Entries are invited for the Writing Competition 2019 for Women in Pakistan with a Cash Prize of Rs. 100,000. The essay writing Competition is open to all women over the age of 18 of Pakistani nationality or Pakistani heritage with a valid NIC, NICOP or Pakistani passport. Named in honor of Zeenat Haroon Rashid (21 Jan 1928 – 8 April 2017), a founding member of the Women’s National Guard at the time of Independence, a prize of Rs 100,000 (1 Lakh) will be awarded annually through a competition for writing in English on the subject of Women and Pakistan


Entries must be original, previously unpublished works in the form of either Memoir, Polemic, Essay or Short Story of no more than 3000 words. The entry should address any aspect of  Women and Pakistan and the judges will look for a piece of writing with a strong, personal voice.

From amongst all entries, the best will be chosen for consideration by a panel of judges drawn from writers, editors, and publishers. The panel will then draw up a short-list of 6 before agreeing on a winner.


Writing Competition 2019 Details:

Host Country:

  • Pakistan

Essay Topic:

  • The subject of the essay contest 2019 is WOMEN AND PAKISTAN. Entries may be in the form of Essay, Memoir, Polemic or Short Story.
  • Entries must be in English and be no more than 3000 words in length. Any entry that exceeds the word limit will be disqualified.


  • The ZHR Writing Prize for Women will award a cash prize of Rs.100,000 ( One Hundred Thousand Rupees) to the winner of the competition
  • The winning entry will be published online and the writer will be honored at an event at which the prize will be awarded.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • The Competition is open to all women over the age of 18  of Pakistani nationality or Pakistani heritage with a valid NIC, NICOP or Pakistani passport.
  • The competition is open to both professional and unpublished writers. No family member, relative or close associate of  Zeenat Haroon Rashid may enter.

How to Submit an essay for Writing Competition 2019?

  • Only one submission per person is permitted
  • Entries must be submitted via email only to entry@zhrwritingprize.com
  • The submitted work should be a file attached to an email and the FILENAME OF THE ATTACHMENT MUST BE THE TITLE OF THE ENTRY
  • ​The subject heading in the email should be the title of the submitted work
  • The email must contain your NAME, POSTAL ADDRESS, CONTACT TELEPHONE NUMBER and NIC, NICOP or PASSPORT NUMBER (do not send scans of these documents). Entrants should ensure that these details are not visible on the document containing the work itself

Essay Format:

  • The submitted work should be a separate file attached to an email. The file extensions must be either .doc, .docx, .rtf, .pdf or .txt file. Photo or scan formats such as jpegs will not be accepted
  • Black 12pt. font of any standard typeface should be used
  • The submitted work should have a TITLE PAGE on which the CATEGORY  (essay, memoir, polemic, short story) is specified and a total WORD-COUNT noted. Please note that poetry will not be accepted. DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME OR ANY IDENTIFYING MARKS ON THE MANUSCR

Note: The submission must be the individual and original work of a sole author which has not previously been broadcast or published, in print or online. The submitted work may not be a winning or shortlisted work in any other competition or a translation or re-working of a previously published piece by the author or another author’s work.

By submitting an entry you are confirming that the work is your own. Any evidence to the contrary will result in immediate disqualification.


  • Experienced readers will select a long-list from amongst all valid entries. The short-list will be chosen by a panel of judges who are professional authors, editors or publishers. Shortlisted entries will be published on this website before the winner is chosen by the judging panel. All decisions made by the judges are final and no correspondence will be entered into


  • All entries submitted during the period specified will be acknowledged by automated email. The names of long-listed candidates will be published on our website on October 1, 2019. The shortlisted candidates will be contacted via telephone for a short interview and asked to submit email scans of their ID documents. The shortlisted submissions will be published on our website on November 15, 2019. The winner will be announced on or before December 25, 2019 and the prize will be awarded on JANUARY 21, 2020 in Karachi. The winner should be available to travel to Karachi for the event

Entries Deadline:

  • The opening date for submission of entries is April 1, 2019, and the closing date is July 15, 2019. Entries submitted outside these dates will not be considered