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Monday, July 27, 2015

Hijabi Monologues

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Are you a Muslim woman who loves writing? 
Have you attended a Hijabi Monologues show and felt inspired to share your story?
Would you like your story PERFORMED for an international audience by an experienced actress? Consider participating in the Hijabi Monologues Story Contest 2015!

Writers must send their submissions by Friday, 31 July 2015.
Submit your monologue to hm.storycontest@gmail.com by emailing with the subject "HM Story Contest 2015, [City], [Country]."The winning stories will be shared via YouTube by experienced Hijabi Monologues storytellers.

**Winning stories may be invited to join the Hijabi Monologues Story Bank.**

Hijabi Monologues Europe is managed in partnership with the British Council. For more information, follow @HMEurope on twitter and 'like' their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/HijabiMonologuesEurope


When you send in your story, you must include in the body of your email

1. Confirmation that the monologue submitted is completely original to you. You are the present and exclusive and sole owner of all right, title, and interest in and to the story.

2. Confirmation that the monologue has not been published, used in an anthology, or winner of any other contests.

3. Confirmation that the monologue is a true story.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You may use fictional names in order to protect the identities of those involved in your story. If you do so, please include at the top of your monologue submission "Names of people and places have been fictionalized."


1. One (1) entry per person (one monologue).

2. Scripts in Microsoft Word (.doc) are requested.

3. The monologue should be double-spaced and no longer than 750 words or 3 pages; written in English, or in your native tongue and accompanied by an English translation.

4. Contact information (Name, E-mail address, Phone Number, Skype ID if available) on the cover page only.

5. Please put the title of your monologue at the top of each page.

6. Please paginate your script at the bottom of each page: 1 of 3, 2 of 3 etc

7. Submit your monologue to hm.storycontest@gmail.com by emailing with the subject "HM Story Contest 2015, [City], [Country]."
8. Submissions which do not include the required format above will NOT BE CONSIDERED.


1. The hijab is to be present visually (on stage) but not the story's main subject. This project is not about explaining why a Muslim wears or does not wear a headscarf; the process of veiling and unveiling; etc. On the other hand, stories about the first day you wore hijab to work; about when your five-year old son decided to wear hijab to school to be like his mom; about that perfect purple hijab you always wear for prayer; etc. may be considered.

2. In the utterly mundane (i.e. dinner with the in-laws, writing a letter, a moment of frustration when you couldn't find matching socks, a moment of fear when the lights went out, etc.), there can be a wonderful narrative. Some of the best stories reflect an eye to see the extraordinary in the very ordinary.

3. Specific details and local references to a school, neighborhood or city are a big plus. Do not shy away from using Islamic tropes and motifs (eg. "She could not stomach the flesh of her dead brother.") and/or using language that is Muslim (eg. "She broke her wudu."), regionally specific (eg. "I was bloody furious.") or culturally specific (eg. "Her dupatta was always freshly pressed.").

4. Stories about sexuality are fine but keep in mind that Muslim women's sexuality has been a popular subject for voyeurism. Muslim women have been represented as exotic, hyper-sexual, asexual and sexually repressed in popular European and North American literary and visual arts. Be creative!

5. As an exercise, highlight the elements that are specific to the narrator's voice. Then highlight the elements that are "universal." Both elements are important.

6. Read your monologue aloud. It should sound like a story--and less like a campaign speech, advertisement, sermon and/or spoken word poetry although you may incorporate these rhetorical styles into the voice(s) of character(s). Ask yourself, “Could this be performed by an actress?”

7. Consider how the story might resonate with existing Hijabi Monologues core stories. For examples, visit -



Hijabi Monologues Story Bank?**

The Hijabi Monologues production is a specially tailored weaving of the core monologues written by Sahar I. Ullah with local stories gathered through story contests and/or workshops, some of which are included in the HM Story Bank. The Hijabi Monologues Story Bank monologues are original works and eligible for inclusion in future HM Shows. Writers of these monologues include Kamilah A. Pickett, Komita Carrington, Kiran Tahir, Rima Zalghout, Rafiah Jones and Laila Achmad. Not all contest winners or local monologues showcased in past shows are included in the HM Story Bank.

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