You may be aware that the first ever Muslim Writers Awards were successfully launched last year in the U.K. They were launched by Innovate Arts CIC, a Birmingham based company dedicated to promote arts and culture within the Muslim community in Britain.
The initiative was profiled extensively in the West Midlands press and on television. Launched in partnership with Birmingham City Council and Islam Channel amongst others, it has since seen many high-profile organisations including major banks and publishers commit their long-term support to this project.
Our remit is a challenging one — to encourage more creative thinking within the Muslim community, particularly amongst young Muslims, and help them become better communicators. We want to do this by encouraging potential new writers to submit authentic and original work covering fiction, fact, poetry or prose, from the weird and wonderful to the absolutely bizarre.
The focus is on impacting the community cohesion agenda by demonstrating a positive side of the Muslim community to the mainstream population and getting more and more Muslims to integrate into mainstream society. We hope to use this initiative as a platform to unite the Muslim community in Britain. We cannot over-emphasise the importance of this initiative in the current climate.
The inaugural Awards evening was held on 28 March at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham and due to the overwhelming success of the awards and submissions we had, we have decided to take the awards national.
The idea of this initiative is to assist and nurture emerging writers and get them published, we are looking at the writers creative talent and not their religious beliefs. Works are now being submitted from individuals and organisations, including schools, from all around the country and the whole project is set to grow further.
Our aim is to ensure that this continues to grow into a credible, long-term and self-sustaining initiative.
Our next Awards event will be held on 29th March 2008 at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham. We are expecting approximately 1000 guests including many people from the Muslim Power 100 list. Lord Nazir Ahmed, a prominent Labour peer and Sayeeda Warsi, the Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion, have already confirmed their attendance to this event along with other high-profile dignitaries from the social, political and business fields.
This initiative has already attracted huge media interest and is going to be broadcast to tens of millions of people in over 130 countries.
The categories for the 2008 Awards are:
- Non Fiction,
- Short Story,
- Novel Award,
- Poetry Award,
- Under 16’s,
- Best Children’s Story,
- Best New Writer of the Year,
- Best Published Writer (nominations for this category are being sought from publishers).
We have already had committed support from Tindal Street Press, Scholastic, the Poetry Society, Asians in the Media amongst other national publishers. Our current focus is on raising more awareness throughout the U.K. and we are sending you this brief information about this initiative with a view to arrange more coverage in the lead up to the event through editorials and interviews.
For further information about this pioneering and challenging initiative and the Muslim Writers Award 2008, please contact:
T: 0121 359 2891/07852 972 677
Source of message:
Innovate Arts via EMIT Writers News (August).