LITBUZZ

Published November 12, 2023

Winner of 2023 Zeenat Haroon Rashid Writing Prize for Women

Now in its fifth year, the Zeenat Haroon Rashid (ZHR) Writing Prize for Women 2023 has been awarded to writer Sana Mohsin for her short story ‘Rabbits’.

The competition’s judging panel agreed that ‘Rabbits’ “was a sharp, surrealist story which used a powerful central image to articulate the power dynamics within a household, making the mundane into something much more menacing and unexpected.”

The winning author Sana Mohsin is a writer and researcher based in Lahore. Having recently completed studies in English Literature at universities in Canada, her writing has appeared in various Canadian literary publications and her debut poetry collection, Grief Grows Elsewhere, was published in 2022.

Established in 2019, the ZHR Prize is open to women of Pakistani origin aged 18 and above and alternates between fiction and non-fiction each year. Last year’s winner was Saira Mahmood for her non-fiction essay titled ‘A Pakistani Woman Comes of Age’.

Winners of the competition receive a cash prize of Rs100,000 and their essay or short story is featured in Eos magazine. This year’s winning entry is being carried exclusively in this issue.

The panel of judges for 2023 included award-winning and award-nominated novelists Mohammed Hanif, Shandana Minhas and Aamina Ahmed, the former Books & Authors in-charge at Dawn Sarwat Yasmeen Azeem, and freelance editor Shan Vahidy.

In a very competitive year, the judges also highly commended five other shortlisted stories for their literary merit. These include: ‘A Pot of Daal’ by Maria Khan; ‘Khazina’ by Amna Chaudhry; ‘Malik and Khadija Wait’ by Saher Hasnain; ‘Mother in the Jamun Tree’ by Samia Altaf; and ‘The Long Way Round’ by Ayesha Malik.

All shortlisted submissions will be published on the official prize website: www.zhrwritingprize.com

Throughout the coming months, some of the longlisted entries will also be published on the website.

Published in Dawn, Books & Authors, November 12th, 2023

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