MEPRA Youth Board Creative Writing Competition

MEPRA Youth Board Creative Writing Competition

In partnership with Harper’s Bazaar Arabia & supported by Emirates Literature Foundation

Tell us a story inspired by culture and community expressed creatively for your chance to be published in Harper’s Bazaar Arabia! 

This competition aims to encourage and expand innovative and creative thinking among young storytellers in the Middle East, offering the opportunity to express unique thoughts through creative writing.

Entries close 25th November 2021.

Download the entry kit and learn more about the judges here.

For any questions or to submit your entry, email

The Brief

  • There are very few rules and guidelines, we want to encourage creative adventure and freedom to express your thoughts. Your entry should be in a short story format, written in English or Arabic. It can be fiction or non-fiction, it might be rooted in history, love, humour, romance, crime or food. It’s entirely up to you! We only ask that your short story is inspired by two words: Culture & Community.
  • The maximum word count is 750 words and your piece can be submitted in English or Arabic, and/or both for the same entry. All guidelines are set out on the next page. Submissions will be accepted from 3rd October – 25th November.
  • Please submit only your own unique work that has not been published anywhere else. Multiple entries are accepted, and writers from across the Middle East are welcome to participate.
  • The winning stories will be published in the January edition of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia print magazine and Harper’s Bazaar Arabia online.
  • Entries will be evaluated by Harper’s Bazar Arabia’s editorial team, the MEPRA Youth Board, Emirates Literature Foundation and published authors Jessica Jarlvi and Eman Al Yousuf. The judges will be looking for stimulating original work that is thought provoking and enjoyable to read.

Entry Guidelines

  • Entries open w/c 3rd October 2021, all entries to be submitted to
  • The competition brief: tell us a story inspired by three words: Culture & Community
  • Language – English or Arabic
  • Word count: maximum 750
  • Your competition entry must be original and previously unpublished (commercial or self published), and you must have full authorial rights over the submission
  • Closing date for entries: midnight 25th November 2021
  • The results will be announced on 22nd December, 2021. The winner’s entries will be published in the January edition of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia. The judges’ decision is final
  • Entries must be submitted by email to  Please submit your entry as a Word document, without illustration or images of any kind.
  • Submit a one-page cover letter which includes your name and the title of the entry, a short personal biography (maximum 50 words) and a short summary of your entry and how it relates to ‘Culture and Community’ (maximum 150 words)
  • The cost per entry is FREE
  • By submitting an entry, you agree to allow MEPRA, Emirates Literature Foundation and our competition partners to publish, link to, and promote your story. The copyright remains yours.

The Jury

  • Eman Al Yousuf, Author
  • Jessica Jarlvi, Author
  • Jessica Michault, Deputy Editor at Harper’s Bazaar Arabia
  • Olivia Phillips, Editor in Chief, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia

Supporting Partners