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Untold Stories: The original and unexpected stories of Afghan women writers

June 20, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Event details

Join a panel of remarkable women discussing the Untold: Write Afghanistan project.

Untold is a development programme for female writers in marginalised communities, particularly in areas of conflict and post-conflict. Through this project, writers who are currently unable to tell their stories beyond their immediate communities have opportunities to develop their craft, share their stories with wider communities in their own languages and reach new audiences through translation into English, across the globe.

The launch project of Untold: Write Afghanistan is designed to:

  • Develop the craft of Afghan women writers, primarily in that country;
  • Connect them with each other to form an emerging creative community;
  • Amplify these less-heard voices by giving a platform to their stories internationally;
  • Promote stories that enhance international understanding of the lives behind those voices;
  • And contribute towards the development of literary infrastructure, principally in the form of editors and translators, to benefit Afghan women writers.

The Untold – Write Afghanistan collection introduces extraordinary voices from the country’s two main linguistic groups (Pashto and Dari) with original, vital and unexpected stories, developed over two years through the project. The resulting anthology, My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird, comes at a pivotal moment in Afghanistan’s history, when these voices must be heard.

This event will take place live on Zoom Webinar. You’ll receive a link to join a couple of days before the event takes place and a reminder an hour before. During the event, you can ask questions via a Q&A function, but audience cameras and microphones will remain muted throughout.

Book sales

You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner. In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too.


About the speakers

Lucy Hannah is the creative producer and programme director of Untold – Write Afghanistan. She founded and led Commonwealth Writers, which operates across 53 countries, particularly in areas with little or no creative industries. During her time at the BBC, she established the BBC Writer’s Room, which discovers, develops, and champions new writing talent. She has worked with writers in areas of conflict and post-conflict, including Afghanistan, Chechnya, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Sudan and North East Nigeria. She is a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College, London, Director of the BOCAS LitFest in Trinidad, and a Trustee of Vital Xposure Theatre.

Connect with Lucy online:

Lucy’s Website

Lucy’s Twitter

Lucy’s LinkedIn

Dr Parwana Fayyaz was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1990. From the age of seven to sixteen, she was raised in Quetta, Pakistan. After finishing high school in Kabul, she enrolled in an English language immersion program and subsequently began her undergraduate studies in Chittagong, Bangladesh. She transferred to Stanford University and earned both her B.A. in 2015, with a major in Comparative Literature (with Honors) and a minor in Creative Writing (Poetry). She moved to Cambridge University to pursue a PhD in Persian Studies at Trinity College in September of 2016 and took up a Junior Research Fellowship as the Carmen Blacker Fellow at Peterhouse, Cambridge University in October 2020.

Connect with Parwana on Twitter

More speakers will join this panel and will soon be confirmed.


Untold Narratives works to develop and amplify the work of writers marginalised by social, geopolitical or economic isolation, particularly those in areas with recent or ongoing conflict. Its editors and translators work collaboratively with writers to develop their craft, connect them to one another, and share their stories with readers worldwide.

Connect with Untold online:

Untold Website

Untold Instagram

Untold Twitter

Untold Facebook


June 20, 2022
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


York Festival of Ideas


online event
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