Farah Ahamed's short fiction and essays have been published in Ploughshares,The Massachusetts Review, The Mechanics' Institute Review among others. Her stories explore how culture, religion, and politics constrain and determine the lives of ordinary people. One set of stories is based in East Africa, another in Pakistan. She also has a novel, 'Dil Bahar', about a traditional sweet shop set in the back streets of Lahore. 'Diil Bahar' was shortlisted for the 2020 ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Award.
Farah has been shortlisted for various prizes including the Primadonna Festival Writing Award (2019), and the Canadian CBC Books Short Story Award (2018). Previously, she was joint winner of the inaugural Gerald Kraak Award and highly commended in the London Short Story Prize. Her essays and stories have been shortlisted for the Thresholds Essay Prize, Screen Craft Prize, SI Leeds Literary Prize, DNA/Out of Print Award, and The Asian Writer Short Story Prize. She has been nominated for The Pushcart and Caine prizes.
Farah is a human rights lawyer with a Diploma in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. She also has an MA in Education. She was born in Kenya and has lived in Nairobi, Vancouver, Kampala, London and Bilbao. She currently lives between London and Lahore and is working on a short story collection and 'Dil Bahar,' a novel inspired by the delicious badami gulab jamuns of Lahore.
An advocate for ending period poverty, Farah's anthology on menstruation experiences in South Asia will be published by Pan Macmillan India in 2021. It carries essays by Shashi Tharoor, Shashi Deshpande, and art from Anish Kapoor, Rupi Kaur, and Sarah Naqvi. It also documents the challenges faced by women who are homeless, in asylums, in prison as well as in occupations which put them at the margins. Together with her sisters, Farah runs a campaign in Kenya which helps raise awareness about menstrual hygiene. Since 2011, more than 50,000 pairs of underpants have been distributed to 12,000 girls in over 100 locations across Kenya.
Her Udemy course 'Read like a writer and write a short story' can be found here.
You can read some of Farah's stories and essays here:
Dil Bahar, Quarter Finalist in Screen Craft Award
A Man of Talent, Out of Print, India
Thin Air, in Middle of the Sentence, The Common Breath Anthology, Scotland
Review of Kuzhali Manickavel's This is Us and This is Us Outside ,Out of Print, India
Sugra, The Mechanics Institute Review, Birbeck, University of London
Essay: A Paper Boat on the Ganges, Kitaab,
Essay: Staring at Statues,Kitaab (South Asian Journal)
Inaugural Primadonna Prize Shortlist
Essay: Menstruation in Fiction, Ploughshares (Emerson College, USA)
The Salehs, shortlist, Screen Craft Award (USA)
A Clump of Nsenenes, shortlist, Sunderland Waterstones Short Story Award (UK)
A Safe Place, shortlist, British Asian Writer Award, Dividing Lines Anthology, Dahlia Press(UK)
Poached Eggs, shortlist, London Short Story Award Anthology, Kingston University Press (UK)
Raag Marwa, The Missing Slate (Pakistan)
One of us, Two Serious Ladies (USA)
Dr Patel, Out of Print, nominated for Caine Prize,(India)
Life will be better, Daily News Analysis, finalist Out of Print/DNA Competition (India)
Red is For Later, Behind the Yellow Wall Paper Anthology; Celebrating the work of Charlotte Parker Gilman, New Lit Salon Press, (USA), nominated for Pushcart Prize
Serves them right: A collection of stories, shortlis, SI Leeds Literary Prize (UK)
1972, Kwani? (Kenya), nominated for Caine Prize
Just a Name, anthology, Bridge House Press (UK)
No Sanctuary, anthology,Fey Publishing (USA)