Daastan launched its very first story-writing competition in 2016, providing the writers of Pakistan with a chance to prove themselves and let the tales that they carry inside them out. With the launch of this competition, Daastan was on the hunt for the emerging stars of the literary industry of Pakistan. It was targeting the storytellers who keep their world concealed from the rest of us, carrying within themselves a plethora of stories and scenarios which never see the light of the day.

The Criteria for the Competition:

The theme of the competition was ‘Perfect Imperfections’. The Stories Untold expected the authors to talk about the people or sections of the society deemed as ‘imperfect’, and how they are above any such label and rather are very much worthy to be branded as ‘perfect’. The authors were encouraged to write about local characters, settings and plots, so as to make it relatable for the readership of Pakistan. The target also was highlight and in turn humanize the transgressions against minorities and any other convention violating body that is ostracized for its inability to ‘fit in’. The entire concept of the theme was to present everyday harsh realities in a way that would spread awareness about the social issues plaguing our society, and for the authors to develop their characters in a manner which would enable them to face and beat the odds.

The word count was limited to 4000-6000 words, and the language of entries was specified to English only. Almost around 100 submissions were received in a short span of five weeks, making the competition a monumental achievement for the team of Daastan.

The winners:

What followed was days and weeks of meticulous and careful analysis, which carried the top stories through various rounds of the competition. Initially, the top 30, followed by the top 15 of the entries were announced. These would go on to be published on the Qissa website, and made available for everyone to read. The winner, Wafa Zaka writer of ‘Cursed and Healed’ was selected from the top 5 after her story was put through a grueling contest. She was awarded a cash prize of PKR 10,000, along with publication both digitally and in print with a designated ISBN.

Cursed and Healed by Wafa Zaka winner of The Stories Untold Seaosn 1
The winner of The Stories Untold Season 1

If you want to participate in one of our writing competitions, keep an eye out for our updates on our social media pages such as Facebook, so the opportunity doesn’t pass you by.