Rounding Up the South Asian Literati through Stories

Rounding Up the South Asian Literati through Stories

Come the summer of 2018, having just successfully conducted a ground breaking season of The Stories Untold, Daastan teamed up with a few others who were also in the race to bring quality literature to their readers. Since its inception, Daastan and Qissa have scaled, and eventually launched a writing competition which was dubbed Literati. The team was once again taking not only Pakistan by storm, but also slowly but surely taking over the world too. And so, to bring another round of thought-provoking stories that made one bite their nails with the anticipation of what was coming next, we opened the award for participants from all over South Asia.

Literati Micro Fiction:

Literati was brought to the public in collaboration with White Falcon Publishing, a company that provided the services of self-publishing much the same way as us and encouraged quality literature to find its way to the surface, but across the border in India. Another collaborator of the micro story writing competition was Outcast, a queer lit magazine which was founded by a graduated Literary Fellow of Daastan. The authors of the micro fiction award were given a time period of one month, in which they were to write short stories with no more than 2500 words on the themes of “The Fifth Rivulet” and “Mosaiced Souls”. The themes themselves were enough to get any true storyteller thinking and dreaming in their world of imagination, spinning and weaving tales which would eventually find their way to our screens.

Daastan, in collaboration with White Falcon Publishing and Outcast Magazine, launches Literati Competition

The Result:

The award was closed a month after its launch, and all the partners were delighted to received more than a hundred submissions of gripping and awe-inspiring literature. The submissions were all carefully reviewed, and the top 20 were selected. These finalists would receive the exciting prize of seeing their work go into print, along with exclusive opportunities to further their career as a writer.

[Results] We are pleased to announce that the management team of LITERATI 2018 comprising of Daastan, White Falcon Publishing and Outcast Magazine congratulates the finalists.We received around 100 submissions from all over South Asia and after carefully reviewing each submission, we are pleased to announce that we now, finally have the TOP 20.These authors will be getting their stories published in PRINT, sponsored by WHITE FALCON PUBLISHING. We have lot of awesomeness coming up in next few weeks.It was a pleasure having you all. We will be back next year in June 2019. Till then adios.#Daastan #WhiteFalconPublishing #Outcast #Literati #SouthAsianAward #MicroFiction #PrintPublishing #WritingEvent #Competition

Posted by Daastan on Sunday, August 5, 2018

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Trailblazers: The Girl Who Penned Her Way to Success

Trailblazers: The Girl Who Penned Her Way to Success

It was William Shakespeare who said that, “Some are born great, while others achieve greatness”. For the young girl Lareb Soomro, we at Daastan believe it might be both. Being able to bring our author’s writings to print, shaping her dream to reality, is one of the most fulfilling feelings we have ever witnessed as a company. From our Founder to our Editors and Designers, we all hold our breath and stare in awe as each piece finds its way to the racks of Qissa. Every once in a while, however, there comes along an author whose success seems so grand that our feeling of awe becomes tenfold.

Book Launch of Lareb Soomro, held under Literary Evenings Vol. 2

Our Previous Success stories

We first felt this way when our youngest author from Peshawar got crowdfunded to bring her book to print. This year we have Lareb Soomro – a 15-year-old teenager who has had the honor of being the fastest crowdfunded author of Daastan from Sindh. She raised an amount of 15,000 PKR in a record-breaking time of only three days, which would bring her book “The Secrets of Spring”, co-authored by Sajal Shaikh, to print.

The Author’s Journey:

Lareb’s story of success didn’t start when she published her book, in fact they began the day she came into this world. She was born in the small town Larkana, which is filled to the brim with history of resilience and courage. She became another one who would contribute to the legacy. Lareb was born with a genetic defect that required her to go into surgery in the tender age of 3 months. After she grew up, in her early teens she faced and survived a road accident that left scars on her face. She was haunted by criticism and taunts, which followed her all the way to her passion of writing. Despite being continually discouraged, she stood strong in the face of everything, and finally published her book through Daastan.

Rising to Stardom:

The book made her a celebrity. She was interviewed by 14 news outlets for her story, and even offered the role of a news anchor at Larkano News HD. She believes in facing her demons face first, and encourages all her readers to find solutions for their problems instead of giving up.

[TRAILBLAZERS] Presenting you second episode of trailblazers where we showcase Daastan's social impact on community. See how we are challenging the status quo and providing authors the platform through which they can chase their dreams.Our second trailblazer is Lareb Soomro from Larkana, Sindh who was born with a genetic defect and underwent a facial surgery at the age of three months.In her early teens, she survived a fatal road accident which left permanent scars on her face. Despite of immense social pressure, taunts and criticism she pursued her passion to write and ultimately published at age of 15 to become Sindh's youngest published author.Her debut book 'The Secrets of Spring' is a horror novel which showcases the creativity of a teenage girl. Using Daastan's platform, Lareb was able to raise 25,000 PKR in a week through pre-orders to publish 100 copies of her work.Her book made her an overnight star. 14+ news outlets covered her story. She was also offered a role of TV anchoring in her hometown, Larkana by Larkano News HD.Her story explains that there is nothing out there which is NOT possible. We can always get what we want, provided that we put in enough effort and show resilience. Life is unfair and we must get used to it.Our #EmergingStar Lareb is currently writing the second part of the story which will be out in 2019. If you believe in what we do and want to support us then place an order of her hard copy @ 500 PKR#Daastan #EmergingStar #TrailBlazer #LarebSoomro #Larkana #Sindh

Dikirim oleh Daastan pada Kamis, 05 Juli 2018

Want to be Daastan’s next success story? Sign up, make a profile on Qissa and upload your work right away to get the process started!

A Ground Breaking 4th Season – Stories Untold

A Ground Breaking 4th Season – Stories Untold

Stories Untold made rounds over social media recently. Our story writing competition was based on the tragedy of Zainab. Writers poured their hearts out to express their feelings on the incident in order to spread awareness regarding the issue.

Following the horrific misfortune that befell the beautiful little six-year-old Zainab Ansari belonging to Kasur, Punjab, a wave of fright and panic went through all of Pakistan. Each person was recounting the report of that tragedy the family of the little girl had gone through. The trauma they must endure for the rest of their lives is unimaginable. The horrendous act of the perpetrator shattered the happiness of a sound family. It wasn’t one life we lost that day, rather a part of the whole nation seemed to have died along with her.

The Stories Untold Season 4, themed I am Zainab

The Stories Untold : I Am Zainab

At that time, many of the organizations stepped forward to improve the situation and all they could to help. Daastan, after careful consideration decided to launch the fourth season of its signature writing competition, The Stories Untold. The theme of “I am Zainab” was chosen to honor the life that was lost.

Through Stories Untold, we wanted our writers to address the grave issue of child abuse. Moreover, we encouraged them to write about any form of abuse – physical, sexual or emotional. We wanted storytellers to highlight effective ways in order to educate children and protect them from such experiences. Another purpose of this theme was to encourage our community to write stories which would serve as guidance and educational material for their children, helping them learn about this social evil and ways they could protect themselves against them.

The Response to our Competition:

Despite the social stigma surrounding the topic, we received a lot of entries, out of which we selected a dozen as finalists. The authors of these stories were put into contact with a professional psychologists. We made sure that the message of their stories would spread and be followed. Daastan went through various such screenings to make sure the stories would be child friendly and could serve as a genuine guide for both parents and children.

The finalists selected were all published digitally through Daastan. Top 5 stories are to be printed with Qissa so as to help spread this message as far and wide as possible.
The Highlights of Stories Untold Season 4
Acclaimed Botanists Choose Qissa

Acclaimed Botanists Choose Qissa

We are proud to welcome Botanists to our list of authors. Qissa has seen and been an avenue which promoted a fair share of fiction writers over the years. We are very grateful for the way Qissa has grown. When we started Daastan, our dream was to propagate education and simplify the process of sharing knowledge with people. One thing which we really looked forward to on Qissa was academic writing because it helps readers explore whichever subject they wish to learn.

A Botanist At Our Publishing House

Qissa featured a guidebook which helped equip fresh graduates with skills they might need for finding a job. Another such publication that found its way to the bookshelves of Qissa is, A Practical Guide to Herbaceous Flora of District Lahore, Punjab”.

About The Book

The book contains detailed morphological descriptions of the herbs and flora of the area of Lahore. It provides vital information about a plethora of herbal species. The book was specially aimed to help Botanists and ‘Hakims’(Homeopaths) of the region broaden their medicinal plant base and as a result, acquire thorough knowledge.

About The Authors

The authors include Ms. Mehwish Jaffer, a PhD Scholar author of Six International and national scientific papers. Her co-author is Ms. Shabnum Shaheen, who have alsopublished Six International monographs and books, 68 research publications, and has won a gold medal in an international conference of Botany. 

Choose Qissa Today

To sum it up, Qissa is honored to be chosen as your platform for publishing. We hope that such intellectuals and distinguished individuals will keep making Daastan their first choice for any publishing related services they might require. Extend your knowledge forward to the community and join us today by signing up with Qissa!

Cover of 'A Practical Guide to Herbaceous Flora'
Book cover, A Practical Guide To Herbaceous Flora of District Lahore, Punjab
Trailblazers: Small Town Girl, Rises Like A Phoenix From the Ashes

Trailblazers: Small Town Girl, Rises Like A Phoenix From the Ashes

Laiba Sehrish Nawaz:

Daastan’s co-founder Sidra Amin, has been long known to be the fairy godmother of mentorship, and always has an eye out for talent that she can groom and launch forward into the world. It was through her that Laiba Sehrish Nawaz first came in contact with Daastan. The beautiful 18-year-old girl from Peshawar, who was a student of journalism, had faced many a trauma since the young age of 9, when she lost her mother to breast cancer. Since then, Laiba suffered at the hands of anxiety, depression, and abuse. Her only solace lay in one thing, putting to words all that weighed her down. Writing to both unburden herself, and also preserve each emotion that found its home in her heart. This was how at such a young age she compiled a complete book of her very own work, and was seeking a publisher to help bring her work to print and start her career as a distinguished writer.

[TRAILBLAZERS] Presenting a brand new product where we showcase Daastan's social impact on community. See how we are challenging the status quo and providing authors the platform through which they can chase their dreams.Our first ever trailblazer is Laiba Sehrish from Peshawar who lost her mother at a tender age of 9. She fought her way through depression, anxiety and abuse to become Peshawar's youngest published author at age of 19.Her debut book 'Abductions from Lethe' has inspired readers across the globe to stay resilient in face of hardships. Using Daastan's platform, Laiba was able to raise 35,000 PKR in three days through pre-orders to publish 100 copies of her work. She earned the title of 'Daastan's fastest and youngest crowdfunded author'.Her life turned upside down when she had to take some tough choices in her life. She chose to follow her dreams and passion over her family and friends. Hence she moved and resettled in Quetta.Her books arrived a week ago and the biggest issue which we faced was to cover her travel costs so she could fly to her hometown for her book launch. However, we are pleased to inform that some angel from our community stepped forward and helped us raised 20,000 PKR in mere five minutes of announcement.Our #EmergingStar Laiba is now all set to be a part of the book launch which is scheduled in Feb'18. If you believe in what we do and want to support us then place an order of her hard copy @ 1000 PKR#Daastan #EmergingStar #TrailBlazer #LaibaSehrish #Peshawar

Posted by Daastan on Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Abduction from the Lethe:

Her book, Abduction from the Lethe, was put up for a crowdfunding campaign, and that is when she bagged the second honor of her professional journey with us – she became the fastest crowdfunded author, breaking all previous records and raising her required funds of 35,000 PKR in a week’s time. It was heartwarming to see our community so ready to support a girl destined for greatness.

In the May of 2017, her book went into print. She was later on interviewed by a news TV channel Mashriq, in which she talked about her upcoming book, her struggles, and how Daastan was empowering writers to seize their destiny and materialize their dreams.

A quote from Laiba’s book, Abduction from the Lethe

The Book Launch:

In the beginning of 2018, her book launch was held in the city of Peshawar. Laiba, having moved to a different city to pursue her passion and study journalism, lacked the funding to fly back to her city for her book launch. Once again, our community came to the rescue, and we raised a fund of 20,000 PKR to cover her airfare. Her book launch was a huge success, where numerous dignitaries from the literature community were present along with creatives and poets, and was covered by Dawn News.

If you have a manuscript that you’d like to see brought to print and become the next sensation of Daastan’s literary community, drop us an email at or a message on our Facebook page.