Shortlisted writers announced for 2018 competition

Last November we set out on a journey to find the nation’s best young wordsmiths. After months of searching we are proud to present the forty-five shortlisted writers who entertained our panel of judges. From Newcastle to Surrey, and Leeds to Belfast, these writers cover the breadth of the UK and each bring a unique quality to the shortlisted pieces.


Winners of the Young Muslim Writers Awards, a Muslim Hands UK project presented in association with the Institute of English Studies at the School of Advanced Study (University of London), will be announced on Saturday 1st December 2018 at the iconic Senate House, London.


Since 2010 Muslim Hands has encouraged and nurtured the writing talents of thousands of children through creative writing workshops and the annual competition. Forty-five poems, stories, and articles have been shortlisted across nine categories and have been assessed by an internationally renowned panel of judges including Director of The Royal Society of Literature, Molly Rosenberg, award-winning writer and poets Roopa Farooki, SF Said, and Allie Esiri, amongst others.


The project is one of many UK projects run by Muslim Hands, an international NGO and relief organization, and ties in with the charity’s global work in providing children with access to education. Selected winners from this year’s competition will receive the once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit one of Muslim Hands’ international schools.


Syed Lakhte Hassanain, the chairman of Muslim Hands, commented:

Once again the quality of entries in this year’s Young Muslim Writers Awards is brilliant. The submissions truly reflect the inspiring skills of the young writers, and the judges have a lot to look forward to and a challenge when picking just one winner for each category. We at Muslim Hands are proud to continue nurturing the talents of these young writers and supporting their development, just as we do in our international work.

The awards will be broadcasted by the Young Muslim Writers Awards’ official media partner, Islam Channel.


Below are this year’s shortlisted writers:




Key Stage 1 Poetry (Ages 5-7)
Gluttbutts and Trumpalots – Umar Ibrahim (Cambridge)

In the Shower – Fatima Riaz (High Wycombe)

The Journey of Life – Nabiha Khan (Manchester)

Did You Know? – Eesa Mohammed (London)

One Line Poems? – Humayrah Timol (Preston)


Key Stage 2 Poetry (Ages 7-11)

In the Distance – Aliyeen Awan (Hatfield)

Maybe – Maryam Hafsa Khan (Rochdale)

The Mysterious Beast – Mahdi Ismail (London)

Awakening: The Wondrous Journey From Seed to Flower – Fatema Zahra Mithwani (Watford)

Peaceful Rainforest – Zahra Rubani (Middlesex)


Key Stage 3 Poetry (Ages 11-14)

The Silent Killer – Anisa Begum (Bradford)

Time – Maryam Zaiullah (Dewsbury)

Puppet – Aneeqah Ahmed (Bradford)

Blackout – Mariam Bibi (Bradford)

Dead Man – Surayya Mushtaq (Bradford)


Key Stage 4 Poetry (Ages 14-16)

A Midnight Trek – Seher Rahman (London)

Dear Stoneman Douglas High – Hanniya Kamran (Leicester)

My Best Friend – Maria Zahid (Newcastle)

The Instruments of Harmony – Amiera Sharif (Uxbridge)

Drowning in You – Melissa A. Stuart (Polegate)




Key Stage 1 Short Stories (Ages 5-7)
Age of Miracles – Umar Ibrahim (Cambridge)

Around the world in One Night – Minha Ali (Sutton)

The Twins’ First Day of School – Norah Tafraouti (London)

The Egyptian Thief – Abdur-Rahmaan Razzaq (Manchester)

The Haunted Ocean – Amna Muqeem Ahmad (Walsall)


Key Stage 2 Short Stories (Ages 7-11)

The End or Is It Yet? – Eliza Tahir (London)

A Feathery Tale – Numa Karnachi (Belfast)

Back in Time to Present Day – Riyad Salah (London)

Forgotten – Aasiyah Mumtaz (London)

A Dark Journey – Umair Rehman (Warlington)


Key Stage 3 Short Stories (Ages 11-14)

Thick Fog – Maariyah Khan (Dewsbury)

Drained Face – Ammaarah Tabassum (Dewsbury)

Blood is Thicker Than Water – Faria Cheepa (London)

Awakening – Zayd Talha Arooz (London)

Long Lost Magic – Marjan Khatib (Leeds)


Key Stage 4 Short Stories (Ages 14-16)

Stolen Wings – Seher Rahman (London)

My Ambition – Maria Zahid (Newcastle)

The School Vision – Amiera Sharif (Uxbridge)

The Worst Plan Ever – Sabir Hussain Miah (London)

Spinning – Lana Ahmed (Walsall)




Key Stage 3 Journalism (Ages 11-14)

Stop Deaths by Dangerous Driving – Mohammed Salis Riaz (Bradford)

Devastation Erupts at Mount St. Helens – Roha Amir (Bury)

Daggers Drawn – Ameerah Abike Kola-Olukotun (Staines)

Cries for Justice Murdered in Bangladesh – Tasfia Rezwana (Haslingden)

Impact of Muslim Footballers Around the World – Malyka Rashid (Birmingham)