friend
and get 10% off
Writing for Children

Event 843 Friday 10 March, 5.30pm-7.30pm Al Rimal, InterContinental

Authors: Piers Torday
How do you top the children’s bestseller charts and get all the critics talking? An author who has done both is here to help.

If you are writing a book for children, or want to get started but need a little guidance, then this workshop is just what you need. Piers Torday, author of the Carnegie Medal-winning The Last Wild, is here to teach the art of writing great children’s books. From getting the language right to deciding how to handle serious issues, aspiring writers for children have many decisions to make when starting out – Torday’s practical advice will help you find some answers.

The tutor: Piers Torday is the author of The Last Wild and its sequels The Dark Wild (winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize) and The Wild Beyond. His latest book for children is There May Be a Castle, and he also completed his father Paul Torday’s final book for adults, The Death of an Owl.

Language: English

Writing for Children

This event is no longer available

Become a Foundation Friend
and get 10% off
A Killer Workshop: Crime and the First Paragraph

Event 816 Friday 10 March, 6pm-8pm Al Waha, InterContinental

Authors: Tom Callaghan
Tom Callaghan returns to the Festival to help aspiring crime writers get started on their own tales of bloodshed and depravity. And getting started is the key – an arresting first paragraph can make or break a crime novel!

Participants get a choice of starting sentences as a prompt, and then have 20 minutes to write an opening paragraph in their preferred style – then everyone reads out their paragraph and Callaghan provides feedback.

This is a highly interactive session and places are limited, so book early – and start thinking about how you would set the scene for the crime of the century.

The tutor: Tom Callaghan worked in advertising for 35 years. He wrote his Kyrgyzstan-set thrillers A Killing Winter and A Spring Betrayal after attending an Emirates LitFest workshop by Mark Billingham in which he discovered not only the perfect setting and perfect first line but also the drive to get it written and sold to top publisher Quercus.

Language: English

A Killer Workshop: Crime and the First Paragraph

This event is no longer available

Become a Foundation Friend
and get 10% off
Learn Arabic Through the Art of Drama

Event 846 Saturday 11 March, 10am-12pm Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

Do you want your children to learn Arabic in an unconventional way – through play, drama and fun? Then ArabRama’s workshop is exactly what you are looking for!

ArabRama believes in teaching a love of Arabic through drama activities in which children connect to the language by acting out a story, which helps them relate Arabic words to their feelings.

Children who are learning Arabic and those who want to get started are all welcome to attend this workshop.

The tutors: Samar Al Mashta is the founder of ArabRama. She believes that children of all nationalities can learn to love the Arabic language if given the chance to learn it in a fun way. She previously worked for Al Arabiya TV channel as a producer and reporter.

Abir Wakil is Arabrama’s organiser and supervisor of activities, with substantial experience in stage and TV training and event coordination.

Kamiran Kanjo is an actor and producer who has starred in ten TV series, five movies and several stage plays.

Language: Arabic, English

Age Group: 7-12

Learn Arabic Through the Art of Drama

This event is no longer available

Become a Foundation Friend
and get 10% off
Caribbean Playground

Event 848 Saturday 11 March, 10am-11.30am Al Waha, InterContinental

Authors: Nadia L Hohn
It’s Carnival time, and Malaika needs a costume so she can dance in the parade. Her mother moved abroad to find a good job, but the money she sent for the costume hasn’t arrived – so Malaika and her grandmother are going to have to get creative!

Explore Caribbean songs, rhymes, and games that Malaika would learn and play in her schoolyard. This is an interactive, lively and musical workshop featuring a reading of Malaika’s Costume, musical instruments, and storytelling!

The tutor: Nadia L Hohn is a teacher, artist, musician and author whose first picture book, Malaika’s Costume, won the Isobel Sissons Canadian Children’s Book Award 2014. She is currently working on a middle grade novel and a new picture book, Malaika’s Smile.

Language: English

Age Group: 5-8

Caribbean Playground

This event is no longer available

Become a Foundation Friend
and get 10% off
Page: Move Previous 1 2 3 4  Move Next