Museum of Awards – 2009

Now adopted as a Muslim Hands project, 2009’s ceremony moved to the capital to be hosted by Shelina Zahra Janmohamed and Hasan Mahamdallie at the Park Lane Hilton. MWA welcomed the support of the UK Government, the US Embassy and Penguin publishers, amongst others. The ceremony was broadcast live to millions of home around the world through the media partner Islam Channel. Entertainment was provided by a theatrical play, an eclectic combination of the flute and beatboxing and spoken word from world renowned performers including Warsan Shire, Dreadlockalien and Def Jam poet Amir Sulaiman.


Unpublished Novel

  • Qaisra Shahraz - The potter’s son
  • Saman Shad - The view from above
  • Suhel Ahmed - Broken Paths
  • Moharem El Gihani - Morna Devlin
  • Tam Hussain - Pantra Tigris Tigris and The travels of Ibn Fudayl

Unpublished Children's Story

  • Yanti Nizar - The Singing Quran
  • Farhad Ahmed - The Adventures of the Fat Elf: Fat Elf in a sticky situation
  • Reba Khatun - The Mysterious Neighbour
  • Shamim Azam - Sabrina and her Quest
  • Zahid Hussain - The Old Man and the Boy

Unpublished Short Story

  • Zimarina Sarwar - Jonathan and Night Sky With a Sun
  • Humaira Rashid - Crash and Burn
  • Khuram Shahzad - Cold age
  • Irshad Ashraf - The Drowners
  • Nedeem Ghulam-Mustfah - The Harlot and the Siren
  • Zahid Hussain - M
  • Sahin Kathawala - The pythoness in his heart
  • Summayyah Sadiq - Ojibara – At the edge (Australia)
  • Alia Kaussar - The shoe box on the floor (Birmingham)

Unpublished Poetry

  • Zahid Hussain - The space of silence’, (selection of poetry)
  • Ruqqaiyyah Waris Maqsood - Touched by Fire, (selection of poetry)
  • Wajid Hussain - selection of poetry
  • Shameam Akhtar - selection of poetry
  • Bahar Monif-Ullah - Nescience
  • Zimarina Sarwar - Howl, Anarchy, Simple pleasure
  • Ahmed Khan - selection of poetry
  • Sabina Atta - Ears wide shut
  • Saifullah Nasser - The minaret and the Dome

8 - 10 Poetry

  • Bilkis Ahmed - Gills
  • Maryam Sani - Flowers
  • Fatima Umar - I wonder
  • Eesa Khan - The marvellous Peregrine falcon
  • Samia Ashfaq - Parents are crazy’
  • Hannah Ghanti - My Cats
  • Maryam Islam - Bummble bee
  • Serish Rena Alam - Bees
  • Zara Tahir - End of school holidays

8-10 Short Story

  • Mohammad Ruhul Aminur Rashid - Thin Ice
  • Amani Siddique - Bonastivah
  • Rhushda Amir - When i was taken by them
  • Ruqayyah Hanif - Silent Night
  • Saira Salim - The girl who got lost
  • Aaliyah Khan - The imprisoned Cat
  • Yusuf Haque - The island of lost souls
  • Aisha Ansar - Adventure to surprise Island

11-13 Poetry

  • Humayra Mogra - For, my sister emigrating!
  • Bushra Qasmi - My sister’s gone
  • Sahira Hussain - Butter brother
  • Shaiza Afzal - Daddy’s Girl
  • Fatema Gheewalla - I’m Always there
  • Anisah Samiullah - Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate
  • Raphael Abedi - Homeless London

11-13 Short Story

  • Haroon Mohamoud - (untitled)
  • If you believe, you can achieve - The battle Kashyyk
  • Aminah Javed - If you believe, you can achieve
  • Tammana Khatun - A glance in the mirror
  • Tanzia Nasrin - Fearless

14-16 Poetry

  • Hanzla Arif MacDonald - Cross
  • Hanzla Arif MacDonald - Chrysanthemums White; Poppies Red
  • Sanna and Iram Shuaib - I wandered amazed
  • Zoya Saeed - Her uncertainties
  • Aakifah Amejee - Confessions
  • Aakifah Amejee - Just listen
  • Zain Haider Awan - The philosophy of the apple
  • Zain Haider Awan - The wounded bird

14-16 Short Story

  • Shabbir Hassan - He’s a Girl
  • Naimah Jahyn - A girl’s from the most merciful
  • Aakifah Amejee - Estelle
  • Obayed Khan - Untitled
  • Ahmed Rehman - Sleepless Dream
  • Hanzla Arif MacDonald - Collapse
  • Hanzla Arif MacDonald - Displaced
  • Nazush Mabeen - Agonising Torture

Published - Journalism

  • Ziauddin Sardar - How I Arranged My Daughter’s Marriage, and others
  • Faisal al Yafai - The Paper Terrorists, and others
  • Kia Abdullah - A cause for shame (London)

Published - Fiction

  • Daniyal Mueenuddin - In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, Bloomsbury
  • Farahad Zama - The Marriage Bureau for Rich People, Abacus
  • Kamila Shamsie - Burnt Shadows, Bloomsbury
  • Robin Yassin-kassab - The Road from Damascus, Hamish Hamilton

Published - Non Fiction

  • Yasmin Hai - The making of Mr Hai’s daughter
  • Shahzad Aziz - In the land of Ayatollahs Tupac Shakur is King
  • Shelina Zahra Janmohamed - Love in a headscarf
  • Fethiye Cetin - My Grandmother
  • Tariq Modood - Multiculturalism


Published - Fiction

Zarah Hussain

Zarah Hussain is a regular contributor to the Simon Mayo books review panel on BBC Radio 5 and a cultural commentator for Nightwaves on BBC Radio 3 and the BBC Asian Network. Zarah teaches and lectures on art, she organised a symposium on Sufism and Islamic Art at Tate Britain and has given lectures on ‘Orientalism’ at the Wallace collection. In 2006 she spoke at the CRE – on migration, modernity and the arts. Zarah was a contributor and speaker on Islam and Art at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Zarah is active in mentoring and education and has worked for the Tate, Creative Partnerships, Manchester City Art Gallery, Cultural Cooperation, Asia House, the Museum of Childhood and the Docklands Museum.

Qaisra Shahraz

Qaisra Shahraz is a critically acclaimed novelist and scriptwriter, Member of the Royal Society of Literature and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Her novels include, The Holy Woman winner of the Golden Jubilee Award, Typhoon and, A Pair of Jeans. Her award-winning short stories are studied in schools and colleges. A Pair of Jeans has been published twelve times in five countries and has become prescribed reading in Germany studied for the ‘A’ level equivalent literature course. She has been a judge in other writing competitions and has taken part in international literary festivals. She has toured Dubai, Germany, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkey and the USA leading workshops in literature and education in schools, colleges and universities.

Miranda Mckearney OBE

Miranda Mckearney OBE is Director of The Reading Agency, the UK wide development agency for libraries’ work with readers and played a key role in its formation in July 2002. Miranda is leading an exciting programme of reading inspired partnerships for UK public libraries, with partners as diverse as publishers, BBC Learning, Orange, Costa and Nintendo. Miranda has a degree in English and a postgraduate diploma in Italian Renaissance art from Corpus Christi , Oxford. After university she went in to arts marketing and has worked as an activist in the reading, literature and libraries field for 25 years. Before founding The Reading Agency she worked on raising the profile of the Carnegie Medal and on National Library Week. She is married to a teacher, has two children at university and spends any spare moment reading, cooking, listening to world music or walking in the English countryside. Her current project is walking the South Downs Way in small chunks. Miranda was awarded an OBE in 2005 for services to education and libraries.

Published - Journalism

David Hayward

David Hayward set up and is now running the Journalism Programme for the BBC College of Journalism. It’s a wide ranging series of events; master classes, seminars, lectures and conferences across the whole BBC. David has worked in a number of roles throughout the BBC. After leaving the University of Central England with a Postgraduate Diploma in Broadcast Journalism in 1994, he began his career at Radio Leicester. He worked as a reporter, producer and very occasional presenter, before moving on to East Midlands Today as a reporter. After a spell with the World Service Trust, working with journalists in Bosnia, Romania and Albania, David joined the Radio Newsroom in London. Most recently, he’s been a senior producer and editor at Midlands Today, South Today in Oxford and on the Local TV pilot in Birmingham.

Fuad Nahdi

Fuad Nahdi is the Executive Director of the Radical Middle Way project. He is also the Founding Editor and Publisher of Q-News, a leading current affairs magazine established in 1992. One of the most respected Muslim journalists in Britain, Fuad has worked with and contributed to Reuters, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, The Economist, Arab News, The New Statesman, Los Angeles Times, Channel Four and the BBC, among others.
Fuad has also been a consultant on Islam and global affairs to numerous corporations, think-tanks and governments including HSBC Bank, the Asia-Europe Foundation, Editorial Intelligence and Irish Human Right Commission.
Fuad has consistently pushed the boundaries of Muslim expression – his inventive ideas, creative approach and brash writing style set him apart as a unique force in modern journalism. He is certainly not a dispassionate spectator: for the last two decades he has been involved in grassroots projects involving mostly women and young people aimed at forging a British Muslim identity based on engagement and dialogue. His is a true visionary and RMW benefits from his expert guidance and his eye for spotting the next significant trend.

Ahmed Jafferali Versi

Ahmed Jafferali Versi is the publisher and editor of The Muslim News and launchd The Muslim News Awards for Excellence. Ahmed also writes for The Guardian, The Independent, The Times, BBC 24 News, Sky, Press TV and GMTV and was an Advisor to the Forum Against Islamophobia and Racism (FAIR) and to the Media Committee of Muslim Council of Britain. Ahmed has interviewed world leaders from the late President of Bosnia Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic, to the late President Aslan Maskhadov of Chechnya, and Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair. His stance on reporting behind the soundbites has secured him exclusive interviews with key political figures including the late Hamas leader Dr Abdul Aziz Rantissi, Hizbullah’s leader, Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah, and Bishop Gabriel Roric, Sudan’s former foreign minister. In March 2000, Ahmed Versi took a proactive lead in raising the profile of Muslims with the launch of the first ever The Muslim News Awards for Excellence – an annual celebration of unsung Muslim achievement attended in recent years by eminent guests such as the Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister. He has received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts in recognition his achievements as Editor of The Muslim News from University of Bedfordshire in 2007

Published - Non Fiction

Tahir Abbas

Dr Tahir Abbas is a founding Director of Birmingham University’s Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Culture and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He was previously Senior Research Officer at the Department for Constitutional Affairs and at the Home Office in London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Member of the Lunar Society. Dr Abbas is author of British Islam: The Road to Radicalism (Cambridge, 2009), The Education of British South Asians: Ethnicity, Capital and Class Structure (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2004) and editor of Muslim Britain: Communities under Pressure (Zed, 2005) and (2007) Islamic Political Radicalism: a European Perspective (Edinburgh, 2007), and co-editor of Immigration and Race Relations: Sociology and John Rex (I B Tauris, 2007, with Frank Reeves). He has published over fifty journal articles and book chapters, and a similar number of book reviews and opinion-editorials. He has held numerous research grants and has worked with government departments and civil society organisations throughout Asia, Europe and North America.

Claire Chambers

Dr Claire Chambers is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Leeds Metropolitan University. She is a specialist in South Asian literature written in English and in literary representations of British Muslims. Her interest in the literature of the Indian subcontinent and the Muslim world was originally ignited by the year she spent prior to university teaching in Peshawar, Pakistan. It continues to be informed by return visits to the region, and by her engagement with diaspora communities. Claire is currently on research leave, supported by a HEFCE Promising Researcher Fellowship, and is using the time to conduct a series of interviews with leading writers who depict British Muslims in literature and film (these include Udayan Prasad, Moazzam Begg, Kamila Shamsie, and Robin Yassin-Kassab). She has published widely in such journals as Postcolonial Text, The Journal of Commonwealth Literature and The Journal of Postcolonial Writing.

Dele Fatunla

Dele Fatunla is the diversity communications officer for Pearson PLC, owners of Penguin, PLC and Pearson Education. He is responsible for internal communications on diversity across Pearson and is involved in running its diversity programmes including the diversity summer internship and “Getting into Publishing”, an annual open day aimed at graduates from ethnic minority backgrounds. He graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies with a BA in African studies and politics.

Hannah Westland

Hannah Westland grew up in London and studied English Literature at Leeds University. She joined Rogers, Coleridge & White Ltd in 2002, working with both Deborah Rogers and David Miller. In 2006 she was awarded the prestigious Unwin Fellowship, affording her a three month research trip to Australia where she compared rights trends in the UK and Australian publishing industries. Whilst continuing to work closely with Deborah and David and their existing clients, she is building a list of her own authors and is particularly interested in literary fiction, travel writing, political writing, memoir and history.

Unpublished Children's Story

Asad Ahmed

Asad Ahmed is an award winning BBC television news reader and reporter with BBC London News. Asad won the Royal Television Society Awards in two consecutive years. Asad has also played a significant role in establishing Mosaic, a new charity for Muslims led by HRH Prince Charles.

John Newman

John Newman is a children’s book buyer at the Newham Bookshop and is also the current Chair of the Booksellers Associations Children’s Bookselling Group. He also sits on both the IBBY UK and World Book Day Executive Committees.

Sufiya Ahmed

Sufiya Ahmed is the director of BIBI publishing and author of the Zahra series which include ‘Zahra’s First Term at the Khadija Academy’ which was shortlisted in the Muslim Writers Awards 2008 published writer of the year category.

Louisa Young

Louisa Young has written three novels: Babylove (long-listed for the Orange Prize), Desiring Cairo,Tree of Pearls; a biography: A Great Task of Happiness: the Life of Kathleen Scott; and a cultural history, The Book of the Heart. As half of Zizou Corder, she has with her daughter, Isabel Adomakoh Young, written the children’s books The Lionboy Trilogy, and Lee Raven, Boy Thief.

Shannon Park

Shannon Park is the Senior Fiction Editor for Puffin. In 2008 she was co-chair of the Children’s Book Circle, a London-based discussion forum for people involved in the children’s publishing industry. Previous authors she has worked with include Jeremy Strong, Anna Perera, Lucy and Stephen Hawking and Bali Rai.

Unpublished Novel

Vivian Archer

Vivian Archer works at The Newham Bookshop, in the diverse and exciting area of East London. The Bookshop hosts many author events and has brought leading writers to the East End.

Robin Yassin-Kassab

Robin Yassin-Kassab is the author of The Road from Damascus. He was born in Britain to a Syrian father and English mother and spent his childhood in the north of England and Scotland. He graduated from Oxford University and travelled extensively, working as a journalist in Pakistan and teaching English in four Arab countries. He now lives in Scotland.

Bernardine Evaristo

Bernardine Evaristo is the author of three novels which fuse fiction with poetry – Lara, The Emperor’s Babe and Soul Tourists – and one prose novel, Blonde Roots. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2004 and the Royal Society of Arts in 2006.

Simon Prosser

Simon Prosser has worked at Penguin since 1997, and, as Publishing Director of Hamish Hamilton, his list includes Zadie Smith, Dave Eggers, Mohsin Hamid, Ali Smith, Jonathan Safran Foer, Kiran Desai, Alain de Botton, John Updike, Noam Chomsky, Susan Sontag, Robin Yassin-Kassab and Iain Sinclair. Simon is also a founder and Co-Director of the annual Port Eliot Festival and the publisher of the new monthly literary magazine Five Dials.

Unpublished Poetry

Siobhan Logan

Siobhan Logan poems and stories appear in various anthologies and magazines, including A Tale of 3 Cities, Poetry Nottingham, The Journal and Tripod. For some years, she enjoyed teaching girls from a local Muslim college as part of her ‘day-job’ at Leicester College. In 2007 a group of auroral scientists at Leicester University sponsored her trip to North Norway to research the Northern Lights. Her encounters with this arctic landscape led to a collection of prose and poetry called Firebridge to Skyshore (published original press 2009). A performance of the work has been staged at the Science Museum in London and venues across Leicester.

John Siddique

John Siddique has published four collections of poetry including one for children, he has written a short play for Radio 3’s ‘Freethinking’ Festival, and co-authored a collection of short stories. His passion for sharing literature sees him drawing on the whole tradition of poetry and often creating and working in a whole range of places where you would expect to find art. He has worked in prisons, schools, and hospitals, and is involved in promoting regeneration and renaissance through the creation of public art. He was recently commissioned to create a poem for the seaside town of Blackpool, which will be permanently installed by the sea. His current commission is from Lancaster University to create a series of portraiture poems exploring the immigrant experience in Manchester. John is The British Council’s Los Angeles Writer in Residence 2009.

Judith Palmer

Judith Palmer is well known as a writer and commentator in the press and broadcast media, has written and presented numerous poetry documentaries for BBC Radio 4 which include the regular series, Poetry Societies, and the 1968 anniversary programme Voices at 40. Her most recent post was at The Women’s Library, London Metropolitan University, where she was Public Programme Manager. She has also just completed an oral history project for the Library, recording the experiences of women writers and magazine editors. After beginning her career in publishing, she went on to work on the literature programme at the South Bank Centre where she was very involved with Poetry International and the Poetry Library. She has organised many international writers’ tours, including the Cowboy Poets, and promoted the first UK tours from New York’s Nuyorican Poets Café. Amongst other literary roles, she has also been Chair of The Poetry School and a judge on the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.

Unpublished Short Story

Mahsuda Shah

Mahsuda Shah is a committee member of Leicester Writers’ Club and has been a compulsive writer since she was six. She has recently finished writing her first novel Experiments with Light.

Karen Ings

Karen Ings was a commissioning editor at Aurum Press for eight years. Among the books she acquired were two brilliant memoirs about growing up Muslim in Britain: Unimagined by Imran Ahmad; and Shelina Zahra Janmohamed’s Love in a Headscarf.

Laura Longring

Laura Longring has worked in publishing for nearly 25 years. As an editor, mostly in the genre of popular fiction, she worked for HarperCollins, Heinemann and Penguin. She became an agent in 1994, working first with Jennifer Kavanagh and in 1997 she joined MBA.