The First Self-Publishing Platform, Daastan, Sparks Hope for New Pakistani Writers!

by Farzeen Hafeez

Back in the times when Pakistan was not the most supportive place for writers, publishing houses and editors were few and new talent struggled to find a platform to voice them. It was then when Syed Ommer Amer found Daastan!

Syed was struggling to publish his content, like many others in the country. Traditional Pakistani publishers refused to accommodate any aspiring writers to present something unique.

Pakistan’s literature department lacked in the use of technology and wanted to continue to work manually. He was certain that with this cold approach, he would never get a chance to present his work. That is when he knew that he had to “create” a platform for himself and everyone else who are struggling like him.

Pakistani Writers

One of their passionate writers, Huma Adnan, loves being old-school and also owns a typewriter. (Source: Daastan)

Daastan is a self-publishing platform which has encouraged many Pakistani writers to come forward with their work and self-publish it. With Daastan, writers do not have to worry about finding a publisher they can afford.

Syed also self-published his thriller “The Forbidden Story” there.

The Dastaan Team includes: Syed Ommer Amer; the CEO and Founder, Sidra Amin; the Editor in Chief, Aimen Siddiqui; the Director Content, Maham Khalid; the Legal Advisor, Mahnoor Naseer; the English Editor and Bushra Mustafa; the Urdu Editor.

‘Qissa’ is their digital self-publishing project which is the first of its kind in Pakistan. The procedure is very simple, writers simply need to sign up at www.meraqissa.com and publish their books here without having to spend even a penny!

The editorial team is empowering the writers to improve their craft, learn and grow better. Editors review each submission on ‘Qissa’ before publishing them. They have published more than hundred books so far.

The team holds every book dear to them. In particular, they are extremely proud of the Urdu ones. Daastan is dedicated to promote Urdu literature and was glad as many Urdu writers have joined ‘Qissa’.

Pakistani Writers

The Founder poses together with team member after winning ‘Best Startup Award’ in Connected Pakistan Conference, Abbottabad. (Source: Daastan)

The uniquely talented ones include Asma Azeez (Aakhri Chaal), Farheen Naz Tariq (Roshni Ke Deep) and Ishrat Shaheen (Baqi Hai).

Third season of their short story competition, The Stories Untold, was a great success. And the results will be announced soon. Season Two of the series remains the most memorable for them as they partnered with an international writing platform- The Ancient Souls. It is also co-founded by their editor Mahnoor Naseer.

Also, through TAS, many Indians writers were able to submit their stories too, many of which got published!



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