Shahnaz Bashir was born and brought up in Indian-administered Kashmir. His critically lauded and widely reviewed debut novel The Half Mother won the Muse India Young Writer Award 2015. His second book Scattered Souls was longlisted for Tata Lit Live Best Book Fiction 2017 and won The Citizen's Talent of the Year Award 2016-2017. In April 2018, Kashmir Observer reported “Scattered Souls is the best-selling fiction book in Kashmir till date”. Literary critics have compared his short fiction with works of great writers like Anton Chekhov and Sadat Hassan Manto. His short stories, memoir essays, poetry and reportage have been anthologised or published widely. He was honoured with university gold medal in journalism and was also awarded the Shamim Ahmad Shamim Memorial Kashmir Times Award 2007 for excelling in media studies. In 2018, Shahnaz was awarded a Writer’s Residency in Switzerland by Pro Hevetia—the Swiss Arts Council in India. He teaches narrative journalism, creative writing and conflict reporting to post-graduate students at the Central University of Kashmir.