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2017 Winners


Congratulations to the 2017 winner:

Firuza Pastakia for her story The Universe is a Conscientious Gardener


The two other finalists were:

  • Saniya Kamal for her story The Last Interview of Lara Khalid
  • Nur Ibrahim for her story Against the Dust

Honorable Mentions:

  • Jawziya Zaman  – Contagion
  • Taimoor Ahmad – Noor
  • Laila Kasuri  – Balochi Bots – The Adventures of Omar Jamshed
  • Maira Asaad – Rootless
  • Faraz Talat – Symptoms of Prejudice
  • Zain Rashid Mian – The Short Life of Ali Lakri
  • Saadia Pathan – Sunless

A big thanks to our 2017 jury, consulting editor and literary agent for their support and guidance!

Jeff VanderMeer: Jeff VanderMeer is the NY Times bestselling author of the Southern Reach Trilogy. He has won the World Fantasy award, Nebula Award, and Shirley Jackson Award, among others, and his work has been translated into 36 languages. As an editor, he has published the work of Amos Tutuola, Karin Tidbeck, Leena Krohn, and many other international writers More About Jeff


Usman Malik: Usman Malik is a Pakistani writer of strange stories. His work has won the Bram Stoker and British Fantasy awards, been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, twice for the Nebula Award, and appeared in several Year’s Best anthologies. He resides in two worlds, but you can find on Twitter @usmantm More about Usman


Mahvesh Murad:Mahvesh Murad is a science fiction critic, columnist and editor of anthologies such as Apex Book of World SF 4 and the upcoming The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories (Solaris Books). She is also the host of’s weekly interview podcast Midnight in Karachi More about Mahvesh


Ann VanderMeer helped us with critique and possible acquisition for a high tier science fiction magazine

Seth Fishman of the The Gernert Company provided market guidance.