Coaching & Editing

“At the risk of sounding cliche, working with Hajera was truly a blessing. Her warm but professional nature was like having a friend cheering me on and giving me that necessary push to get my words onto paper. I often joked that I felt she was my writing therapist. I always looked forward to our meetings and really appreciated being held accountable to get the work done with no excuses. Most importantly, her collaborative approach allowed me the space to talk out my vision or questions concerning edits. Her skill and experience offered crucial insight and feedback on how to make my story come to life. I was so hesitant to reach out for help in my writing journey, but am so grateful now that I did.” — Rifk Ebeid, “Baba, What Does My Name Mean?” & “You Are The Color”

“Hajera was instrumental in helping me structure and edit my two books, “A Temporary Gift” and “A Place of Refuge.” Her insights quite literally transformed my manuscripts from messy first drafts to polished, ready-to-print books. Hajera has a way of finding the very essence of what I’m trying to convey with my writing and coaching me into expressing it in a way that’s really going to land with readers. I keep coming back to her for editing advice with every new book I write!” — Asmaa Hussein, Founder of Ruqaya’s Bookshelf

“I really enjoyed getting back into creative writing in a way that didn’t feel overwhelming. It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for so long but felt intimidated by, and Hajera really did a great job at breaking it down and making it enjoyable. My main concern had been I wouldn’t learn many new things through a writing coach, that I hadn’t already read somewhere or experienced myself. But I felt like I constantly learned new things and questions that I had were always answered very thoroughly. I really liked the weekly list of prompts, it was exciting to get them and have a morning routine that included writing to look forward to each day. I’ve made a lot of progress in terms of learning about creative writing, being consistent with my work and prioritizing it.” — M. A.

“I’m very fond of Hajera’s writing, not only is she an incredibly talented writer – she’s also a meticulous, detailed, poignant editor. She immersed herself completely in the world of my story, so that her comments were deep, structured and extremely helpful. She enabled me to think deeply of how I may revise my story and bring its best to fruition. I’m very grateful for her insights and perspective. I definitely plan to rely on Hajera whenever I feel stuck in a story.” — Sherine ElBanhawy

“Hajera’s coaching calls were the perfect push to continue my writing. I love how genuine Hajera is and she makes it seem that my writing is her writing too so she is equally invested. Speaking to her opened a door to broaden thoughts and unleashed my fingers to jot down those thoughts on computer. She helped me tap into a part of myself that I had shut off before. I’m incredibly thankful for her guidance to help find more of my voice alhamdulillah!” — Samia Mubarak, Quranic Ocean

“I stumbled upon Hajera’s instagram and followed her for a while before deciding to finally get in touch. Taking that step as an aspiring writer is difficult, it formalizes the process of writing. I requested a manuscript review, just a few chapters to understand if I was on the right path. I needed a professional to scan every word I wrote, searching for my mistakes. It’s intimidating and could potentially be demotivating, I told myself, but nevertheless very valuable. Hajera’s review was the opposite. It lifted me up. She didn’t use the imaginary red marker on my work, the way I had assumed to receive the feedback. Her words were constructive and very practical. If anything, it fueled my motivation further. I can’t wait to use all your tips. Thank you dear Hajera.” — Noor Salih

“Hajera is motivating, detailed-oriented and was genuinely concerned about my progress in writing. She encouraged me to explore and to go on the journey of writing without attaching any judgement to it. She also inspired me to not allow my inner critic to lead me to the trap of being discouraged.” — Sumena Hussein

“Hajera’s passion and expertise in writing is evident in her analysis of my manuscript. With care and consideration she identifies the strongest and weakest aspects of a story and suggests ways to enrich it to become the best version of itself. She has opened my eyes to problems I didn’t know existed and at the same time equipped me with tools to fix the problems.” — Maidah Ahmad

“Hajera has a way of demanding, kindly, the best of what she knows I can do as a writer to keep my voice vibrant and alive. After reading her insightful feedback, my immediate response was: “Of course, why didn’t I see that?” And I knew, because of the thoughtful observations and the concrete examples she offered, that I could take the next critical steps with confidence.” — Naome Howe

“Hajera’s editing and critiques are exactly what I needed to take my manuscript to the next level. She provided numerous examples and details for consideration, and highlighted areas of strength that left me encouraged and motivated to move my story forward. By far this has been the best experience I’ve had with an editor and I look forward to working with Hajera on other projects in the future!” — Lulu Kaissi

“Hajera is a talented writer and editor whose editing services I highly recommend. Both her overall manuscript critique and in-line comments helped make my story stronger. I love how she explained what was working in my story and what needed further development, and how she gave multiple examples of ways in which this development could be accomplished. I could tell that she really took the time to think deeply about my story and how it could be better. The manuscript critique was a great big-picture look at what needed work, and the in-line comments on my story helped guide me to make the changes that were needed. Revising a story is always a daunting task, but Hajera’s specific, guided feedback made it doable. Thank you so much.” — Sumayyah Hussein, “Stuck in the Middle”

“I worked with Hajera in Sarah Selecky’s writing course. Her feedback and insights were consistently thoughtful, encouraging, and wise. As a writer and editor who understands the importance of process and momentum, Hajera knows how to provide actionable insights and next steps that you can actually use that will not have you doubting yourself or your instincts. Her own creative writing is also beautifully fluid and moving. I hope to work with Hajera again soon!” — Emily Ryan

“Hajera was very thoughtful and attentive during our [coaching] sessions. She always tried to understand what I needed and she went out of her way to give me support with my writing. What I enjoyed the most from working with Hajera is that she let me be who I am and she always challenged me to go beyond my comfort zone. She really helped me to write from a place of authenticity and empowerment, and she gave me plenty of tips and exercises to help me express myself courageously. Working with Hajera has been a wonderful experience and I look forward to working with her again in the future.” — Lela Goldsmith

“I reached a place in my writing where I could no longer see my mistakes. When I started to work with Hajera, through her eyes I was able to see the ‘bigger picture’ of my own work and learnt to correct the mistakes that I was aware I was making but struggled to rectify. She taught me how to ‘find my voice’ and refine my words. The journey was an eye-opening experience and I found myself asking ‘why didn’t I see this myself’. I am not quite ready to let go of Hajera’s thoughtful insights whilst planning the launch of my first book and will be pursing more of her services in the near future.” — Alveena Salim

“This was a great editing service! My work was considered thoroughly and given a lot of care. I received great feedback and suggestions on how to improve my piece. It turned into something that I’m very proud of thanks to Hajera!” — Helal Musleh, “Secret Recipe Box”

“I attended Sarah Selecky’s writing school and I was privileged to have Hajera as one of my teachers. In providing feedback she was always positive, insightful and constructive. When I read her responses I always learned something and felt encouraged to write more. She gave specific examples of where in my writing that she saw a spark as well as gently showing me where I could say something more. She was approachable as a teacher and I knew that I could ask for help if I had questions. And I had lots of them!” — Collette LaRocque

“As a new author, I am really impressed with the way Hajera edited my book. Her honest reviews and guidance towards publishing a better version of the book really shows how talented she is. Working with Hajera has motivated me to understand and explore the art of writing, and striving to achieve the best version of my writing. I highly recommend her service!” — Aisha Qasim

“With thoughtfulness and a keen eye for detail, Hajera quickly identifies what’s working in your manuscript, and gently suggests what might make it even better. Her input was invaluable to me.” — Shelley Harbin

Grounded Writers

“As someone that has been struggling with a great deal of self-doubt and lack of consistency in my writing, Grounded Writers was the boost I needed. Hajera was an inspiring, positive, and gentle support to a group of talented and intelligent women. We developed a great sense of community by sharing our struggles and challenges. I can honestly say that this course has given me a tremendous boost in my writing practice and I feel honoured to have learned from all the other participants.” — Nur Bhatti

“Grounded Writers has been an absolute life-changing program to be a part of. Sharing a space with other Muslim women and developing my writing skills in this format was an invaluable experience. Hajera did such an excellent job at creating a safe space for us to further expand our writing skills through her workshops, and to share some of our writing within the group and receive feedback if we wanted. I got some of my best writing done while participating in Grounded Writers and believe that all aspiring writers would benefit from engaging in this program. Thank you Hajera for all your support throughout this process!” — Beidan Hassan

“Hajera is not only an amazing writing coach, but her warm presence makes you feel comfortable and vulnerable in the space she has created. Grounded Writers is more like a sharing session. A session where stories reveal themselves to you. And just for the comfort in the space, I will join GW again. InshaAllah.” — Farida Haji

“I initially thought I was going to get my next book out of grounded writers, but I later realized I got something even better, I gained a group of women that I trust with my writing journey, and I gained an entirely new way of approaching writing. Grounded Writers helped me establish a writing routine, a way to write daily with no pressure, and a way to get out of my head and just write, regardless of the outcome. So it was essentially a mind shift in how I approach writing and how to keep at it and push against limiting beliefs. I enjoyed all aspects, from check ins to guest speakers to writing sessions to workshops. Each aspect of it was beneficial in my writing journey.” — Rifk Ebeid, “Baba, What Does My Name Mean?” & “You Are The Color”  

“Hajera is a brilliant writing instructor masha Allah. She is extremely professional while at the same time compassionate and understanding on a human level. I learned so much from her and was inspired to write (after not being able to write for a long time!). I loved how we went on rotations in each workshop. Sometimes we sat back and critiqued published writers and their techniques. Sometimes we were given time to write in class itself. Other times we were asked to write outside of class, etc. It provided a variety of ways to engage with writing and writers. I also LOVED meeting and writing with other writers! Meeting other like minded Muslim writers in the class was the highlight of the entire course. It was so much fun!” — Sherine Aboelezz

“I loved the community that Hajera built through her Grounded Writers program. Writing is so isolating and being around like-minded muslim writers interacting with Hajera’s expertise really makes this program unique and a much needed resource. Hajera is full of energy and positive guidance on the beauty and challenges of writing.” — Sherine Elbanhawy

“I never thought of myself as a writer until I joined this group. I enjoyed the discussions tremendously and I think I benefited most from the writing practice. Hajera gave me the confidence I was searching for and the gems I learned from her were priceless. She was so easy to become vulnerable with and put my heart at ease when it came to my insecurities. Not to mention, the beautiful souls I met. They are not only skilled in their craft, I felt as though I had cheerleaders championing me.” — Heba Subeh-Hyder, “Maymunah’s Musings” Series

“Hajera allowed me to tap into the parts of my writing I had dormant for quite a while. I appreciate the community we built and the support. In all honesty this program allowed me to feel like a valued writer for the first time in my life.”  — Shabnam Mahmood

“Grounded Writers took me on a journey I didn’t expect. I feel like I’ve matured in my approach to my writing as a result of our discussions and workshops. I really look forward to our weekly meetings with Hajera’s thoughtful, gentle coaching and the interesting group discussions she facilitates. My favourite part was being part of a community of Muslim women writers. I felt at ease in this group more than I would with others. Being around a variety of incredibly talented writers gave me a rounded perspective of a writer’s life, and spending time regularly with this group helped my writing by adding a spiritual dimension to the work I am endeavouring to do.” — Nadia A

“The writing practice sessions benefitted me the most because they forced me to put my inhibitions aside and just write. I loved that the prompts were varied, ranging from simple observations to deep reflections. It was precisely what I needed to help dust off the 10+ years of cobwebs from my writing!” — Sumera R

“Grounded Writers was a first for me. It was an affirmation for me that I could also write — and writing, I began. I learnt a lot from the well-curated presentations. I’m still far from finished or being able to start a children’s picture book but this journey is valuable for many reasons. I understood the fact that I am better when I’m writing and I understood that I’m not the only one. I will forever thank Hajera for creating this community.” — Ayesha Husain 

“Grounded Writers came at a perfect time. I’d been in a creative and reading rut for years and it felt like I would never be able to find that joy in writing again. The program provided me with a community of inspiring women, lead by Hajera. I feel reborn and filled with cautious zest to pursue a creative life.” — Alaa M

“Grounded Writers gave me great practical tips to build my writing practice. It was also a space to be honest and vulnerable about our own journeys and experiences, which helped me to understand some of my fears better. Writing has felt isolating for me but for the duration of the program I felt I was not alone and am really grateful for everyone’s valuable input and for knowing other Muslim writers. Thank you for creating this unique space.” — Nadia R

“Writing can be pretty solitary and even more so if you’re Muslim — it’s hard to find similar people who understand your struggles. Chatting things out with other Muslim writers allowed me to feel less alone, and to truly feel understood by people like myself. The cherry on top is that Hajera is an excellent facilitator and brought kindness, humour, and her immense experience and wisdom to the whole thing. Highly recommended!”  — Parishae Ali

The Writers Lounge

“The Writers Lounge was like a cup of hot chicken soup this past cold November. Hajera and the writing community were soothing, satisfying, and always had me smiling after we met. I could finally talk about my writing to people who wanted to listen and they had their own stories and tips that nurtured my writing and my heart. Loved it! Thank you Hajera!” — Sarah Qasem, “My Garden Over Gaza” & “Amir’s Blue Jacket”

“The sessions were inspiring and informative, and the frequency and continuity is just what I need to help me continue working towards my writing goals. As someone who is working to establish consistency with my writing, the weekly Write Together sessions were perfect as they forced me to clear my diary, switch off from everything else and sit down with pen and paper. I loved that Hajera reminded us to begin each session by making specfic dua’s, a small and simple act which I feel was one of the factors in giving the sessions an incredible energy and making them productive for me. I also appreciated the fact that the days and timings of the sessions were varied to suit participants.” — Sumera R

“The Writers Lounge not only connected me with other writers who are going through similar experiences as I am, but pushed me to write. As writers, we tend to have a plethora of ideas that we might not necessarily see come to fruition, but this group allowed me to do just that. I finally had the space and time to just sit and write. Not only that, but I received feedback and support from an expert, which I loved. Finally, I found it extremely motivational to be able to speak to the guest authors. First Grounded Writers, now TWL. I can’t wait to see what Hajera comes up with next Inshallah! Whatever it is, I’m on board!” — Heba Subeh-Hyder, “Maymunah’s Musings” Series

“The Writers Lounge was conducted at a great pace and in a very thoughtful manner. It was a no-pressure, all-you-can-do sort of a program, very well adjusted to the needs of mothers who are struggling to get back to writing, reading and listening. I appreciated Hajera’s honesty throughout, to run a group like this. I truly appreciate how Hajera goes above and beyond to accommodate her community’s feelings/needs. She’s the best person to combat self-doubts, she’s even better in connecting you with right resources. I love how she can remember so many books and authors to recommend, MashaAllah. This was my third time with her and I have not seen a pace like this, where everyone feels content by the end of each session.” — Ayesha H

“The Writers Lounge helped me to refine my writing process. I enjoyed the monthly discussions the most, where everyone shared their writing-related struggles and offered solutions to each other. In addition, I loved and benefitted from all the writing resources Hajera shared in the Slack community. I truly enjoyed being part of a writing community.” — Sumena Hussain

“The Writers Lounge community has helped me stay focused and keep writing at the forefront of my mind, making a little progress towards my goals each week Alhamdulillah. I benefited so much from this program even though I didn’t attend many sessions. Knowing the sessions were coming up motivated me to make some progress each week in preparation, even if things came up last minute. I also really appreciate the resources you shared and loved the guest author sessions. I really appreciate you facilitating this Hajera, JAK :)” — Salma M

“It was really inspiring to be part of a community of Muslim writers who are all working on their writing and bringing their creativity forward. The Write Together sessions were really useful to fit writing into my week when I otherwise may not have taken the time to write. There is a lot on offer in The Writers Lounge!” — Nadia R