Ruqaya's Bookshelf Short Story Competition!

Submissions are now closed
Calling all young writers!
Many of our young readers at Ruqaya’s Bookshelf are also talented writers. To encourage young Muslim storytelling, we’re hosting a short story writing contest for budding writers between the ages of 7-12.
  • Authors must be between the ages of 7 and 12.
  • Submitted stories must be the author’s original story idea created with minimal adult help.
  • This contest is open to authors in North America (Canada/United States).
  • Please limit submissions to one story per author.
  • Stories will be judged separately for age groups 7-9 and 10-12. Stories submitted to the 7-9 age group should be 700 words or less. Stories submitted to the 10-12 age group should be 1000 words or less.
  • Submissions should be typed in a Microsoft Office Word document.
  • Illustrations are welcome, but not required. 
  • The story should feature a Muslim character, but aside from that, authors are encouraged to be as creative as they like!
Stories will be judged for their creativity and quality of writing. Prizes will be awarded to the best-judged story from each age group.
The winning author from the 7-9 age group will be awarded a full-set of Ruqaya’s Bookshelf picture books (value of $200) and a $50 Amazon gift-card.
The winning author from the 10-12 age group will receive a $100 Amazon gift-card, and a one-on-one coaching session with Asmaa Hussein, author and founder of Ruqaya’s Bookshelf.
Everyone who enters the contest will receive a small gift from Ruqaya's Bookshelf!
Please submit stories by November 11, 2019 by emailing with the following information:
  • Child's name and age.
  • Full name and mailing address of child's parent/guardian.
  • One attached Word file containing the story and (optional) scanned illustration file in PDF or JPEG format.
Submissions that do not follow the guidelines will be automatically disqualified. Winners will be announced on December 15.
Happy writing!
Meet our talented judges! 
Rahma Mohamed
Rahma is the author of children’s titles Muhiima's Quest (2017) and Little Brother for Sale (2018). Immigrating to Quebec at the age of 8 from Hargeisa, Somalia, Rahma endured years of bullying due to her inability to speak the language and for being different. But in time, she became fluent in both French and English and became the first to graduate from University in her family. Rahma believes that children need to be able to find themselves in books they read to enhance their self-confidence as well as bolster their sense of identity.
Shoilee Khan
Shoilee Khan
Shoilee’s fiction appears in the short story collection The Unpublished City (BookThug, 2017) as well as in a diverse collection of magazines and journals. Her academic work most recently appeared in Confluences 2 (Mawenzi, 2017). She currently serves as a member of the Planning Committee for the Festival of Literary Diversity. She is currently a doctoral student in English Literature at York University.
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