‘1001 Titles’ explores changing dynamics of creative content industry at the House of Wisdom

‘1001 Titles’ explores changing dynamics of creative content industry at the House of Wisdom

Matchmaking session held at the House of Wisdom hosts 22 writers, publishers, and illustrators

The ‘1001 Titles’ initiative organised a matchmaking session with 22 publishers, authors, illustrators and book industry professionals on April 26, 2021, to explore ways to drive the development of the creative content industry.

Held at the House of Wisdom, a futuristic social and cultural hub in Sharjah, this is part of a series of sessions the initiative plans to organise to mobilise efforts and provide bookmakers, including publishers and illustrators, an opportunity to share expertise and learn about the latest developments in this field. The event explored effective ways to support the book industry in the future and boost the production of quality content.

At the matchmaking session, participants shared their creative works and discussed different topics related to the book industry, including what goes into the author-illustrator-publisher relationship and the role of their collaborative efforts in creating high quality books. The session also highlighted the reality of the local and Arab publishing sectors, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the book industry while also discussing ways to encourage investment in this sector.

Commenting on the matchmaking session, Majd Al Shehhi, Manager of the ‘1001 Titles’ initiative, said: “Networking sessions that bring together a professional community of writers, illustrators and publishers on a common platform to meet, share expertise, and address concerns related to the industry, will go a long way towards improving the capabilities, skills and knowledge of all creative stakeholders in the book industry. Engaging in dialogue opens access to new and promising avenues that will boost the creative content industry, and help participants stay updated and informed on trends, global best practices, and international regulations.”

Al Shehhi pointed out that ‘1001 Titles’ – a cultural initiative which aims to enhance the UAE’s collective intellectual output, is keen on enhancing the capabilities and expertise of the region’s creative community of writers and artists to increase their global competitiveness and ensure the sustainability of the publishing industry in the country and beyond.

Following the matchmaking event, Emirati writer Fatima Al Alili said that such sessions provide writers with the opportunity to enrich their skills and experience in matters related to publishing and copyright issues. She emphasised that bringing writers, illustrators, and publishers together to share ideas and expertise provides valuable insights to promote the book industry.

“At the session, we addressed various issues related to the creative industry, including how the collaborative efforts of all parties can accelerate the production of books, raise awareness of society members and enrich their knowledge. We need such events that allow us to share our ideas and develop a plan for the future to take the local book industry to the next level,” she added.

Issa Al Nuaimi, an Emirati illustrator said: “My participation in the session helped me acquire in-depth knowledge about the national children’s picture books publishers, the nature of their activities and the production process.”

He added: “I am an illustrator of children’s books, and this is not an easy profession. When you place books in children’s hands to trigger their imagination, you need to be accurate and objective and devise proper ways to tackle certain subjects to arouse their curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. This requires great effort and belief in your work. Illustration is an art that must be appreciated, and it is the responsibility of upcoming generations to preserve it.”

Afra Mahmoud, Founding Partner of Ghaf Publications and Library said: “The matchmaking session helped publishers better understand the needs of writers and illustrators and learn more about their needs and expectations. As a new publishing house, this knowledge is vital for us as we explore new collaborations and partnerships to present quality content in the future.”

She added that the session benefitted publishers, authors, and illustrators, and was a great platform to exchange ideas to support the book industry.