Launched in 2019, the Zeenat Haroon Rashid (ZHR) Writing Prize for Women is now receiving non-fiction submissions — memoir, biography, narrative or polemical essay — for 2020. The contest is open to women aged 18 and above, of Pakistani nationality or Pakistani heritage, on the theme of women and Pakistan. The deadline for entries is June 30. The winner will receive a cash prize of Rs 100,000.

The annual prize was established in the memory of Zeenat Haroon Rashid, a founding member of the Women’s National Guard and Muslim League activist during the Freedom Movement.

In 2019, the contest invited both fiction and non-fiction writing; the winner was Maham Javaid for her short story ‘The Tallest Woman’, while Saadia Khatri received a special citation for the memoir ‘Fear and the City’. Both were featured in Eos, whereas other entries can be read on the official website.

From this year on, the prize will alternate between fiction and non-fiction. The writing may be as immediately topical or as eternally timeless, but with a strong personal voice.

Judges for 2020 are Maleeha Lodhi, Alice Albinia, Ahmed Rashid, Homa Khaleeli and Shan Vahidy.

Entry details and competition rules are accessible on www.zhrwritingprize.com.

Published in Dawn, Books & Authors, April 19th, 2020

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