An international writing competition for women and girls from diverse communities in Birmingham, Bangladesh and Pakistan has been launched.

My City, My Home is part of Transforming Narratives, a ground-breaking three-year project to establish Birmingham as a global centre for contemporary arts from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The project is being delivered by Sampad South Asian Arts and Heritage, one of the UK’s leading arts development agencies.

As a brand new global initiative, it aims to reach out to emerging female writers from all three locations resulting in a publication of selected works, together with live readings at events.

The international competition is open to women and girls aged 16 and over, exploring and reflecting on the phrase “My City, My Home”.

Run online, women can enter a poem, short-story, or other prose: and are able to submit two pieces of work in either English, Urdu or Bangla.

'My City, My Home' is a writing competition for women from Birmingham, Bangladesh and Pakistan Sampad
‘My City, My Home’ is a writing competition for women from Birmingham, Bangladesh and Pakistan

Director of Sampad, Piali Ray OBE feels the project is an opportunity for an often overlooked demographic.

“The identity and role of women is as diverse across cities and countries as is 21st century society.

“Cities are a melting pot of cosmopolitan cultures yet, there is a distinctiveness and roots that connect to the past.

“By launching ‘My City, My Home’ in what is Sampad’s 30th anniversary year, we want to give women and girls the chance to tell their story. We need to hear it from them.”

Sophina Jagot, Project Manager at Transforming NarrativesTransforming Narratives
Sophina Jagot, Project Manager at Transforming Narratives

According to project manager Sophina Jagot, the Transforming Narratives programme “is all about making connections between artists and creative practitioners in Birmingham, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and it seemed to us now more than ever we needed to support the cultural sector in making those connections.”

She added the creative competition “promises to make and develop many new connections with groups of women and girls creating opportunities for them to participate and create for themselves. We look forward to hearing their stories.”

Supported by Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council and British Council, you can find out more about ‘My City, My Home’ here. The closing date for entries is 30th December 2020. 

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