2023 PANEL OF JUDGES
Novelist and Playwright
Aamina Ahmad is a novelist and playwright born and raised in London. Her debut novel, The Return of Faraz Ali, won the Writers' Guild of Great Britain's First Novel Prize, was a finalist for the LA Times Art Siedenbaum First Fiction Award, and named a notable book by the The New York Times and NPR. She is also the author of a play, The Dishonored. Ahmad worked for many years as a script editor for BBC Drama, ITV, and BBC World Service. She currently teaches Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota.
Shandana Minhas is the author of the novels Tunnel Vision, Survival Tips for Lunatics, Rafina, and Daddy’s Boy. Her fiction has been adapted for theatre and cinema, and translated into Italian and Estonian. She has also written for stage, screen, and opinion pages, taught Creative Writing, and run a small press.
Novelist and Columnist
Mohammed Hanif's first novel, A Case of Exploding Mangoes, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Novel. His second novel, Our Lady of Alice Bhatti, was shortlisted for the 2012 Wellcome Prize. His latest novel Red Birds, "a savagely surreal satire on US foreign policy" (The Guardian) was published to universal acclaim in 2018. He has written the libretto for a new opera Bhutto. He writes regularly for the New York Times, The Guardian, BBC Urdu, and BBC Punjabi.
Sarwat Yasmeen Azeem
Editor and Journalist
Sarwat is the Karachi-based Literary Editor of the Books and Authors section of Eos Magazine, DAWN newspaper. Having studied English Literature and Journalism at the University of Staffordshire, UK, she’s been a journalist, magazine editor, advertising copywriter, consultant editor for The British Council and has edited books for the Oxford University Press. Her short story The Wedding appeared in the first volume of the Life's Too Short Literary Review: New Writing from Pakistan.
Editor and Granddaughter
Shan Vahidy, some-time escapee from Penguin Books, is a freelance editor based in London. Much to her own surprise, she has accidentally specialised in heavy-weight non-fiction, although she also enjoys working on novels. Authors goaded in a professional capacity include Carla Power, Paul Mason, Moni Mohsin, Ian Morris and Victoria Finlay. She is the granddaughter of Zeenat Haroon Rashid and a permanent co-ordinating judge on the panel.