Muslim Writers Awards recognise Britain’s literary talent

Muslim Writers Awards recognise Britain

The annual Muslim Writers Awards will take place on 29th March 2008 at the ICC in Birmingham, and will recognise the breadth and quality of literary talent within the UK’s Muslim community. The Awards have already attracted support from the Prime Minister, local government and celebrity advocates like Jermaine Jackson and James Caan (Dragon’s Den). The ceremony will be broadcast live to millions of viewers across the UK, Europe and the Middle East by Islam Channel.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has pledged his support for the awards, stating: “This is a wonderful opportunity to bring excellent writing by Muslim writers to new audiences, and increase the mutual understanding of the people of Britain. Through literature we can learn about disparate cultures and widen our perspectives of the world. I would like to congratulate all of the participating writers and the winners of this year’s awards.”

The Muslim Writers Awards initiative is now in it’s second year, and is organized by Innovate Arts – a non-profit body. MWA 2008 will recognize the work of 26 writers across eight categories, with the prestigious “Writer of the Year” awards being presented by Jermaine Jackson at the glittering Awards gala. The initiative has received a phenomenal response from the British Muslim community. Innovate Arts accepted more than 10,000 submissions, and a panel of judges has worked tirelessly over the last three months to review the entries and select the awards nominees.

Imran Akram, Head of Innovate Arts, commented: “The 10,000 submissions we received clearly demonstrate that British Muslims are passionate about creative expression. The body of work that we’ve reviewed this year includes heart-felt poetic compositions, educational children’s stories and compelling fiction pieces. The nominees for each category represent the cream of British Muslim literary talent. However, the initiative has a wider objective than the awards themselves. We want to encourage talented British Muslims, of all ages and backgrounds, to develop their powers of creative expression. This is a vital tool for encouraging integration and cementing community cohesion.”

1000 guests will be attending the Awards ceremony, including 25 Senior Parliamentarians, 30 Local Councillors including the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, 300+ representatives from the UK’s highly successful Muslim business community.

Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) commented: “More than ever before, the peaceful message of Islam needs to be communicated in a manner that befits its creative tradition. I am proud to endorse this initiative, which encourages Muslims to express their creativity through writing, and my warmest congratulations go out to the participants of Muslim Writers Awards 2008.”

Muslim Peer, Lord Bhatia, commented: “The Muslim Writers Awards is a noble initiative that will greatly facilitate social integration in this country. This project is invaluable in demonstrating the abundance of creative literary talent within the Muslim community, which needs to be nurtured and recognised. I am delighted to be associated with this initiative, and look forward to helping the Muslim Writers Awards achieve the success this project thoroughly deserves.”

Awards Categories and Nominees

NON FICTION AWARD
(sponsored by Yorkshire Bank)
Shelina Zahra Janmohamed (Age: 33) London
Zaynab Dawood (Age: 31) Blackburn
Ameena Hanif (Age: 30)
Dr Ahmar Malik (Age: 40) Birmingham

SHORT STORY AWARD
(sponsored by Dept. for Communities and Local Government)
Kashif Choudry (Age: 28) Solihull, West Midlands
Samina Rehman (Age: 34) Nottingham
Zimarina Sarwar (Age: 21) Wembley, London
Romana Majid (Age: 28) London

NOVEL AWARD
(sponsored by Radisson SAS)
Fatima Martin (Age: 49) Woking, Surrey
Shahida Rahman (Age: ) Cambridge
Dina Begum (Age: 27) Barking, London
Zahra Rashid (Age: 33) Pinner, London

POETRY AWARD
(sponsored by Birmingham City Council)
Shameam Akhtar (Age 38) Bradford
Mahtab Khan (Age: 43) Birmingham
Zahid Hussain (Age: ) Manchester
Wajid Hussain (Age: ) Newcastle Upon Tyne

UNDER 16’s AWARD
(sponsored by Islam Channel)
Humaira Rashid (Age: 16) Dewsbury, West Yorkshire
Hanzla Arif MacDonald (Aged 15)
Saadiyah Khan (Age: 14) Bradford
Aisha Nawaz (Age: 15) Ward End, Birmingham

BEST CHILDREN’S STORY AWARD
(sponsored by Muslim Hands)
Aliya Vaughan (Age: 37) Brixton Hill, London
Sima Yacoob (Age: ) Hall Green, Birmingham
Gazala Ishaq (Age: ) Region: TBC
Haroon Rashid (Age 33) Erdington, Birmingham

PUBLISHED WRITER AWARD
WRITER OF THE YEAR AWARD

Further information about the Awards can be found at www.muslimwritersawards.co.uk.

About Innovate Arts
Innovate Arts is a not for profit Community Interest Company that supports the development and promotion of arts and arts-related projects across the UK. We actively work with local and national stakeholders from both public and private sectors to help nurture and promote talent and address issues related to cohesion and the integration of all communities into mainstream British life.

Region: All
Venue: International Convention Centre, Birmingham
Celebs Attending: Jermaine Jackson, James Caan,
Website: http://www.muslimwritersawards.co.uk
Press Tickets: Available
Sponsorship: Not Available
 
Press Tickets:
Name: Junaid Abbas Bhatti
Phone: 07980 586 243