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PESHAWAR: Members of the Young Women Writers’ Forum Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, an initiative supported by the Pakistan Women Writers’ Forum, on Friday reiterated their commitment to encouraging young creative women to express themselves through various art forms.

“I hail from tribal areas. It was difficult to even let my family convince me to become the forum member but now we have some 1400 registered online members,” said YWWF KP provincial president Marina Mehsud, a young novelist, at the ‘Talent Hunt’ function here at the Pakhtun Cultural Museum of the University of Peshawar.

The event was organised by the YWWF.

Marina said her organisation held literary sessions and creative writing competitions and connected young writers with mentors so that their work could be reviewed and corrected online.

She said the event also marked the first anniversary of the forum, which was committed to encouraging young writers, poets, novelists and creative minds to come forward and express their feelings and views through literary work.

“Pen is mightier than sword,” she said while quoting child education campaigner and Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai, her ideal.

Marina said she believed that Malala had set an example for all young girls to get educated and express their thoughts.

The young girls, who participated in different creative writing competitions, were given away awards and certificates by the chief guest and University of Peshawar Vice Chancellor Professor Rasul Jan.

The chief guest praised the forum for providing a platform to young writers to express their thoughts.

Educationist, trainer and founding member of the PWWF Salma Masood said it was the time that young writers are guided and provided with an opportunity to show their talents.

She said youths had new ideas and that they could do wonders if support and confidence was given to them.

PWWF lifetime vice president and poetess Salma Qasir said though women had a forum for 15 years or so, a forum for young women writers was set up two years ago to encourage young creative minds to speak up.

She said things had changed as women, who earlier had no resources to publish or share their work, could use the forum for the purpose.

Salma said the PWWF had so far published 14 books of women writers and that it met every month to provide them with the opportunity to listen to noted poets and authors.

She said the organisation had done all that on self-help basis without having any office or funding.

PWWF senior member and writer Dr Shahida Sardar said times changed and that was reflected in writings.

“It is time that young writers come forward. They can bring fresh ideas and we will support them,” she said.

Dr Shahida said still, there were writers, who didn’t use their real name, while some stopped writing after getting married. “We want to encourage anyone who has for the talent,” she said. Young poetess from Islamia College University Neelum Afridi recited her poem.

Sixteen YWWF office-bearers also got certificates for participating in writing competitions.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2015

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