Writing contest for emerging women writers announced

Cultural Correspondent | Published at 09:29pm on September 29, 2020

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A poster of ‘My City, My Home’.

A digital writing competition for emerging women writers aged 16-plus from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Birmingham, UK was announced on Tuesday at an online press conference held using Zoom App.

Women can submit poems, short-stories or prose, said speakers at the press conference for the event titled ‘My City, My Home’.

UK based Arts organisation, Sampad, in association with Nritya Nandan and three other partners from Bangladesh, has arranged the digital writing competition for 16-plus girls and women, as a part of the project ‘Transforming Narratives’ by British Council and Arts Council UK, said a press release.

Director of Sampad Piali Ray, Sampad media coordinator Lisa Dwyer, dancer and choreographer Sharmila Banerjee, actress and cultural activist Jyoti Sinha and writer Shazia Omar spoke at the event.

The programme was anchored by acclaimed dancer and cultural activist Lubna Marium.

‘We are very delighted to have associates like Lubna Marium, Sharmila Banerjee and others. A maximum of two pieces of work can be entered and will be accepted in Bangla, English and Urdu languages. Women from the mentioned languages can put their thoughts and imagination down on paper,’ said Piali Ray.

‘The identity and role of women is as diverse across cities and countries as is 21st century societies. Cities are a melting pot of cosmopolitan cultures. Yet, there is a distinctiveness and roots that connect to the past. By launching “MY CITY, MY HOME” in what is Sampad’s 30th anniversary year, we want to give women and girls a chance to tell their stories. We need to hear it from them,’ Piali added. 

‘It is a very exciting moment for us. I want to thank Sampad for involving us.  It is indeed good news for us that they will engage women in writing. And it will be a new learning experience for the country’s women. We have been trying to involve women and girls including school, college and university students,’ said dancer and choreographer Sharmila Banerjee.

An online writing workshop will be held on October 8, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm which will be conducted by eminent novelist Selina Hossain through Zoom App.

All entrants must submit up to 1000 words. They must be residents or demonstrate a clear connection with locations in Bangladesh, Pakistan, or Birmingham, UK.

Closing date for entries is December, 30 2020, and winners will be informed between February 22 and 26, 2021.

Publication of entries and further selected pieces will be launched in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Birmingham, UK in the summer of 2021.