Guidelines & Submissions Form
There’s a growing disdain for a made-up entity we call the Muslim world. Where is that world located? Next to the Christian world maybe? So where is the Jewish world then? Last time I checked, we only had one world. Muslims—like Jews and Christians, like Buddhists, Atheists, Mormons, Scientologists, and Agnostics—come from many worlds. Muslims make up almost 25% of our world population, and reflect countless perspectives, each different from the next. And that number doesn’t even count the secular or cultural Muslims who might not check the religion box on the census card. That’s a lot of people that are getting shoved into one common identity. Recently, an identity that is becoming feared. Muslims are as diverse a population as is our human population. It's time to shine a light on that. The world needs it now.
About the Book
This collection is not a focus on Islam. Nor does it intend to join any political conversation. Instead, these non-fiction stories zoom into the diverse perspectives of people of Muslim backgrounds all over the world. It is intended for Muslim and non-Muslim readers alike.
Each story relates a pivotal moment in the writer's life. Much like travel writing, writers convey a clear sense of place, painting three-dimensional portraits of countries readers may know little about. Life changing moments in these countries (to which writers are intimately connected) reveal a diversity of perspectives about each place, and the universality of human experiences within them.
What is the impetus for this project? Read here.
Writers We Seek
There is not one Muslim identity. Writers come from a wide range of ethnic and religious perspectives, from secular to devout, former Muslims, cultural Muslims, and agnostics, too. There is no restriction on age, gender, sexuality, or nationality. However, an authentic perspective is crucial to this work, therefore preference will go to those writings from authors who have spent a significant portion of their lives in the country the experience is set in. We seek to feature experiences set in a large swath of countries in this book, from Senegal to Indonesia and beyond. While we do not restrict writers based on religion, we are looking for stories where writers identify with being Muslim (in their own personal, unique way), through place and character.
Meet the Team
Our list of collaborators is growing to include artists and writers from all over the world. Meet the writing, editing, and publishing professionals, experts in world and travel literature that are helping to shape this project. This book would not be impossible without the generous advice and valuable skills of friends like these. Read about them here.
Publishing & Distribution. Copyright & Compensation.
It's just as important to get this book to its readers as it is to create it. The editor is currently in contact with multiple publishers. But she is committed to ensuring the widest distribution and promotion of this book as possible. Once a majority of stories ideal for the book have been approved, she will submit the book proposal to publishers worldwide to obtain the the best book deal possible. To further promote the book, she will build a web site hosting works that are not featured in the print. To promote cross-cultural dialogue, she will launch a crowd-funding campaign to host a handful of international writers for a series of panels on the book launch tour across the U.S.
Writers whose stories are chosen for the print edition will be compensated with an honorarium and copies of the book. For those stories chosen for print we will also require non-exclusive worldwide first rights in all languages. Those excellent works that are not featured in the print edition will be considered for publication online with the writer's consent.
Submission Guidelines & Writing Specs
We're seeking first-person, unpublished non-fiction. 1000-3000 words, in English. Translations of excellent quality are welcome.
Each story is about a life-changing moment. We're looking for the classic narrative arc: a curious/compelling start, context which leads to quest which leads to climax, and then to resolution. Stories should engage a broad audience, have a strong sense of place and character, and open a window into each unique culture. The story should also transcend cultural boundaries in order to relate to the human nature of all readers. Stories that turn stereotypes on their heads are especially of interest.
We're looking for stories that do more showing than telling. If you can convey your perspective by setting the scene and revealing it through place/character description and dialogue (rather than explaining your sentiments), then we have the makings for a good story.
Some stories I've heard, perfect for this book :
- an artist's midlife crisis in Lebanon
- a comical tale about a boy's first kiss in Sri Lanka
- conflict between neighbors turns into long friendship in Morocco
- a man's disastrous first meeting with his in-laws in India
- an old widow finds new love in Nigeria
- a woman abandons her career to come home to Egypt after 20 years in the West
Due to the large number of submissions, and the nature of the selection process, I cannot guarantee an immediate response. If we find your submission has potential for this collection, I will contact you as soon as possible.
Submit Your Story
Our worldwide call for submissions is now closed. However, we are still looking for stories from particular countries: Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Afghanistan, Iran, Kuwait, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Tunisia, Somalia and Algeria. The book proposal is currently being shopped with publishers. If you feel you have a story that meets the above requirements from one of these countries, please feel free to reach out on Facebook to get an update on the project.
PITCHES ACCEPTED*: For those writers wanting to verify a story idea before writing, please submit a brief query (300 words or less), and I will respond with further direction.
* Please keep in mind that receiving editorial guidance does not guarantee we publish your story. Stories will be chosen on spec with the guidance of the publisher and advisors once the book is nearer publication date.