SI Leeds Literary Prize shortlisted writer Mona Dash publishes memoir

2018 was an exciting year for author Mona Dash. She was on the shortlist for the SI Leeds Literary Prize 2018, for her short story collection, Let us look elsewhere. This was the only short story collection to make the shortlist. Apart from the excitement, making the SI Leeds shortlist meant various reading and networking opportunities. The six shortlisted writers were invited to read at the Rich Mix theatre in an event curated by Roopa Farooki; at the Asian Writer festival with Words of Colour Director Joy Francis; the Southbank Centre Literature festival in an event curated by publisher, editor and critic Ellah Allfrey; and finally in the Awards ceremony at Ilkley Literature festival with author, filmmaker and journalist Bidisha.

The prize provided an excellent platform for Mona to meet other authors and editors. This is good for anyone but especially made a difference to Mona, since later in the year, Linen Press UK, the only independent womens publisher in the UK signed on her memoir A roll of the dice: a story of loss, love and genetics

With a foreword by Professor Bobby Gaspar of Great Ormond street, a pioneer in gene therapy. A roll of the dice has been described by Linen Press, as a 'thrilling page turner as well as a haunting journey towards motherhood'.

The story is about Mona’s experience with genetics, and search for treatment after her first child is born with SCID (Severe Combined Immuno-Deficiency) in India, where there is no treatment for this fatal condition. The book follows her 10 year roller-coaster journey to the UK, through loss, pregnancy, hardship, and it is also about new friendships and relationships with women and families going through similarly difficult situations, both through online support platforms and physically. 

SI Leeds alumni Mahsuda Snaith said, 'This memoir will open your eyes whilst also filling them with tears.' Irenosen Okojie has called it 'A deeply affecting book, touching and beautifully rendered'. Bidisha observes it is 'Powerful, moving, beautifully observed and wonderfully sensitive' and Roopa Farooki has called Mona a 'writer of rare bravery' having read her extract presented in the SI Leeds shortlist.

A roll of the dice will be published on 22 April 2019 and will be available on Amazon and other channels.

Read more about Mona at

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