We have been staggered and heartened by the response to our call for submissions. We have received over 350 entries from every corner of Pakistan and some of that writing has been of a truly outstanding calibre. We are profoundly grateful that so many talented authors have trusted us to champion their work.

Such was the quality of writing on display that we struggled to limit our longlist to the necessary 24 pieces, and were forced to make some very difficult choices. We would like to commend all those who had the bravery and dedication to enter their work, and encourage them to continue with their writing.

Congratulations to the authors who have been longlisted. Your work has in so many cases demonstrated exactly what we have been looking for: an original voice. Your submissions will now be considered by our judges, a panel of well-regarded authors, journalists and editors. Because our judging process is “blind”, we are currently only announcing the titles of the long-listed submissions and not the names of the authors, which will be revealed once the shortlist is announced on October 15th 2020. Longlisted submissions will be published on our website in early 2021.

Once again, our thanks to all who entered this year’s competition. Zeenat Haroon Rashid would be delighted by the fact there are so many Pakistani women who know that their stories are worth telling.

  • A Desk of One’s Own

  • A Grief of One’s Own

  • A Letter to My Dupatta

  • Arrested Development

  • Bad House

  • Be(Longing)

  • Fathers, Be Good to Your Daughters

  • Hairy

  • How She Lived for Us

  • Inheritance

  • Last Conversations: What We Talk About When We Talk About Death

  • Love Unspoken, Love Unheard

  • Moti, Saand

  • My Own Worst Enemy

  • On Swimming

  • Porridge

  • Portrait of a Woman in Pain

  • Quarantine

  • Teaching My Mother How to Pronounce Suicide

  • The Art of Precious Scars

  • The Gift of Life

  • The History, Art and Science of Being a Pakistani Woman

  • Threads

  • To Taste Mundanity in Movement