I’m back! (+ something new)

It feels very strange writing again. Just typing this post made me question my writing skills. I haven’t done anything in months! How do I edit? Write? How does this work? Is anyone still listening? But I’m glad to have these two months before university starts revamping my site and changing things up! Expect more frequent reviews and posts soon! I’ve also got some other big news, something that I started doing while I was gone…

I’ve started a Youtube channel!!! You can watch my first ever video here.  I’ve always wanted to do booktube and one day, I was home alone and thought “Why not!!” I had the camera and stuff to show so I filmed a video. While I know it’s not the best I can do but it’s my first try and I’m still pretty pleased with it. (Is it weird to say I had more fun editing than I did filming it?)

So, yeah, that was me checking in. Hope to be more active on this site and on my channel! Also, recommend me some booktubers, I follow a small few but I need more!

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Attending #YMWA2016

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Young Muslim Writer’s Award.Despite me getting episcleritis (inflammation in my eye) a couple of days before, it was still so much fun! Congratulations to everyone who was nominated and who won!

It was a great event with an amazing atmosphere! There were so many amazing moments but I know I’ll have to list some of my favourites.

  • Watching Muzoon Almellehan, a Syrian refugee, being given the Special Recognition Award for her activism in education for young girls.
  • When S.F Said presented the award for the KS2 Short Story Award – “There is nobody who can write your story better than you.” Since I had just completed NaNoWriMo and was currently working on a new story, this line was so encouraging.
  • When Caleb Femi recited some of this poetry – He’s so talented and funny! Also loved it when he spoke on the importance of making sure people of colour are not erased from literature.

 

The best part of the day was meeting Zoya. I met Zoya online after she commented on my Muslim Characters in YA post and we had spoken to each other a few times over the months. And we saw each other face to face for the first time here at the event. It was amazing to meet someone you’ve spoken to online for real! Zoya was actually nominated for an award in the Key Stage 3 poetry section and won!

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Me and Zoya with her award

At the end of the awards, there was some time for networking but, unfortunately, we had to leave since my eye started aching a lot. And I had finished my eye drops so it was very painful 🙁

While I really wished I spoke to more people,  I’d like to end this post with a thank you to Zainub Chohan who invited me to the event and is basically the backbone of the #YMWA. It was a great event and wouldn’t have been possible with her.  Thank you to all the judges, performers, nominees and presenters. Can’t wait to see what new talent we’ll see in 2017.

YA Novels with Muslim Characters *NEW LIST LINK IN POST*

A/N: I am currently remaking this list as there have been quite a few additions and the formatting of this post is a bit messy. A new list will be up in the new year. 

Please note: I’m speaking from the view of mainstream publishers, as there have been Islamic companies who have attempted to provide representation.

I’ve been an avid reader and lover of Young Adult novels ever since I could ever remember. I still remember my 12-year-old self borrowing the Darren Shan vampire series one by one from my school library because my parents wouldn’t buy me the entire series. I remember the day my cousin bought me all the The Hunger Games novels, and finishing them all in the space of a couple of days. I’ve been watching the increasing attention placed on diversity in literature for YA in recent year and I love that it’s happening.

In Islam, our faith rests on diversity and universal bonding through similarities. By advocating and encouraging voices to share their stories we can put them on the shelves. To future Muslim authors, I know you’re there, within the writing community, and I’m rooting for you. And with the recent news of Salaam Reads, I eagerly look forward for a broader spectrum of Muslim stories.

THIS LIST HAS BEEN UPDATED AND MOVED TO A NEW PAGE. YOU CAN NOW FIND IT HERE!!!