Adab Fest Creative Writing Workshop

27, 28, 29, 30 January 2020: 10 am to 4 pm

Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi (ACPK)


  • Free tuition
  • Free lunch and tea will be provided by Adab Fest during workshop hours
  • Travel, accommodation, and transport are not included and will be the responsibility of workshop participants

Eligibility Criteria

  • Emerging and aspiring writers residing in Pakistan.
  • We will consider all submissions but will give preference to applicants between the ages of 16 and 39.

Submission Guidelines

Submit your CV and an unpublished work (on any topic ) of up to 2,000 words to by 7 December 2019.


Aamer Hussein: Adab Fest Creative Writing Workshop Tutor

Born in Karachi in 1955 where he lived until 1968, Aamer studied for 18 months in Ootacamund, India, and then moved to London in 1970. He studied Urdu, Persian, and History at SOAS and later worked as a researcher for films and TV before beginning to write full-time in the mid-1980s.

His work has been anthologised in Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, Urdu, etc. His early stories appeared in Critical Quarterly and Artrage, and anthologies including Colours of a New Day (Penguin), God (Serpent's Tail) and Border Lines (Serpent's Tail) before being collected in his first volume, Mirror to the Sun (Mantra Publishing, 1993). His other short story collections include This Other Salt (Saqi, 1999); Turquoise (Saqi, 2002); Cactus Town (OUP Pakistan 2002); Insomnia (Telegram, 2007), The Swan's Wife (Ilqa, 2014), 37 Bridges and Other Stories (HarperCollins India 2015, won the 2016 Karachi Literature Festival-French Embassy Award), and Hermitage (Ushba, 2018). His novels include his debut novella Another Gulmohar Tree (Telegram, 2009, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, Eurasia Region), and The Cloud Messenger (Telegram, 2011). He is also the editor of Kahani: Short Stories by Pakistani Women (Saqi, 2005), a revised and extended edition of Hoops of Fire: Fifty Years of Fiction by Pakistani Women (Saqi, 1999).

His reviews, articles, and essays have appeared in Third World Quarterly, Literary Review, Wasafiri, The New Statesman, the TLS, the Annual of Urdu Studies, Moving Worlds, Asymptote Journal among many others. He reviewed regularly for The Independent until its closing. He writes a regular column for Dawn and is a Senior Editor of Critical Muslim.

He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of English Studies (University of London) and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2004. He has served on the jury of the 2002 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the 2007 Commonwealth Writers Prize and the 2008 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. He was a senior lecturer (2008-10) and Professorial Writing Fellow (2010-2014) at the University of Southampton.

Sheheryar B. Sheikh: Adab Fest Creative Writing Workshop Tutor

Sheheryar B. Sheikh is currently a Lecturer, a Teacher Scholar Doctoral Fellow, and PhD candidate researching apocalyptic narratives at the University of Saskatchewan. His coming-of-age debut novel, The Still Point of the Turning World (HarperCollins India, February 2017) was nominated for the 2019 all-Pakistan Getz Pharma Prize. His recent novel, Call me Al (HarperCollins India, 2019) is part critique and part celebration of The Hero’s Journey, as well as a dark satire on Pakistani politics, exile, and messianism. Sheheryar has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame, where he was awarded a Nicholas Sparks Scholarship and Professor Steve Tomasula’s La Vie de Boheme Award for Literary Excellence. His areas of teaching interest are: •Fiction Writing • Post-9/11 American and Diasporic Literature • Cultural and Literary Movements in Twentieth Century America •Modernist Poetry & Prose • Rhetoric & Discourse

Adania Shibli: Adab Fest Keynote Speaker and Creative Writing Workshop Guest Speaker

Adania Shibli was born in Palestine in 1974. She has been publishing since 1996 in literary magazines in the Arab world and Europe. She won the Young Writer's Award-Palestine by the A.M. Qattan Foundation for her novels Masaas (Touch, al-Adab 2002), and again for Kulluna Ba'eed Bethat al Miqdar 'an al Hub (We Are All Equally Far from Love, al-Adab, 2004). The English translations of these novels, Touch and We Are All Equally Far from Love, were published by Clockroot Books. Her work has also been translated into French, German, Italian, Hebrew, and Korean. and is included in the world literature anthology World Without Borders. In 2005, she wrote the play The Error, which has been staged at the Tirstan Bates Theatre (London), New World Theatre (Amherst), and Golden Threads (San Francisco). She earned her PhD from the University of East London (UEL) in 2009. Her PhD research "Visual Terror" explored the visual compositions of the 9/11 attacks compared to major attacks in the "War on Terror", as shaped by British and French television coverage. She was a lecturer at the School of Critical Theory and Cultural Studies, University of Nottingham (2005-2009), a guest lecturer at the L'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris (2008) and a fellow at the Europe in the Middle East (EUME) Research Center in Berlin (2011/12). She has been teaching part-time since 2013 in the Department of Philosophy and Cultural studies at Birzeit University, Palestine. Her latest novel, Tafsil Thanawi (Minor Detail, Beirut: Al-Adab, 2017) won the Pen Translates Award in 2019. Her non-fiction books include Dispositions (Ramallah: Qattan, 2012), an art book exploring movement in the works of contemporary Palestinian visual artists, and an edited collection of essays called A Journey of Ideas Across: In Dialog with Edward Said (Berlin: HKW, 2014).

HM Naqvi: Adab Fest Creative Writing Workshop Guest Speaker

H.M. Naqvi is the award-winning author of Home Boy (Crown Books, '09). The debut was hailed as a “remarkably engaging novel that delights as it disturbs” by the New York Times and awarded the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature in '11. His second novel, The Selected Works of Abdullah the Cossack (Grove Atlantic & HarperCollins India, '19), is set in Karachi and has been called one of the most anticipated novels of the year. Naqvi has worked in the financial services industry and taught creative writing at Boston University and the Lahore University of Management Sciences. He is working his third novel and a collection of essays.

Uzma Aslam Khan: Adab Fest Creative Writing Workshop Guest Speaker

Uzma Aslam Khan is an award-winning author of five novels that include Trespassing, nominated for a 2003 Commonwealth Prize; The Geometry of God, one of Kirkus Review’s Best Books of 2009, and winner of the Bronze award at the Independent Book Publishers Awards; Thinner Than Skin, longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and winner of the inaugural French Embassy Prize for Best Fiction at the Karachi Literature Festival 2014. Khan’s fifth novel, the The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali (shortlisted for the Tata Literature Live Best Book of the Year Award for Fiction 2019), set in the Japanese-occupied British penal colony of the Andaman Islands during WW2, was released as a lead title by Context/Westland Books in 2019. Among much acclaim for the book are Pankaj Mishra’s words: 'The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali brilliantly excavates a forgotten past of several societies and honors its human complexity with a narrative of delicate precision. As affecting as it is intellectually powerful, the novel is a master lesson in the art of historical fiction.’ And Mohammed Hanif writes: 'A glorious novel about a forgotten place and a part of our history that we hardly ever talk about.’ At its launch at Adabfest 2020, Uzma will be in conversation with Framji Minwalla and looks forward to speaking , among other things, of her over-26-year journey to this little known history, which has never before appeared in a work of fiction.

Her work has appeared in Granta, The Massachusetts Review, Guardian, Nimrod International Journal of Poetry and Prose, Counterpunch, Drawbridge, Dawn, Herald, among other periodicals and journals. Website: Instagram: @uzmaaslamkhan_writer.