Anthology Project - Collection of Short Stories and Poems


In memory of the late Cassandra Balchin,
Muslim Women’s Network UK are pleased to announce that we will be creating an anthology due for publication in 2014.

Aim of the Project

Our aim is to show a complete picture of the real lives of Muslim women and the wider community. This includes the good, the bad and the ugly and thus whilst we seek for example, submissions on the issue of forced marriage, we similarly welcome submissions on the topic of arranged marriages so as to show a distinction between the two. We would like female genital mutilation discussed along with all the other forms of violence against women. We want the economic inequality of women addressed together with barriers such as racism. There is no limit to the amount of topics, or to the level of creativity that can be displayed by an individual.

It is for these reasons that we are keeping submissions open to all, and whilst preference is given to topics related to our current priority areas we are not being restrictive on subjects. If you consider it relevant for Muslim women in UK and the wider community, then it is worthy of being entered.

Are you a poet or writer?

If you are a poet or writer, then this is your chance to make a difference to your life and that of others.


The First Round of submissions having ended on 30th September, we invite you to our Second Round of submissions which will end on 22nd December 2013 at 11pm. On this occasion whilst we remain open to contributions on all subjects we are specifically seeking to explore the following topics:

*Economic empowerment and hurdles encountered as well as positive accounts
*Social inclusion and exclusion
*Appearances including the niqab debate.
*Domestic violence
*Marriage including societal pressures to get married as well as positive and negative accounts of arranged and love marriages.
*Sexual abuse
*Mental health related topics such as post-natal depression, bi-polar disorder etc.
*Other health related topics such as Multiple Sclerosis, skin ailments, need for bone marrow donations etc.
Submissions Criteria

1. All submissions must be either relevant to our current priority areas or relevant to the work of Muslim Women’s Network UK, or Muslim women and the wider community for generally. Please specify which criteria your work(s) fall under at the time of submission; our current priority areas are as follows: 1. Sharing understandings of gender in Islam from a human rights perspective, 2. Sharing knowledge of UK family laws, marriage and divorce, 3.Changing attitudes to domestic violence against women, 4. Changing attitudes to mental health, 5. Changing attitudes to women’s leadership, 6. Supporting actions to addressing forced marriages, 7. Supporting actions to addressing child sexual abuse.
2. All submissions must be the original work of the author and not published elsewhere, unless with prior permission from Vice-Chair Nazmin Akthar and Board Member Khursheed Wadia.

3. Submissions are open to all irrespective of age, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.
4. Poetry submissions must be no longer than 38 lines. Short stories must be no longer than 2000 words. During the selection, the panel reserve the right to increase or reduce the word limit on a particular entry where it is felt it would assist with the impact.

5. Please use 11 point Palatino Linotype for submission and ensure that your name is clearly displayed on each submission. Please see note 7 for anonymous submissions.

6. We would appreciate it if your city of residence, age and/or profession can be specified so as to allow an accurate reflection of the diversity of individuals involved. Such information is not mandatory for selection and is at your discretion whether you wish to make it available.
7. Due to the nature and content of anticipated work, we are happy to allow anonymous publications. If you wish to remain anonymous please make this clear to the panel at submission so that your request can be honoured.

8. Whilst we have not placed a limit on the number of submissions made, we suggest that submissions are limited to a maximum of four.

9. The deadline for First Round submissions is 30th September 2013 at 11pm. Any individual requests for extensions are at the discretion of Vice-Chair Nazmin Akthar and Board Member Khursheed Wadia and will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

10. Where necessary, Muslim Women’s Network UK reserves the right to hold a second round of submissions and specify new criteria to be adhered to. The deadline of the second round of submissions is 22nd December 2013 at 11pm and this will be considered as the final deadline.

11. To submit your entry, please attach your submissions to an email and confirm your name, contact details and the name(s) of your submission(s) along with the criteria under which the submissions fall under to: We will endeavour to confirm receipt within 5 working days of receiving your email. If an electronic submission is not possible, please contact Muslim Women’s Network UK so that alternative ways of submission can be discussed.
12. Muslim Women’s Network UK reserves the right to change, extend or otherwise amend any dates specified.

13. Selection will be made by a panel decided by Muslim Women’s Network UK’s board and lead by Vice-Chair Nazmin Akthar, which will be confirmed 28 days before the deadline of final submissions. Muslim Women’s Network UK reserves the right to invite and select panel members outside of its board members or network where the individual’s expertise and/or contribution is deemed advantageous for the purposes of the project.
14. By submitting your entry, you agree to give Muslim Women’s Network UK permission to publish and promote (both online and offline) your work for the purposes of the anthology together with your name, and relevant information as agreed.

15. Muslim Women’s Network UK reserves the right to cancel this project should circumstances deem this to be a necessary course of action.

16. Please retain copies of each submission as they will not be returned.

17. If guidance is required on an issue not covered within these rules or if you have any other queries, please contact Nazmin Akthar or Khursheed Wadia.


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