Skip to content


Enter the deep, dark heart of winter, where we gather around the fire and tell stories. Shadows leap on the walls behind us, the logs in the fire crackle and pop, and outside, a looming fog closes in. Inside, it is warm, but for only a time, for in the fog you can just make out a dark figure, or perhaps several, inching closer and closer, as a foreboding sense of doom rises within you…

It is time, after all, for the …


Narrative writing and illustration contest for all students of grades 6 to 12.

Submissions open now!

Have a spooky story in mind? Or an illustration to chill the bones? Perhaps you’re looking forward to settling in and writing about an abandoned old house with a ghastly history, or drawing a dreary, long winter which shows no signs of ending. The Fimbulwinter Flash Fiction Writing and Illustration Competition is an opportunity for young Pakistani writers and artists to share their best winter-themed creative content. Your art can be gloomy, dark, apocalyptic, eerie, desolate … We would love to read them all!

Submission Guidelines

Prose Submission

All submissions should be under 500 words. 


All submissions must carry titles.


Please ensure that your submission is a Word document. Your font should be size 12, preferably Times New Roman, and paragraphs should be double spaced. 


Do not include your name in the actual body of your submission. 


Any entries with plagiarised work will be disqualified.


Only one submission per category (prose & art) is allowed. 


Submission fee is Rs. 500/- per entry. 

Art Submission

Submissions can be traditional or digital art.


All submissions must carry titles.


All submissions should be accompanied with a 150 words writeup describing the art and the process behind it. If reference material has been used, please include all relevant links. 


All submissions should be high quality scans. Using an appropriate scanner / scanning app is advised. 


You should consider using natural light when scanning with a phone.


Maxmium file size should be under 128mb. 


Art submissions will be judged based on relevancy to the theme and the skillset displayed. 


Only one submission per category (prose & art) is allowed.


Submission fee is Rs. 500/- per entry

Prose Prizes

First Prize – PKR 10,000


Second Prize – PKR 4,000


Third prize – PKR 1,000

Art Prizes

First Prize – PKR 8,000


Second Prize – PKR 2,000

The Judges

Mina Malik-Hussain is a writer, poet and teacher based in Lahore, where she lives with her four kids and a dog called Oliver. She was the host of a talk show on national television for two years,wrote a popular column for  The Nation for five and recently completed an Mst in Creative Writing from the University of Oxford, where she was the only Pakistani in her cohort. Mina also gives poetry workshops, performs stand-up comedy and does dramatic readings for kids.

Maham Khan is a poet, a teacher, and co-editor of The Missing Slate. She enjoys horror, whether in books or in films, and she loves thunderstorms. Her works can be found in The Aleph Review, Somewhere in Pakistan, Jaggery, and Behenchara Magazine among others. Currently, she is holed up in a corner somewhere with a cup of coffee and a stack of books waiting to be read.

Alia Bilgrami is a Pakistani-Canadian visual artist and curator. The tulip has become a personal symbol in her art that stems from its fascinating history. Bilgrami spent her early years in Montreal and then Karachi where she completed her BFA from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture (2007). In 2008, she did a curatorial research internship at the National Museum of Asian Art (formerly Freer & Sackler Galleries), the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. She completed her MA from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London in 2010 where she won the Cecil Collins Memorial Award for Drawing. After graduation, she worked as a curator first at Rohtas Gallery and then at Khaas Gallery, Islamabad where she went on to become Head Curator (2010-2019). Bilgrami also independently curated several projects as guest curator for Koel Gallery, AAN Gandhara Art-Space, Karachi as well as the National Gallery (PNCA), Islamabad.

Payment Details

Please transfer the submission fee to the following account:


Bank: HBL
Account name: Headstart School (Pvt) Ltd.
Account number: 24817000064903
It is essential to upload proof of transfer (screenshot/picture of reciept) for your submission to be considered.
Kuri students can pay the submission fee in cash at the front desk, but must get a reciept and upload a picture for their submission to be considered.

Submission Form

Your full name, please (or an alias, if that's what floats your boat).
Add [email protected] to your safe email list so you don't miss out on news about your submissions.
The full name of your school, please.
Where are you... right now?
What makes you... you? What force possessed you to create this piece? Tell us... and include as much or as little information as you'd like 🙂