Tag: SI Leeds Literary Prize

And the winner is…

…not me – hehe! The results of the SI Leeds Literary Prize 2022 were announced yesterday and, alas, there were no awards for yours truly. But I’m happy anyway – it has been such a positive experience to be longlisted, and then shortlisted, and the amazing and generous Prize Plus programme of support that the SI Leeds team will be providing to all shortlisted writers over the coming year means that this is far from the end of the road.

Of course, massive congratulations go to the first prize winner Suad Kamardeen, and runners up Latoyah Innerarity and Laura Fish, who also won the Readers’ Choice Award, on their achievements. And shout-outs also go to my fellow shortlistees Arianne Maki and Oluwaseun Oluwatosin Akinsiku on theirs. It truly is an honour to join the SI Leeds Literary Prize family with all of them. You can find out more about them and their novels here.

The recording of the Shortlist Showcase held on 11th October, which I talked about in my previous blog, is also available on the same link. The showcase was a celebratory evening filled with absorbing readings, insightful discussions, and joyful audience interaction. Many thanks again to Fiona Goh and the team at SI Leeds Literary Prize, Farhana Shaikh at The Asian Writer (host of the showcase event), and Rosie Dastgir (chair of the showcase) for organising such a lovely event.

So, what happens next? Well, I used to dread public readings, but I am warming up to them now and had lots of fun doing the showcase reading, so I have made a note-to-self to volunteer for them more often. I also want to keep up the momentum with When You’re Smiling, so I will be dusting off the synopsis and polishing up the pitch in readiness for another round of submissions. And I would like to give something back to the writing community as thanks for all the support given to me over the last few years, so I will be planning something on that front.

In other words, watch this space… 😊

Peace and blessings,


Showcase Time!

Hello folks, I hope you’re well.

I’m really honoured to say that When You’re Smiling, my novel, has been nominated for the SI Leeds Literary Prize 2022. The prize is for unpublished fiction by UK-based Black and Asian women. The aim of the prize, in the words of the organisers, “is to act as a loudspeaker for fresh and original literary voices from an under-represented group, and to help them reach new audiences in mainstream culture.” How cool is that?

The winner of the SI Leeds Literary Prize 2022 and the SI Readers’ Choice award will be announced online on Friday 21 October as part of the Ilkley Literature Festival. In the meantime, the lovely people at SI Leeds have teamed up with the lovely people at The Asian Writer to host a showcase event chaired by Rosie Dastgir and featuring readings from the six shortlisted writers.

I’ve been having fun this week selecting a passage for the reading that will complement the two already available on the prize website (which you can read and view here, along with the excerpts from the other shortlisted writers). It is such a boost to have your work recognised when you’ve been labouring over it for years, and even nicer to have the opportunity to share it with an audience when most of the writing process is a lone endeavour (with just your inner critic for company), so I’m really excited for the event.

The showcase takes place on Tuesday 11th October, 7:30pm to 9:00pm. It is an online event and doesn’t cost a penny, but you do need to register for tickets, which you can get here. So, if you’re free and looking for some literary entertainment, do join us. I look forward to seeing you there.

Peace and blessings,