Montegrappa Letter Writing Competition
Have you ever received a letter where the dotted ‘i’s make your stomach flutter? Perhaps the confident swagger of your tall ‘t’ made someone sit up and take note?
That is the power of a handwritten letter. But in the age of text messages, emails and social media, we are in danger of losing this art.
The new Montegrappa Letter Writing Competition is here to bring some of that forgotten magic back into our world.
It is your chance to show off your letter writing skills and win a fabulous prize.
The key to a good letter is not only in the words and tone you use, but also in the penmanship, the choice of paper, and most of all, the feeling it evokes in its recipient.
The Montegrappa Letter Writing Competition celebrates both the aesthetic of handwriting and well crafted messages.
The competition is divided into three age categories:
• Primary: Ages 9 – 13
• Secondary: Ages 14 – 18
• Adult: Ages 18+
For details about how to enter the Adult category of the competition, continue down below.
To take part in the Primary and Secondary Category of the competition, please click here.
How to Enter
• In line with the theme of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2021 ‘Change the Story’, on a single side of an A4 sheet of paper, write your letter to an author telling them how you would change a story in one of their books or to a character from a book that has changed your story, with your best handwriting.
• The word limit is 200.
• Entries should be handwritten using a fountain pen or any other type of ink pen, such as a rollerball or ball point pen. No other mediums allowed.
• Complete all sections of the online entry, attaching your scanned handwritten letter as a PDF.
• Entries can be in Arabic or English.
• You should submit under the appropriate age category (Adult: 18+), which relates to your age on 3 January 2021.
• Participants must be residents of the UAE.
• The deadline to submit your letter is 3 January 2021.
You can find some tips on writing a powerful letter here.
A handwritten letter is a lot more personal than its digital counterpart. Handwriting, the choice of pen and ink create a unique visual combination.
Top tips for writing a winning letter
1. Think about what pen to use. We love fountain pens, but you can use any ink pen that suits you.
2. Consider your choice of ink and paper. We recommend keeping it simple by using blue or black ink on white paper, but beautiful ink comes in many colours and can create a strong and distinctive tone.
3. Handwritten letters usually look best on plain white paper, but some people may find it easier to write on lined paper.
4. The word limit for the competition is 200 words. Don’t feel like you have to use them all up or fill every blank space on the page. Remember that sometimes less is more.
5. Write carefully in your best handwriting.
6. Using traditional, italic and calligraphic style can give a nice look, but make sure the writing is easily legible. If the script is too elaborate, it can be difficult for the judges to read.
7. Feel free to be creative with your handwriting. If you would like to put in a small illustration, thought bubble, or arrow pointing to another piece of text, you can. But remember: this is a letter writing competition, not an art, calligraphy or drawing competition!
1. Think carefully about what you want to convey. Be brief and to the point.
2. Creativity and originality in the content of the letter are important. Make it memorable or surprising.
3. Make sure your grammar, spelling and punctuation are on point.
4. Using emotive and descriptive vocabulary will help your entry stand out.
Special tips for each category:
Primary & Secondary
Think about the character to whom you want to address the letter. What makes your letter to them original? It doesn’t have to be a character you admire, maybe you have something to say to a character you don’t like. We’ll leave this up to you!
Get creative with the theme of this year’s competition, ‘Change the Story’. Is there an author you would like to write to and suggest they change a story in their book? Or a character from a book you admire who has changed your story? Have fun with it!
Winners will be informed of their success via email in February 2021, and will be publicly announced and awarded at the prize-giving ceremony held in March 2021.
The winners of the primary and secondary categories each receive:
• A Montegrappa fountain pen from the ‘Ambiente’ collection made in collaboration with artisanal studio Smile Plastics and Arbos Italy using materials recycled from the Oceans
The winner of the adult category receives:
• The chance to create their own pen from the Zero collection with the Montegrappa online configurator
Terms and Conditions
• Entrants must be residents of the UAE.
• Entrants must keep the original copy of the handwritten letter that they have submitted.
• Copyright of material submitted remains with Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and Montegrappa.
• Do not submit work as your own when part of or all of it has been done by someone else; this includes material found online. It must be entirely your own work, and any letters found to contain non-original content will be excluded.
• The winning entrants agree to the Emirates Literature Foundation’s, Emirates Airline Festival of Literature’s and Montegrappa’s use of their name and photograph in relation to related publicity material and activities. Schools and students should be aware that they might need to obtain parental consent for this.
• No part of the prize is exchangeable for cash or any other prize.
• The prize will not be transferable to another person.
• Participation in the competition is not open to employees (or members of their immediate families) of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Montegrappa.
• Letters should fit on one side of an A4 sheet of paper and be no more than 200 words. Entries exceeding the word limit will be disqualified.
• Entries must be received on or before the closing date of 3 January 2021 for the Adult category.
• Judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into with regard to these decisions.
• In accordance with normal conventions for writing competitions internationally, entries which do not adhere to the said terms and conditions will not be considered.
Please check that you have followed all the terms and conditions before submitting your letter.
All participants will automatically receive a Certificate of Participation upon completing the entry form and submitting their letters.
Only the winners will be notified in advance by email, by mid-February 2021.
The Award Ceremony will take place in March 2021 during the Month of Reading.
Enter the competition
The competition is now closed.