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Call for
Nonfiction Submissions
2024

This year the Call for Submissions is for NONFICTION writing. Narrative, polemical, historical essays, memoirs and biographies are invited. The theme or genre is at the author's discretion as long as the location and canvas is recognisably Pakistan and the focus is on the country's culture and society.  Entries should be prose writing in English of no more than 3000 words in length. Please note that poetry or fiction will not be accepted.

This year’s panel features guest judges prominent in the worlds of journalism, academia and non-fiction writing. You can view more details about them by clicking here

AVAILABLE NOW

from Reverie Publishers online and from all good Pakistan bookstores

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ANNOUNCING THE WINNER FOR 2023

We are delighted to announce that the winning submission for this year's Zeenat Haroon Rashid Writing Prize for Women  (FICTION) is RABBITS by Sana Mohsin which uses a compelling central image to explore the power dynamics within a household. 

The judges agreed that this surreal and sharp narrative raises a mundane and everyday subject to a disturbing, bizarre yet oddly satisfying level, building with an incredible sense of momentum to "an absolutely haunting finale".

Sana Mohsin is a writer and researcher based in Lahore. Having recently completed studies in English Literature at universities in Canada, her writing has appeared in various Canadian literary publications and her debut poetry collection, Grief Grows Elsewhere, was published in 2022.

Sana will receive a cash award of Rs 100,000 and the story will soon be published on this website.

READ IT HERE

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2023 HIGHLY COMMENDED AUTHORS 

In an extremely competitive year, the excellence of the submissions completely divided our judging panel with each judge championing a different story in the shortlist. Congratulations and honourable mention to all named below.

A POT OF DAAL by Maria Khan. An evocative account of mother-daughter relationships told through a recipe for daal.

KHAZINA by Amna Chaudhry. A husband’s second marriage creates heartbreak but also new opportunities for an abandoned wife.

MALIK AND KHADIJA WAIT by Saher Hasnain. A poignant yet quietly humorous story about grief and loss and getting on with the everyday business of survival.

MOTHER IN THE JAMUN TREE by Samia Altaf. Seeking escape from the existential miseries of life, one woman finds a novel solution.

• THE LONG WAY ROUND by Ayesha Malik. An original piece using magical realism and humour to examine an unexpected manifestation of “fiends of the mind”.

 

READ HERE

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LONGLISTED AUTHORS REVEALED!

Congratulations to all longlisted authors for 2023 whose names we can now reveal. The judges commended a great many of the longlisted submissions which did not make our final shortlist so our contestants should be very proud of having been longlisted in an extremely competitive year.

Some of the longlisted submissions will be published on our website later in the year

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CALL FOR FICTION SUBMISSIONS 2023

Now in its fifth year, The Zeenat Haroon Rashid Writing Prize for Women continues to feature literary luminaries on its judging panel. With the call for submissions being for short fiction in 2023, the panel includes prominent Pakistani literary figures.

  • Mohammed Hanif, novelist. A Case of Exploding Mangoes, Our Lady of Alice Bhatti, and Red Birds

  • Aamina Ahmad, novelist and playwright. The Return of Faraz Ali, The Dishonored (play)  

  • Shandana Minhas, novelist. Tunnel Vision, Survival Tips for Lunatics, Rafina, and Daddy’s Boy.

  • Sarwat Yasmeen Azeem, Literary Editor, Books and Authors section of Eos Magazine, DAWN newspaper. 

  • Shan Vahidy, freelance editor, and permanent co-ordinating judge on the panel                                                                  VIEW DETAILS

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ANNOUNCING THE WINNER FOR 2022

We are delighted to announce that the Award for 2022 goes to writer Saira Mahmood for her essay A Pakistani Woman Comes of Age. Saira will receive a cash award of Rs.100,000.

 

The judges agreed that this compelling memoir, which articulates a girl’s journey to womanhood through the coming of age of social media in Pakistan, was original thinking at its best: bursting with freshness and ambition.

 

The winning author, Saira Mahmood, is a graduate student at the Department of English at the University of Karachi where her current research and writing interests include gender, media, and Muslim womanhood. She was previously a Staff Writer at online magazine, The Tempest. 

READ HERE

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SHORTLISTED AUTHORS  REVEALED!

  • A SEAT AT BIBI’S DINING TABLE by Laila Ghaffar. An evocative and heartwarming account of familial relationships across three generations.                           

  • EMPIRE OF ILLUSION by Aisha Chapra. Themes of postpartum depression and the climate crisis are skillfully woven together in a frantic search for meaning in a collapsing world.

  • FRIDGE MAGNETS by Sundus Saleemi. A subtle and complex essay with elegant meditations on home as a repository for both memory and hope

  •  OF BRAS AND BREASTS by Areej Akhtar. Ideas about womanliness, or the lack of it, are examined in this triptych of portraits of women betrayed by their own bodies.

  • THE SILENCE OF THE DEMENTED by Michelle Nadeem.  An original piece speculating on the silence of women (and the self-silencing of dementia) as a trauma response. READ HERE

Sparklers

FEATURED WRITING FROM PREVIOUS YEARS IS NOW AVAILABLE TO READ IN OUR ARCHIVE

Selected writing from previous years of our the Prize is available to read.

2019

 

2020

2021

 

2022

 

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2019 AWARD CEREMONY

See photos and videos of our with novelist Kamila Shamsie making the presentation to the Winner Maham Javaid and recipient of our  Special Citation,Sadia Khatri.

Karachi literati in attendance ...

 

AWARD CEREMONY

Newspapers

2019 PRESS 

Read the excellent press coverage the competition has received since its inception

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