Daastan is a literary platform founded by Syed Ommer Amer, who is determined towards enabling Pakistani writers to self publish their writings digitally.
Today, Daastan has become a community of around 30 K members, including several Pakistani Authors who are publishing their writings on this literary platform where others can easily read their works. It is believed that over the past few decades, there has been a relative demise of literature in Pakistan. People in Pakistan are now detached with it, while the international literary scene has a totally different picture, there people promote language and literature with great enthusiasm. Our youth comprises of avid readers, who are inclined more towards international publications because there aren’t enough good publications available from authors within Pakistan. The dilemma being an underdeveloped publishing industry of Pakistan, which has not undergone any significant progress over years. In turn the talented young authors don’t get enough publishing opportunities and fail to showcase their works in front of the world.
There are many exceptional young writers like Safian Bin Rizwan in Pakistan. However, publishing a book of your own or trying to make your works known by publishing them offline is kind of difficult in the present era, considering the fact that people are a lot more aware of everything that publishes or occurs online. Several aspiring writers really just need a literary platform for themselves where they can write and publish their works, so they can be known and appreciated as well. When offline publishing was found out to be hard as it takes time to establish a good readership, an online publishing literary platform is what Pakistan needed, and that is what the team of Daastan offers us. This was the idea behind Daastan initially – to help aspiring writers in Pakistan publish their works online and be acknowledged for it.
Qissa by Daastan – Pakistan’s first self publishing platform
Qissa by Daastan is the first digital self-publishing platform which has a completely free sign up and publishing option for emerging writers of Pakistan. It allows writers to publish their books digitally, keep track of the reading stats, get reviews from the audience, and simply manage their writing profile from the Qissa dashboard.
Readers can either read the books digitally, or they can order printed copies of the books they want from the Qissa website – Print on demand services. Daastan has a Facebook page, where all the latest updates regarding newly published authors, books and latest events are posted. As technology advancement, social media has become the ultimate marketing tool, it is easier for publishers to find out the right authors they wish to invest in. Besides that, thanks to social media platforms, we now are able to raise up our voices and write down our thoughts for everyone to read, review, and debate upon, as well.
Daastan’s Partnerships and other Projects:
In 2016, Daastan partnered with an International Literary platform called “The Ancient Souls” (TAS). Daastan initially held a Fellowship Program where the literary minds people were invited to work together. The team then discovered Mahnoor Naseer, who connected this Daastan to TAS. This encouraged several international writers – mostly writers from India, to take part in Daastan’s signature short story writing competition called “The Stories Untold”. This competition was started in order to help writers discover themselves, and their talents.
Abhirun Das, an Indian writer, was among the top 2 finalists of the Stories Untold season 2, which revolved around the theme “A war within”.
Abhirun Das believes that a lot of positive changes have been brought about in his life ever since he founded The Ancient Souls, along with Mahnoor, and then made an acquaintance with Ommer, the founder of Daastan. Abhirun’s book, “Across the Line” made it to the top 5, and eventually to the top 2 in the competition. He considers himself lucky!
The third season of “The stories untold” was launched this June, 2017. The theme revolved around “Magical Pursuits”.
Syed Ommer Amer mentions;
“You might have seen competitions organized by various NGOs and Govt. bodies, but short story writing competition in the genre ‘Fantasy’ is something which we proudly pioneered. This season, we got 80 submissions out of which 25% are in Urdu language!”
It’s amazing to see the team of Daastan being involved so passionately in this work, and its great to know that people are working towards rebuilding the publishing of literature in Pakistan. Daastan is definitely the place where all aspiring writers should head off to, they’ll give you a heads up and definitely boost your confidence as well. We highly appreciate the efforts by Syed Ommer and the team!