When people speak of nations, their understanding is based on what they have read, shown, told, and with the ease of travel, most have gained significant firsthand experience greatly changing their impressions of people and nations. Nations like Pakistan, however, are handled with different rules, and those rules dramatically affect the perception of a nation and it’s people. Most people will never visit Pakistan, even without the travel restrictions and media branding as a terrorist state, because they have never been told or shown the Pakistan that Pakistanis fight for each and every day.

For Pakistanis, our representation has been through people that don’t understand the plight of humanity in Pakistan, no matter the economic position. The discussions they have with foreign diplomats are related to their political and personal objectives, not the overall success of this nation or its people. For Pakistanis to be heard, we need to speak up. We need to raise our voices. We need to tell our stories.

Pakistan Speaks is an anthology, a compilation, a collective gathering of stories from Pakistanis who hold no position of power or influence over the government or military.

These are the people that will take you in the narrow alleys of rural Pakistan, and drop you in the middle of metropolitan cities to show you the glory of Pakistan from Karachi to Khyber. They will introduce you to the flavors of food and characters that will entice you to experience what we have to offer. These stories are the embodiment of what it really means to live, work, survive, and be proud Pakistanis.

We invite every Pakistani, whether they are here at home or abroad, to take part in this opportunity.

General Rules

  • Short stories must be not less than 1,500 words minimum and no more than 7,000 words maximum
  • All stories can be submitted on any subject, and written in any style or form
  • Authors may enter multiple times, but should understand that multiple entries doesn’t assure winning
  • Authors may withdraw any submitted entry from the competition by written notification
  • Submissions should be emailed to pakistanspeaks@commandeleven.com.
  • Deadline for entries is 12 midnight (Pakistan Standard Time) on 11 July, 2016

Eligibility

  • The collection is open to all Pakistani writers, 16 years old and over at the time of the closing date.
  • Stories must be entirely the work of the author, and by submitting, you are confirming that the work is your own. Any evidence otherwise will lead to immediate disqualification.
  • Short stories must never have been published, self-published, published on any website, blog or online forum, broadcast, nor winning or placed (2nd, 3rd, runner up, etc.) in any competition.
  • Short stories must not be a translation of another author, or previously published, work
  • All authors must provide their real names for publication. Confirmation will be required to assure that the author is a real person.

Entry Format

  • Entries must be in English, typed, pages numbered, double-spaced
  • Entries must include a cover page with the title of the short story, author name, contact information and total word count.
  • The filename of entries must be the title of the short story and it must MS Word format
  • Amendments and corrections cannot be made to any entry after submission
  • Submissions should be emailed to pakistanspeaks@commandeleven.com.

Copyright

Authors retain the copyright to their stories. However, by submitting to the collection and on being selected for publication, you grant the Sponsors a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to publish and reproduce in part or full in print or online media, and to display your full name, short story and photograph in connection with Sponsors’ business, through print or online media channels. For the avoidance of doubt, the scope of full reproduction/full publishing is limited to publishing the story in the anthology and/or e-book format.

However, before we commence with the exercise of such license, you will be allowed seven days’ time from the notification delivered to you by email to decide on whether you are agreeable to retain your participation in the contest.

Indemnity

By participating in this anthology, you agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Sponsors, and their office bearers from any and all damages, injuries, claims, causes of action, or losses of any kind (including but not limited to lawyers’ fees) arising from your participation in the anthology, your violation of any term of the anthology rules, your violation of any third party right, including without limitation any copyright, property, or privacy right; or any claim that your submission caused damage to a third party.

Banning

The Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, prohibit any person from entering the anthology whom it believes to be abusing the rules. Such abuse includes but is not limited to falsification of information and/or identity, plagiarism, racial discrimination and bigotry.

Force Majuere clause

The Sponsors are not liable for failure to perform their obligations under these rules if such failure is as a result of Acts of God (including natural disasters), Acts of War, civil unrest, usurped power or confiscation, terrorist activities, prevention by statutes, or interruption or massive and sustained failure of electricity, internet or telephone service.

Any extension/reduction of contest and/or the judging window will be at the sole discretion of the organizers, and will be notified on the website if extended.

Selection

  • The selection decisions are final and no individual correspondence will be considered.
  • The Sponsor will not comment or provide information on individual entries.
  • Judging is fair and unbiased, looking for the best stories of Pakistan for an international audience.
  • The authors of selected stories will be notified via email of their selection.