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Judith Khan Memorial Poetry Prize

JKS Poetry Prize

Please note that the 2017 edition of the Judith Khan Memorial Poetry Prize has been indefinitely postponed until further notice. DWL will put out an announcement when the contest is open for submissions again.


The winner of the 2016 Judith Khan Memorial Poetry Prize is Orooj-e-Zafar, an Islamabad poet, has won the 2nd annual poetry award. To read the complete announcement, please read our post on the DWL blog or read the winning entry here.


The Judith Khan Memorial Poetry Prize is an annual cash prize in the amount of $250 awarded to a writer of poetry self-identifying as Pakistani. The competition for the award usually initiates every year on May 20, the day Mrs. Judith Khan departed from this world. Winners are generally announced in the summer.


The award honors Mrs. Khan’s legacy and her generous spirit. Moreover, the goal of the award is to support artists who either live in or originate from Pakistan. As long as you self-identify as a Pakistani artist, an artist originating from Pakistan, or with roots in Pakistan, you are eligible to participate.


The prize was established in January 2015 and is funded by Mrs. Khan’s former student, Noorulain Noor and her husband, Usman Saeed.


The winner of the first Judith Khan Memorial Poetry Prize was announced on July 31, 2015. Click here to read the announcement. or read the inaugural winning entry here.


Submission Guidelines:


• Submit up to 3 pages of poetry in English in a Word document (.doc or .docx) to jkmprize [at] gmail [dot] com by June 30, 2016, with the subject “Poetry Submission.” Multiple submissions are not accepted.


• By “up to 3 pages of poetry”, we mean you can submit as many or as few poems in a single MS Word document of maximum 3 pages.


• By “multiple submissions”, we mean separate MS Word documents/emails. So you can submit multiple poems in one document that does not exceed the maximum page length. But if you send in a second entry separately after you have already submitted to the contest once, the second entry will not be accepted.


• Poetry must be original and unpublished and may be on any topic and in any form (no translations). We prefer poetry that focuses on language to evoke feeling. We want you to show us your passion and resilience, your courage, your unique view of the world.


• Include a cover letter with your name, address, email, and telephone number.


• Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but please let us know as soon as your work is accepted for publication elsewhere.


• There will be only one winner of the poetry prize.


• Two finalists will be announced in addition to the poetry prize winner.


• All submissions will be considered for publication in Papercuts, a publication of Desi Writers’ Lounge.


• The recipient of the prize is chosen by the award founders. All submissions are judged by a jury that will be evolving on a yearly basis.


• Questions about the competition may be directed to jkmprize [at] gmail [dot] com.


• We will be acknowledging individual submissions, and the winners and finalists will be announced on this page, and through Desi Writers’ Lounge in July.


• Any submissions that do not follow the guidelines will be discarded.