Ahead of Lamees’ visit to the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, we caught up with her to find out more about her writing, her trip and what she hopes to share with the audience on 22nd April 2017, in the UAE.
Lamees, how did you hear about the Young Muslim Writers Awards?
I heard about YMWA through my school. They encouraged us to take part and I thought, “Well, why not?” I didn’t expect to win and thought it would be an enjoyable way to spend my time. As I wrote the story I had a few reservations so I asked my family and friends to have a read – they thought it was quite good. This motivated me and so when I finished writing it, I submitted it. Turns out it was a good decision!
How did you feel when you were invited to take part in the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival?
Being invited to SCRF was both wonderful and unexpected. Winning the competition was an amazing experience in and of itself and it motivated me to keep writing. But when I got the email about going to the festival I was elated. I practically ran around my room screaming with excitement. The Young Muslim Writers Awards nominated me to SCRF, so the competition has opened so many doors for me. I now enter other writing competitions because I have more confidence and courage to make a name for myself.
How are you feeling before the Festival? What are your thoughts?
Before the YMWA ceremony, I was in a bit of shock – I just could not believe what was happening. When I went to London for the awards ceremony I just thought about how the experience would help me and how it could inspire other people around me to also achieve their dreams. When I found out about the Festival I just thought, this is a gift that keeps on giving! I really want this trip to be as beneficial as possible but most of all I just want to have fun.
What do you hope to talk to the audience about?
When I talk to the audience at the festival I really want to inspire them and just tell them about how many possibilities are out there for them. I want to show that no matter how young you are or whatever obstacles are in your way you can still strive to achieve your dreams. Just saying “I’ll do it later” will never help. I also want to talk about my story and the inspiration behind it.
What advice would you have for other young people who are interested in writing?
Well, if I had one piece of advice to give fellow young writers it would be, you can’t please everyone so stop trying to. Although it may sound like a cliché, do what you love and what you imagine and trust me someone else will like it too. Nothing can stop you if you really want to do something. Have fun and enjoy every part. Even if your ideas get rejected, just keep at it and one day you will see the results of all your hard work.
Have you been to the UAE before?
I have not been the UAE before and I think that plays a role in why I am so excited. I love travelling and learning about different cultures. Plus, travelling also helps the flow of writing as it gives you fresh new ideas.
Who will you be travelling with?
I am happy to say that I will be traveling with my farther. But I wish I could take my whole family so they could experience this once in a life time opportunity with me!