ANNOUNCING THE ZEENAT HAROON RASHID WRITING PRIZE FOR WOMEN
A writing competition for women with a Rs1 lakh prize
[Pakistan, March 04 2019]IntroducingThe Zeenat Haroon Rashid Writing Prize for Womennamed in honour ofZeenat Haroon Rashid (21 Jan 1928 – 8 April 2017),a founding member of the Women’s National Guard at the time of Independence who became a symbol for women’s empowerment in Pakistan.
A prize of Rs. 100,000 (1 Lakh) will be awarded annually through a competition for writing in English on the subject of Women and Pakistan. This will be the first time a substantial cash prize will be awarded to an unpublished piece of writing.
The competition will be open to all women of Pakistani nationality or Pakistani heritage (with NIC or NICOP) aged 18 and above and entries will be original, previously unpublished works in the form of either Memoir, Polemic, Essay or Short Story of no more than 3000 words. The topic must be central to the theme of Women and Pakistan and the judges will look for a piece of writing with a strong, personal voice.
From amongst all entries, the best will be chosen for consideration by a panel of judges drawn from writers, editors and publishers. The panel will then draw up a short-list of 6 from which a winner will be chosen.
The 2019 panel of judges include AmeenaSayid, OBE, Sitara-e-Imtiaz,editor and publisher and founder of the Karachi,and IslamabadLiterature Festivals and Founder and Director of theAdab Festival Pakistan; Moni Mohsin, author and columnist whose writing has appeared in The FridayTimes, The Guardian and the Economist; Irfan Husain, author and columnist for Dawn; Sadia Quraeshi Shepard, internationally acclaimed filmmaker and author;Muneeza Shamsieauthor, literary journalist, and award-winning anthologist; and Shan Vahidy,a freelance editor working in London who is also the granddaughter of Zeenat Haroon Rashid.
The winning entry for The Zeenat Haroon Rashid Writing Prize for Womenwill be published online, and if appropriate, in a national magazine or newspaper. The writer will be honoured at an event at which the prize will be awarded.
The closing date for entries is 15th July 2019 and the winner will be announced later in December 2019.
Zeenat Haroon Rashid (21 Jan 1928 – 8 April 2017) was the daughter of Sir Abdullah Haroon and the daughter-in-law of Sir Abdur Rashid, the first Chief Justice of Pakistan. She was a young stalwart of the Muslim League and Women’s National Guard at the time of Independence and throughout her life promoted a vision of Pakistani Women as equal partners in the struggle for building a modern Pakistan in accordance with Qaid-e-Azam’s vision. About the Women’s National Guard she said “Jinnah wanted to show people that in Pakistan, women would do things. We were a symbol of progress.”
Zeenat became an icon for women’s empowerment in the nascent nation state of Pakistan, when Margaret Bourke-White, the legendary photographer for LIFE Magazine, snapped a photo of her in 1948 practising with the Women’s National Guard.
About the Prize
The ZEENAT HAROON RASHID WRITING PRIZE FOR WOMEN has been set up to honour the memory of Zeenat by her daughter Syra Vahidy who is the principal donor. The prize will be awarded annually in the hope that it works to promote and provide support for women who wish to pursue writing as a career.
Panel of Judges 2019
AMEENA SAIYID OBEOrdre des Arts et des LettresSitara-e-Imtiaz
Editor and Publisher
AmeenaSaiyid recently retired after 30 years as managing director of Oxford University Press (OUP) in Pakistan. In 2005, she became the first Pakistani woman to be awarded the Order of the British Empire for her services to democracy, women’s rights, education, intellectual property rights and Anglo-Pakistan relations. In February 2013, she was conferred the prestigious French award of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters for her work in promoting literary culture and in 2018 she was awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz by the President of Pakistan for contribution to education and courage in publishing. She is also the founder of the Karachi and Islamabad Literature Festivals and the Founder and Director of Adab Festival Pakistan.
Author and columnist
Born and raised in Lahore, Moni Mohsin is an author and freelance journalist now based in London. Her novels include the prizewinning The End of Innocence and Tender Hooks. Her best-selling collection of satirical columns The Diary of a Social Butterfly and Return of the Butterfly are based on her long-running column for The Friday Times. Her writing has also appeared in The Times, The Guardian and the Economist among other publications
Author and Columnist
Irfan Husain is a freelance columnist and author of Fatal Faultlines: Pakistan, Islam and the West. He has been writing for Dawn for over 25 years, and has contributed to many other publications, including The Economist, the Times of India and the Cairo Times
SADIA QURAESHI SHEPARD
Author and Filmmaker
Sadia Quraeshi Shepard is a writer and documentary filmmaker. The author of The Girl from Foreign: A Memoir (The Penguin Press), Shepard’s writing has appeared in Guernica, The Washington Post, Vogue India and The New York Times, among other publications. Her credits as a producer include The September Issue, (A&E Films), The Education of Mohammad Hussein (HBO) and The Other Half of Tomorrow (Margaret Mead Film Festival, Opening Night Selection). She teaches at Wesleyan University and lives with her family in New York City
Writer and Editor
Muneeza Shamsie is a literary journalist, award-winning anthologist and author of a literary history, Hybrid Tapestries: The Development of Pakistani Literature in English. She is Bibliographic Representative (Pakistan) for The Journal of Commonwealth Literature and serves on the Editorial Board of The Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies as well as the Advisory Boards of The Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Bengal Lights and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. She was also Regional Chairperson (Eurasia) of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, 2010, 2011. She writes regularly for Dawn, Newsline and Newsweek Pakistan.
Editor and Granddaughter