A monthly membership for Muslim women to learn and strengthen their creative writing skills
Whether you’re a new or experienced writer, at The Writers Lounge, you’ll find the structure and support that you need to grow as a writer, strengthen your writing skills and make a stronger commitment to your writing. Come join us and write your best stories yet!
“The Writers Lounge was instrumental in my growth as a writer. Hajera offers a gentle, guided approach to all creatives seeking a place to call home. She has been a source of knowledge and inspiration in all things writing-related.” — Sadia Kalam
In the last few years, I’ve been blessed to work directly with over 50 writers, Alhamdulillah! Almost all of them struggled with their writing in one way or another:
>> I always wanted to write but life got in the way and I never got started.
>> I wish I could be more committed to my writing and write consistently.
>> I am scared of getting critiqued and fear that I’m not a good writer.
>> I compare myself to other writers and don’t think I can ever be as good as them.
>> I worry about what others will say when they read my writing and that stops me from sharing my work.
>> I find it hard to to actually sit down and make time for my writing.
>> I wish I had other writers I could talk to who understand what I’m going through.
If you’re in the same boat and any (or all!) of these comments speak to you, you’re in the right place.
I’m so grateful to be part of this community; it’s a place where I feel at home
I’ve had a stressful relationship with my writing for a very long time. My fluctuating motivation and inconsistent writing habits were a constant source of guilt and self-loathing. The more these negative feelings grew, the less motivated I was to write.
Hajera shared helpful advice on writing, but what struck me the most was the tone she used to talk about writing. I began to absorb a new way of thinking: being kind to yourself, acknowledging that writing comes in seasons, discussing and normalizing fear and self-doubt, and rediscovering the joy in writing.
When Hajera started The Writers Lounge, I was drawn to the consistency of a monthly membership program and the desire for a community of likeminded writers with shared values. I joined, and it was exactly what I needed! The weekly Write Together sessions force me to write something at least once a week, writing prompts provide opportunities to write at other times but without pressure, encouraging feedback from fellow writers lifts my spirit, valuable resources are shared in various formats, and monthly Discussion Sessions make me feel like this writing thing is serious business!
I’m so grateful to be part of this community; it’s a place where I feel at home, where I’m appreciated and nourished, and where writing is never far from my mind.
— Sumayyah Hussein, author of “Stuck In The Middle”
The Writers Lounge is a monthly membership where you can strengthen your writing skills and grow as a writer. You’ll meet Muslim women who also experience the same challenges and struggles as you do, and who will support you on your writing journey and help you reach your goals.
The Writers Lounge is a space where you can thrive as a writer:
>> Create non-negotiable time in your schedule for writing during the week.
>> Get inspired to write with writing tips and prompts.
>> Share your deepest writing struggles in a safe space and work through them.
>> Share your writing and feel nourished by receiving kind-hearted and positive feedback from other writers.
>> Ask questions and learn from published authors about writing and the publishing industry.
>> Deepen your writing skills and learn the craft of writing in a way that feels easy and enjoyable.
>> Receive motivating and encouraging feedback and critique on your writing from Hajera.
“Since joining The Writers Lounge, I have been more intentional about my writing and I have learned so much about the craft of writing. I learned how to write in different voices and how to write scenes and stay in them. The best part for me is the community. It’s a safe space to share my writing, no matter the topic, knowing I will get constructive feedback which will help me grow as a writer.” — Sana Samad
Write Together Sessions
One hour weekly sessions on Zoom when we write together and work on our projects. (Timings of Zoom sessions will be rotated to accommodate all writers in the group.)
Monthly sessions (1.5 hours) on Zoom where we share our writing struggles, brainstorm solutions, and support each other to grow as writers
Monthly mini essays on various topics related to writing craft and studying other writers’ work
Craft Workshops and Q&A Sessions
Monthly Q&A sessions to dive deeper into craft and learn how to apply the Craft Notes in your writing
Writing Feedback & Critique
Bi-monthly live feedback calls to receive a critique on your writing and help you improve your writing skills
An online group for connection, discussions and sharing your writing
Weekly writing prompts to inspire and motivate you to write, along with a space to share your writing
Bi-monthly Q&A sessions with guest authors. Past guest authors include Asmaa Hussein, Marzieh Abbas, Silmy Abdullah, Shazia Afzal, Siman Nuurali, and S.K. Ali. Our guest author for October is Rahma Rodaah.
Collection of Craft Notes and recordings of all Guest Author Q&A sessions
10% discount on any programs or courses that I offer
Fees: $79 CAD/month
*Membership to The Writers Lounge will automatically renew every month. Payments are non-refundable but you can cancel anytime and your membership will be valid until the end of the billing period.
Whether you’re writing regularly but still struggle with imposter syndrome and calling yourself a writer, or you haven’t written in years and writing regularly feels like a dream that always stays out of reach, at The Writers Lounge you will feel like a writer.
“Before joining The Writers Lounge, I didn’t have people to share my writing with, or talk to about writing in general. I’ve learned so much from Hajera and all the members. I love this safe space we have for our writing. I look forward to our writing sessions because it’s motivating and you are forced to allocate time to your writing. I also love our Discussion Sessions, I almost always learn something new from them or I feel inspired by the other sisters. Best decision I’ve made to join a writing sisterhood, especially a Muslim one where we can also include a huge part of our life in our writing: Islam.” — Nura Gureh
Collection of Craft Notes
Each month we look at a specific aspect of craft and how we can apply it in our writing. These are short, bite-sized lessons, often derived from a piece of writing that I love. Using examples from published pieces — short stories, essays, and picture books — we deep dive into how the writer structured the piece and the craft decisions they made. We also come together on Zoom to discuss the Craft Notes and talk about craft issues in our own writing.
In 2020, when the pandemic started, I was yearning for connection with other Muslim writers. I was also doing a lot of freelance editing work at the time and didn’t have an opportunity to connect with other writers in a deep and sustained way. I created a private Facebook group called “The Writers Lounge.” But as Facebook groups tend to go, the activity in the group petered out fairly quickly.
In late 2022, I recreated The Writers Lounge, this time on Slack, and beta-tested it for two months with writers who had already worked with me. The idea behind the group was still the same: a place for Muslim writers to connect, share experiences, and support each other on their writing journeys.
But this time, the program had structure and built-in components to keep writers motivated to do what they loved and wanted to do, but struggled to make time for it and prioritize it in their life — to write.
My hope for this program is that it gives you a writing community that sustains your writing practice and gives you a space where you belong as a writer — a space where we connect, learn from, encourage and motivate each other in our writing. A space where we can thrive as Muslim writers and become stronger writers.
I am a new writer. Will I benefit from this program?
Yes! No matter what stage of the writing journey we’re at, we all need support, especially when we’re just starting out. It can feel overwhelming to think of how much work you need to do before you achieve your writing dreams, but with the right support and structure in place, you can get there faster and find writer-friends for life along the way!
I have been writing for years. Will I benefit from this program?
Also yes! I’ve been writing for years myself and I know how invaluable it is to be able to talk to other writers about my struggles, which tend to morph and take on new forms as I progress further in my writing journey. I also love talking about craft and every new writing project presents its own challenges, especially when I’m trying something that I haven’t done before. The joy of being part of a community of writers is that I can talk these things out with other writers and return to my writing with new ideas and new ways of thinking about my work. I’ve also seen how much more confident writers can get when they’re able to impart wisdom and lessons they’ve learnt in their own writing journeys to newer writers. It’s what makes community such an enriching experience and I’d love to have you and learn from you!
When do the Zoom sessions take place?
Our community has writers from all over the world, Alhmadulillah! As such, the day and time of the weekly Write Together sessions are rotated to accommodate writers from different time zones. The monthly Discussion session typically takes place in the last week of the month and is recorded so that anyone who is unable to attend live can send in their questions before the call and watch the replay. A full schedule of the month is sent out via email and posted on our online group at the start of every month.
What happens after I pay? When does The Writers Lounge start?
Once you enroll, you’ll get an email receipt of your payment. Within 24 hours of your enrolment, I will send you a welcome email. You’ll receive access to our private online group and I will send you our schedule for the current week.
What should I do if I want to cancel my membership?
Just send me an email at email@example.com and let me know at least two weeks prior to your monthly renewal date and I will take you off the membership subscription.
“Joining The Writers Lounge allowed me to connect with other writers having similar struggles, and opened up a world of writing for me that I didn’t understand much earlier. Listening to others’ woes about their writing, and the efforts they made to overcome them, helped me feel more grounded and I was elated to exchange my ideas with them.” — Haya Ismail
I wrote stories as a kid. I wrote in my diary as a teen. I kept up a blog in my early 20s. I’ve always been a writer. But it took me a very long time to acknowledge that fact and even longer to call myself a writer.
The first piece of writing I wrote that was ever published (an op-ed in The Ottawa Sun), the editor wrote asked me if this was okay as a bio: “Hajera Khaja is a writer from Toronto, Canada.” I balked at the statement. I wasn’t a writer. How could I call myself that?!
I told him to change it to “Hajera Khaja is an amateur writer from Toronto, Canada.”
That was in 2009. It took me almost a decade before I was able to acknowledge all the faulty notions I had of what a writer was and who a writer looked like, before I was able to embrace myself as a writer. Truthfully, I still get a little uncomfortable when people ask me how my writing is going and what I’m working on. And after working directly with more than 50 writers now, I know I’m not alone.
But Alhamdulillah for all the struggles that I’ve had because I now get to share this journey with other writers and help them through their own struggles. I’m always amazed by how quickly writers bloom when they’re a part of a space that uplifts them, that respects their writing goals and dreams, and that gives them nourishment when they’re feeling low. When you’re surrounded by other writers who share your struggles and feel your pain, everyone stretches their arms out to support each other. And a beautiful community of writers emerges.
Come join us and witness the growth that’s possible in your writing, and in you!