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  • Maham Javaid is a writer and journalist from Karachi. Her work has appeared in The News on SundayHerald and Al Jazeera English.  She is currently the

    2019-2020 Finberg Fellow at Human Rights Watch in New York City. 

    THE TALLEST WOMAN

    A short story by

    Maham Javaid

    WINNER

    Maham Javaid’s  intriguing story about a girl who just keeps growing taller and taller, was chosen from nearly 500 entries received by the Competition in its inaugural year. The judges agreed that this winning story, with its unexpected tinge of the surreal has real verve and wit. It is a way of pointing up a victim-blaming culture without having a 'poor me' victim; the absurdity of a woman simultaneously so powerful and powerless. And amidst the surreal and imaginative detail, there is some real authenticity around the main character's shifting relationship with her mother. This is a powerful new voice, and a way of writing about inequality and injustice that is rare in its hilarity.

  • Sadia Khatri is a writer and journalist based in Karachi. Her writing has appeared in DawnThe Kathmandu Post, and Papercuts Magazine. She  is currently working on her first book on the life and work of the poet Agha Shahid Ali. She is also one of the founders of the feminist collective Girls at Dhabas

    FEAR AND THE CITY

    A memoir by

    Sadia Khatri

     

    SPECIAL CITATION

    Sadia Khatri’s memoir received a Special Citation from our Panel of Judges for its compelling honesty. Locating personal experience within the larger objective of interrogating the role of women in public spaces in Pakistan, Fear and the City asks us to consider how our relationships with cities can change over time and how our individual actions and daily habits can act as moments of quiet revolution. A 21st century flaneuse, Sadia Khatri bravely navigates and documents her evolving relationship with Karachi and shows us firsthand how women can renegotiate paths that are too often prescribed.

  • Aisha Hamid is a feminist writer, poet and activist from Lahore. She recently completed a Masters degree at the University of Warwick on a Commonwealth scholarship. She is as yet unpublished.

    HOW (NOT) TO LEAVE

    A short story by

    AISHA HAMID

    HIGHLY COMMENDED

    poignant story about the devastating effects on a family of a failing, abusive and dysfunctional marriage

  • Yusra Amjad is a writer, poet, and comedienne from Lahore. She is also the founder of the Lahore chapter of the Auratnaak standup comedy troupe. She has been published by Mongrel Books, The Missing Slate and L'ephemere Review among others.

    I ADMIT IT IMRAN KHAN, I'M JUST JEALOUS

    memoir by

    Yusra Amjad

    HIGHLY COMMENDED

    A heartfelt memoir of a woman’s final conversation with her father about deeply contentious political and moral issues, at once cynical and tender.

  • Dur e Aziz Amna is a writer based between Rawalpindi and Michigan, USA. Her writing has won an award from the Financial Times and has appeared in Dawn, The News, Longreads, and Roads & Kingdoms, among others. She is currently working on her first novel.

    ORDINARY

    A short story by

    Dur e Aziz Amna

    HIGHLY COMMENDED

    Ordinary subverts gender roles while drawing a richly detailed portrait of the everyday lives of women ... and men.

  • Samia Altaf is a public health physician from Lahore and  the author of So Much Aid So Little Development: Stories from Pakistan published by the Johns Hopkins University Press in 2011. 

    PIOUS WOMAN'S REWARD

    A short story by

    Samia Altaf

    HIGHLY COMMENDED

    Featuring a closely observed description of a funeral, the writing deftly walks the tightrope between tragedy and comedy, somersaulting into hilarity when the unexpected happens.