29 stories and essays
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.
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”.
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
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
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.
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
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 ...