Mahnaz Malik developed an interest in writing from her father, Dr. Arshad Malik, which resulted in her writing several stories and books at a young age. In 1992, while she was 15, Mahnaz's story “Strangers in the Same World” won the SAARC Gold Medal for Essay Writing. In 1993, Malik published her first book, a collection of short stories titled “Hopes Dreams & Realities.” Malik’s second book, “Defiance,” published by South Asia Publications in 1994, received appreciation from Indian author Khushwant Singh and then Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto.
Whilst studying at the University of Cambridge, her short story “A Night in a Backyard” won the Progression Arts Magazine Writing Competition, organized in collaboration with the Arts Council of England and judged by Seamus Heaney (1998). The BBC featured her short story “An Introduction” in the BBC World Service Short Story Series. Later successes included Mo’s Star, which was published by the Oxford University Press. Mo’s Star was later translated into Arabic by Fatima Sharafeddine as Najmet Mariam by Kalimat Publishing in the UAE. The Urdu writer and poet Fahmida Riaz translated the book into Urdu, renaming it Mo Ka Tara, which was published by Oxford University Press in 2006. Mahnaz's second children's book Min Chin's Tree Home was also published by Oxford University Press.
Mahnaz's book Mo’s s Star received rave reviews by the press and acclaim from notables, including Bollywood award-winning actress Vidya Balan, the Hollywood Director Michael Radford, actor Joseph Fiennes, and HRH Prince Charles. Mahnaz co-wrote and co-directed “Omar and the Glass Splinter” with Jonty Claypole as Jinns Productions Limited in 2000. The film launched the Raindance Film Festival in London (children's category) in 2000.