Now in its fifth year, The Zeenat Haroon Rashid Writing Prize for Women continues to feature literary luminaries on its judging panel. With the call for submissions being for short fiction in 2023, the panel includes novelists Mohammed Hanif, Aamina Ahmad and Shandana Minhas. The prize carries a cash award of Rs 100,000 and in 2023 the call for submissions is for short fiction on any subject or theme which uses Pakistan as a canvas or location. Entries open on April 1 and close on June 30. The Competition is open to all women of Pakistani nationality or Pakistani heritage over the age of 18 and, as always, the judges look for writing with a distinct voice. This year’s panel features guest judges prominent in the world of literary fiction. Mohammed Hanif is a writer and novelist from Okara. His first novel, A Case of Exploding Mangoes, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Novel. His second novel, Our Lady of Alice Bhatti, was shortlisted for the 2012 Wellcome Prize. His latest novel Red Birds, “a savagely surreal satire on US foreign policy’ was published to universal acclaim in 2018. He has written the libretto for a new opera Bhutto and writes regularly for the New York Times, The Guardian, BBC Urdu and BBC Punjabi. Aamina Ahmad is a novelist and playwright born and raised in London. Her debut novel, The Return of Faraz Ali, won the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain’s First Novel Prize, was a finalist for the LA Times Art Siedenbaum First Fiction Award, and named a notable book by the New York Times and NPR. She is also the author of a play, The Dishonoured. Ahmad worked for many years as a script editor for BBC Drama, ITV and BBC World Service. She currently teaches Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota. Shandana Minhas is the author of the novels Tunnel Vision, Survival Tips for Lunatics, Rafina, and Daddy’s Boy. She was part of the resurgence in Pakistani media in the early 2000s, heading creative development for the Manduck Collective, Pakistan’s first independent production house, and writing for local papers. She set up Mongrel Books in Pakistan in 2016. Her fiction has been adapted for theatre and cinema, and translated into Italian and Estonian. She has also written for stage, screen, and opinion pages and taught Creative Writing. Sarwat Yasmeen Azeem is the Karachi-based Literary Editor of the Books and Authors section of Eos Magazine, Dawn newspaper. Having studied English Literature and Journalism at the University of Staffordshire, UK, she’s been a journalist, magazine editor, advertising copywriter, consultant editor for The British Council and has edited books for the Oxford University Press. Her short story, The Wedding, appeared in the first volume of the Life’s Too Short Literary Review: New Writing from Pakistan. Shan Vahidy is a freelance editor based in London. She is the granddaughter of Zeenat Haroon Rashid and a permanent co-ordinating judge on the panel. Full details on how to enter and comprehensive competition rules can be found on the website www.zhrwritingprize.com.