Farah Ahamed

Fiction Writer 
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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 collection is based in East Africa, another in Pakistan. She is working on a novel, 'Dil Bahar,' about the manager, Amanullah, of a traditional sweet shop set in the back streets of Lahore. 'Diil Bahar' was shortlisted for the 2020 Screen Craft Cinematic Book Award and a finalist for the Primadonna Award 2019.

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. 

An advocate for ending period poverty, Farah's anthology on menstruation challenges of people in South Asia will be published by Pan Macmillan India in 2021. Together with her sisters, Farah runs a campaign Panties with Purpose 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. 


You can read some of Farah's stories and essays here: 



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Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2021, 'Queen Victoria in the Basement,' amongst top 200 stories

Spread The Word, Life Writing Prize Special Mention

My Personal Anthology: A list of short stories about sculptures and flowers

No Time To Sleep: A Theatre Experience, The Dreaming Machine

This one's not for us, Dress You Up Anthology, New Lit Salon Press

Review of Kuzhali Manickavel's Whore, Out of Print, India


Review of Dr Patel stories

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)

The Primadonna of Anarkali Book Market (listen to me read at 17.15),

Inaugural Primadonna Prize Shortlist

Essay: Menstruation in Fiction, Ploughshares (Emerson College, USA)

We’re Watching You, longlist CBC Short Story Award (Canada)


Essay: The Tyranny of History, finalist Thresholds Award (UK)

The Salehs, shortlist, Screen Craft Award (USA)


The Helper of Cattle, Comma Press Commission for Conradology; Celebrating the work of Joseph Conrad (UK)

Poached Eggs, joint winner inaugural Gerald Kraak Award, Pride and Prejudice Anthology, The Other Foundation,(South Africa)


Author Profile: Reading Sadat Hassan Manto in an age of dislocation, highly commended Thresholds Award (UK)

Author Profile: The breaking of silence: Shashi Deshpande, Thresholds (UK)

The Tabla Player, The Massachusetts Review Special Edition on Music (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)