The Zeenat Haroon Rashid Writing Prize for Women is pleased and proud to announce that the Award for 2022 goes to writer Saira Mahmood for her essay A Pakistani Woman Comes of Age. Saira will receive a cash award of Rs.100,000. This year the prize was awarded for non-fiction and was chosen by a judging panel that included Pulitzer prize nominated author Carla Power, author and Guardian correspondent Arifa Akbar, Pulitzer prize nominated WSJ correspondent Saeed Shah, literary editor at TNS Wajiha Hyder, and freelance editor Shan Vahidy. The judges agreed that this compelling memoir, which articulates a girl’s journey to womanhood through the coming of age of social media in Pakistan, was original thinking at its best: bursting with freshness and ambition. The winning author, Saira Mahmood, is a graduate student at the Department of English at the University of Karachi where her current research and writing interests include gender, media, and Muslim womanhood. She was previously a Staff Writer at online magazine, The Tempest. Also Highly Commended for their literary merit were five other shortlisted essays: A SEAT AT BIBI’S DINING TABLE by Laila Ghaffar : An evocative and heartwarming account of familial relationships across three generations. EMPIRE OF ILLUSION by Aisha Chapra. Themes of postpartum depression and the climate crisis are skillfully woven together in a frantic search for meaning in a collapsing world. FRIDGE MAGNETS by Sundus Saleemi. A subtle and complex essay with elegant meditations on home as a repository for both memory and hope OF BRAS AND BREASTS by Areej Akhtar. Ideas about womanliness, or the lack of it, are examined in this triptych of portraits of women betrayed by their own bodies. THE SILENCE OF THE DEMENTED by Michelle Nadeem. An original piece speculating on the silence of women as a trauma response. The winning submission will be published in a national newspaper, both online and in print, in November and shortly thereafter, all shortlisted submissions will be posted on the official prize website www.zhrwritingprize.com Throughout the coming months, some of the longlisted entries will also be published on the website.