Writing Competition

We’re delighted to be launching our own Muslim fiction imprint and are looking to discover new exciting voices. We’re especially keen to support and encourage submissions from early-career writers, and will work closely with authors to help develop their work.

To help us recognise and celebrate new writing talent we have set up two writing competitions for you to enter:

  • 1. Beacon Books Writing for Children Competition

We particularly welcome stories which fit into the folklore/fables/fairy tales category such as Aesop’s tales, Stories from One Thousand and One Nights, and Mulla Nasruddin stories. The story can be with or without illustrations and should be no more than 1500 words. The stories should be aimed at children (7+) or young adults. We cannot accept picture books but welcome stories in a comic book style.


1st Prize   – £100/$140

2nd Prize – £50/$70

3rd Prize – bundle books

  • 2. Beacon Books Short Story Competition

We welcome new and original fiction which fits into the genre of ‘Islamic lit’ or ‘Islamicate’ literature. We are excited to see how you interpret this and welcome new approaches. Your short story can be on any theme or subject and should be no more than 2500 words. This competition is open to people of all backgrounds from the UK or overseas.


1st Prize   – £100/$140

2nd Prize – £50/$70

3rd Prize – bundle books

The 12 best stories will be published in an anthology, scheduled for print in July 2018.

The deadline for entries is April 6th 2018.

Please note that we are still open to receiving submissions for non-fiction and fiction books in any genre though our normal submissions process. Simply contact us through submissions@beaconbooks.net


Farhana Shaikh

Farhana Shaikh is a writer and publisher born in Leicester. She founded The Asian Writer in 2007. She later established Dahlia Publishing to publish regional and diverse writing and the Leicester Writes Festival to celebrate local writing talent. She has facilitated creative writing workshops and judged competitions in the UK and India. Farhana has received an arts bursary from the Royal Shakespeare Company and is currently part of Curve Leicester’s Cultural Leadership programme. She writes feature articles, reviews, short stories, poetry and fiction.


Julia Juwairiah Simpson

Julia Juwairiah Simpson lived in Saudi Arabia for 17 years, where she worked as an English teacher at King Abdul Aziz University, as script writer for the English Service of the Saudi Broadcasting System, and as a freelance writer for the Arab News, the Saudi Gazette and the Riyadh Daily. She is the author of four Muslim children’s books put out by American Trust Publications. Her short fiction, set in Saudi Arabia, was aired several times by the BBC World Service. Her children’s novel (The Red Sea Pirate) won first place in the 2003 Seven Hills Writers’ Contest (sponsored by the Tallahassee Writers’ Association). Her memoir, The Red Sea Bride, written under the pseudonym Sylvia Fowler, is available on Amazon. Currently, she teaches writing at Fresno City College, California. Her most recent children’s book, Burning Boats: The Birth of Muslim Spain, was published last year by Beacon Books.

Qaisra Sharaz

Qaisra Shahraz is a British-Pakistani novelist, scriptwriter, college inspector, teacher trainer, education consultant and freelance journalist. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and is a former director of Gatehouse Books, publishing books written by students for Skills for Life classes. She has hosted many workshops and training sessions on “Quality in Education” in Pakistan and India through the British Council. Her work is mostly focused on the diversity of mankind exploring aspects of racial, gender, and cultural divides. In 2016 she won the Lifetime Achiever Award at the National Diversity Awards held at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral.



Entry into the competition is £5/$7. If you want one of our expert judges to write a critique of your story then there is an extra £5 charge payable with the entry fee. Simply choose the second option from the drop-down box in the Paypal button.

Once you have paid the entry fee please email your entry to Beacon Books with the subject heading Beacon Books Writing Competition with the following information:

  • Your name, address, contact telephone number, email address, story title and the competition you wish to enter.
  • Include your paypal Transaction ID number.
  • Attach your story with the filename saved as the story title. Please do not write your name or other forms of identification anywhere in the file.

We are offering 50 FREE entries to the Writing Competitions for people on low-incomes. If you are on a low-income and would like to apply for free entry, then please include an explanation of your financial situation in your email instead of the paypal Transaction ID. 

Please email your entry along with the information above to: write@beaconbooks.net

We only accept new and original fiction, so please don’t send us material you’ve had published or submitted elsewhere. Your entry should be saved as a .doc file and written in Times New Roman 12pt font. You may submit as many entries as you wish.

Entry Fee

Please note that if you do not have a paypal account you can still pay with your credit card by choosing the second option:
Check out – “Pay without a PayPal account”

The deadline for entries is April 6th 2018.


  1. Beacon Books Fiction Writing Competitions are open to all writers.
  2. Entries must be new and original writing. There is no set theme. The word limit is 2500 words. Writers must only submit one entry.
  3. Entry is £5. If you want a critique written by one of our judges, then there is an extra £5 charge.
  4. The closing date for entries is April 6th 2018.
  5. Winners will be notified at the email address stated in their entry. We aim to make a decision about the longlist by April 30th 2018.
  6. Please include your email address and other contact details in the body of the email along with the title of your entry. Your entry must be sent as an email attachment with the title of the story only. Do not put your name anywhere on the entry. Please ensure your entry is sent in a Word document format. No other formats including wps, txt, or pdf will be accepted.
  7. By submitting, the entrant grants Beacon Books the right to publish their entry in a published collection in the event of their work being long-listed and/or winning the competition. The copyright of the works will remain with individual authors.
  8. Winners agree to participate in publicity events in connection with the competition.
  9. Beacon Books and the winners may enter into agreements which will grant Beacon Books the publishing, broadcasting, serial and electronic rights in the long-listed and winning entries.
  10. Beacon Books reserve the right to cancel the competition if less than 20 entries are received for each competition.
  11. Beacon Books reserves the right to change the rules of this competition without notice.

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