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Muslim Writers

The Muslim Writers Awards continued into 2009. Building on the work of Birmingham Libraries where the Muslim Writers Awards was launched in 2007, this year's Awards were held on 17 June 2009 in London.
Further details can be found at: www.muslimwritersawards.co.uk

The 2008 Awards Ceremony was held at the ICC on 29 March with a great line up of guests and speakers including Jermaine Jackson, Randa Abdel Fattah (author of Does My Head Look Big in This?), who flew to Birmingham from Australia specially for the ceremony, James Caan (Dragon's Den), and Sarah Joseph.

The evening included entertainment from local performance poet Double, and music from Khaliq and Aa'shiq Al Rasul.

Birmingham Libraries were pleased to be working in partnership with Innovate Arts to host the city's second annual Muslim Writers Awards.

Winners and Judges

Non Fiction: Shelina Zahra Janmohamed from London.
Judges: Sunny Hundal (editor of Asians in the Media)
Riazat Butt (journalist, The Guardian), Waseem Mahmood (Author & Media Consultant)

Short Story: Kashif Choudry from Solihull, West Midlands Judges: Emma Hargrave (Managing Editor, Tindal St Press) Sara Davies (Commissioning Editor, Radio 4)

Novel Award: Fatima Martin from Woking, Surrey. Judges: Nicola Monaghan (Writing Fellow, National Academy of Writing), Nigel Baines, (Headline Books)
Keshini Naidoo (Harper Collins)

Poetry Award: Shameam Akhtar from Bradford. Judges: Rowan Cope (Little Brown)Raficq Abdulla (Trustee, Poetry Society) Neil Astley (ed, Bloodaxe Books).

Under 16s: Humaira Rashid from Dewsbury, W. Yorkshire. Judges: Cathy Perry (Writers Without Borders)

Best Children's Story: Aliya Vaughan from London Judges: Randa Abdel Fattah (author/lawyer), Clare Lovell (Young Transmissions, Birmingham REP) Jonathan Telfer (Editor, Young Writer magazine)

Best Published Writer: Moazzem Beg from Birmingham. Judges: Erica Jarnes, (Bloomsbury) Lauren Ace (Little Tiger Press)

Writer of the Year: Aliya Vaughan from London

The Muslim Writers Project originated in April 2006 when we received funding from Europe to work with writers from this particular community group. The Awards were then conceived to showcase and highlight new literary talent from the Muslim community in Birmingham. What the Awards hope to achieve is get more writers from a black and minority ethnic background published by mainstream publishers.

The inaugural Awards ceremony was held on 28 March 2007 at the ICC in Birmingham and due to the overwhelming success of the awards and submissions we had, we decided to take the awards national. The idea of the project is to assist and nurture emerging writers and get them published. We are looking at the writers creative talent - not their religious beliefs. The Awards were televised and went out to 150+ countries and we hope to reach as many new writers (and readers!) as possible.

The categories for the 2008 Awards were:

  • Non Fiction
  • Short Story
  • Novel Award
  • Poetry Award
  • Under 16s
  • Best Children's Story
  • Best New Writer of the Year
  • Best Published Writer (to be nominated by publishers)

Publishers were invited to nominate books for the Best Published Writer and readers were asked to choose their favourite published (Muslim) writer.

What the project can do for you
The project will offer writers the following support:

  • editing support
  • creative writing courses
  • master classes
  • networking with other writers
  • publishing support
  • access to the Publishing Birmingham website (on which writers can upload their material)
  • access to local, national and international publishers
  • access to Writers' Centre
For more information about the project, please contact Nikki Bi, nikki.bi@birmingham.gov.uk

Please note We are not responsible for the content of other organisations' websites.