Shortlisted writers revealed in the 2019 competition


The winners of the 2019 Young Muslim Writers Awards (YMWA) will be announced on Saturday 30th November, at the iconic Senate House in London. The awards will be presented in association with the Institute of English Studies at the School of Advanced Study (University of London), and broadcasted by Islam Channel, the competition’s official media partner.


Since 2010, Muslim Hands has recognised and encouraged the writing talents of thousands of children, through the ‘Writing Workshop Roadshow’ in the summer and an annual competition in the winter. Forty-five poems, stories, and articles have been shortlisted across nine categories, which are being considered by an internationally renowned panel of thirty-five judges. These include Molly Rosenberg (the Director of The Royal Society of Literature), Brian Patten and Kate Wakeling (both acclaimed poets), S.F. Said (an award-winning novelist) and Yassmin Abdel-Magied (author, broadcaster, and social advocate ), amongst others.


The YMWA is a flagship UK project run by Muslim Hands as part of the charity’s global work in education. It aims to raise the standard of child literacy and creative writing in the UK, empowering children with opportunities to build a better future.


A selected winner from the competition will have the opportunity to visit one of Muslim Hands’ international schools, where they will see first-hand the impact of providing disadvantaged children with access to education. Sabir Hussain Miah, who won the ‘Writer of the Year Award’ in YMWA 2018, is currently visiting Muslim Hands’ projects in Pakistan. Sabir is delivering presentations about what writing has helped him achieve, highlighting the importance of having a voice even as children.


Syed Lakhte Hassanain, Chairman of Muslim Hands, said;

‘Once again the quality of entries in this year’s Young Muslim Writers Awards has been outstanding. The submissions reflect the inspiring writing skills these children have developed, and it is great to be able to celebrate the diversity that each candidate brings with them. We are proud that the Young Muslim Writers Awards is now in its ninth year and that we can provide a platform to continue the growth of these young writers’.


Below are this year’s shortlisted writers:


Key Stage 1 Poetry (Ages 5-7)

Summer Days – Adam Abbasi {London}

My Grandad the Immigrant – Eesa Mohammed {London}

Super Mario – Dheen Mohammed Abbas {Accrington}

Happiness is a Pet Called Fifi – Aisha Rubani {Middlesex}

I Love My Mum – Anum Mumtaz Rajani {Birmingham}


Key Stage 2 Poetry (Ages 7-11)

Eyum the Bookworm – Aaminah Khan {Birmingham}

The Girl Who Owns It All – Aishah Kola-Olukotun {Staines}

Dance Like The Dandelion – Umar Ibrahim {Cambridge}

My Last Breath – Jana Khatib {Leeds}

Egyptian King – Abdul Sami Riaz {Bradford}


Key Stage 3 Poetry (Ages 11-14)

Cliff Edge – Ayaan Shah {Manchester}

The Jewel of Albaicin – Muhammed Amin {Bolton}

The Fish – Yazeed Folahanmi Onafeko {Northampton}

Stone Wall – Aaminah Green

As Time Goes By – Eliza Tahir {London}


Key Stage 4 Poetry (Ages 14-16)

Drowning – Aliyyah Adesewa Kola-Olukotun {Staines}

Table Manners – Amiera Sharif {Uxbridge}

Nature – Sakinah Buhari {Essex}

Earth’s Plea – Rumaysa Ahmad {Birmingham}

We Share Our Sorrows – Khadeeja Desai {Preston}




Key Stage 1 Short Stories (Ages 5-7)

Experimental Henry – Rayyan Hakim Piper {Eastleigh}

The Girl Who Grew Up Too Quickly – Asma Irshad Hussain {London}

The Adventures of Uncle and Muncle – Minha Ali {Sutton}

Leon to the Rescue – Humayrah Timol {Preston}

Wheelie Bin – Luqmaan Abbasi {Slough}


Key Stage 2 Short Stories (Ages 7-11)

Jewelled Adventure – Yunus Shaikh {London}

Raven and the Jade Star – Fatema Zahra Mithwani {Watford}

Crisis of Faith – Hannah Hussain {Worcester Park}

The Mystery of the Missing Crown Jewels – Suraiya Hemmuth-Douglass {Basingstoke}

The Howling Pool of Torment – Muhammed Abdullah {Manchester}


Key Stage 3 Short Stories (Ages 11-14)

A Sad Kind of Beautiful – Sadiyah Khan {Bradford}

The House of the Lost – Maesha Radeeya Ahmed {London}

Keep Moving – Aaminah Green {Church Stretton}

A Single Mistake – Myra Durrani {Birmingham}

The Paradox of It All – Aasiya Daya {Leicester}


Key Stage 4 Short Stories (Ages 14-16)

A Deliberately Fatal Overdose – Amina Dadipatel {Leicester}

The Poles of Two Lands – Amiera Sharif {Uxbridge}

Innocent Minds – Aliyyah Adesewa Kola-Olukotun {Staines}

Operation Impes – Fatima Awan {Salford}

The Other Side – Amina Mohamed {London}




Key Stage 3 Journalism {Ages 11-14}

Is Britain a Racist Country? – Sumayyah Qureshi

MURDER – in the Name of ‘LOVE’ & ‘HONOUR’ – Mohammed Salis Riaz {Bradford}

Don’t Wait to Vaccinate – Ameerah Kola-Olukotun {Staines}

World Peace or Chaos: America’s Call – Asma Zafrani {Manchester}

Don’t Blame the Sun – Eliza Tahir {London}


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