Hi Laila! I’m reading your book now. Already in Chapter 10, and truly enjoying it. I love your writing style and voice.:) Your book keeps me awake till the wee hours of the morning. Can’t put it down. You have a good voice and it shows the sweet person you are. I’m sure this book will be a hit.
January 2, 2015
It’s 5am and I just finished your book. Wow!! You really kept the suspense going that I had to lose sleep to finish your book.:-) What an incredible story or shall I say stories. The book is so rich with flavor that I envisioned this to be as successful as the Kite Runner. I really sympathized with your story. There are themes of freedom and the power of love between sister. I was really routing for Ghassan. How sad! I want to know more after you left Lebanon and migrated to Canada. All the characters in the book have such a rich voice. I truly loved the relationship between you and your sister and I feel so bad that she died. Laila, you’ve lived such a bittersweet life and have been through so much tragedies and triumphs as well. Your story will touch a lot of women who suffered the same situation as you. You deserve an award and recognition for this book, Laila.
Michele loaned me your “Out From The Shadow Of Men” memoir. I started last night and couldn’t close it until 5am this morning when I read the last drop. Compelling, absolutely. Historical, yes. And stomach churning at the very least. I haven’t gobbled up a book like that, other than those related to my work, in such a long time. I want to say thank you for writing such a vivid and courageous story of your family life in Egypt. You and your dear sister are true Spirit Warriors in every sense of the word. To walk to the beat of your drum in a culture that sees girls and women as possessions – still – is so meaningful and brave. Although my cultural upbringing was strict – but nothing like what you experienced. I was called “The Rebel” in my family because I refused to walk their old fashioned and restrictive walk. Looking back and comparing, my walk was a piece of cake compared to yours.
“From the first time that Laila began to read her story to us at a Fremont Area Writers Open Mic Night a couple of years ago, I thought immediately that what I was hearing were the polished words of a published writer. Only when she was finished reading did we find out that this was her first book. Wow! Laila has the talent, drive, desire, and capability to go a long way in the publishing world. Her story captivated all of us that evening and should do the same to many readers worldwide.”
August 16, 2010
Dear Laila El-Sissi,
Congratulations on your Honorable Mention Award for your fine piece, “Out of Alexandria,” in the New Millennium Writings competition that closed January 31, 2010. Your name will appear on a special Awards page in our next issue of New Millennium Writings, 2011, due out in December, along with other finalists in our 29th Consecutive Awards. The winners and runners-up, including your entry, were selected from about 1,200 total submissions in four categories. The quality was high, and you should be proud of your accomplishment. We certainly are. Feel free to forward or copy this letter to anyone, to post it to blogs or paste it to other applications in order to print and or keep in a suitable format.
By August 31, we’ll contact any Honorable Mention winners we’d like to publish. You’ll receive your free copy of next year’s issue before the end of January.
In answer to other frequently asked questions, no, your good showing does not disqualify you from entering this or any other contest as often as you like, with this or any other work of your choosing. We accept non-contest general submissions in the months of January through March only. If you’re interested in our next contest, which has a deadline of Nov. 17, 2010, please visit our website at www.writingawards.com, now undergoing re-design, or follow guidelines below.
Mostly we just want to say we appreciate your interest in New Millennium Writings and the part you play in our success. Please tell others about us. Again, congratulations on your achievement.
Don S. Williams