Muftah is launching a new Creative Writing section, which features works from emerging writers that challenge dominant narratives about the regions we cover. These stories include personal memoirs and essays drawing upon lived experiences and struggles, fiction, poetry, plays, and more experimental genres. Muftah’s first creative writing collection, which published in June 2015, focused on Muslim writers in North America and included non-fiction, fiction, poetry, and personal pieces.

We are currently seeking submissions for 2 more themed collections that will publish under this section: one on “Masculinity in the Middle East” and the other on “Invisible Communities.”

Masculinity in the Middle East & North Africa

From ISIS to Sisi, masculinity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is being performed in a number of ways at the political, social, and cultural level. But what does it mean to be a man in the modern MENA region? And what are the implications and consequences for both men and women of performing masculinity, or failing to perform masculinity? Is masculinity in crisis? If so, what does a failure of masculinity look like, and more importantly, what effect does it have on our societies? How are common understandings of masculinity being challenged, transformed or subverted by men and women? How do people understand and incorporate masculinity into their own identity and social integration?

“Invisible Communities” in or from the Middle East

“Invisible communities” are those that are marginalized, overlooked, or forgotten. Their narratives rarely, if ever, make it into the mainstream. Their stories and voices are often unheard.

These communities include religious and ethnic minorities, the socio-economically disenfranchised, or those otherwise sidelined to the peripheries of their societies.

They are slum-dwellers in the “ashwa’iyat” (informal communities) of Egypt, refugees inhabiting the borderlands of Turkey, Syria, and Jordan, the nomadic bedouin peoples of North Africa, street children and sex workers in regional metropolises, and immigrant communities from the Middle East living in the ghettos of North America and Europe. They are the extravagantly privileged, the one-percenters of their societies who remain tucked away and insular. They are the political prisoners and ex-convicts. They are the children of royalty, living a secretive existence that is at once circumscribed by rigid expectations and blessed with lavish freedoms and privileges.

Submission Requirements

For each of these collections, we are seeking creative, well-written submissions of fiction or creative nonfiction of up to 2500 words. The pieces should be original, unpublished works, and can include short stories, flash fiction, poetry, essays, memoirs, or photo series that shed light on either collection topic.

Submissions for both collections are due by September 15, 2015. Please note in the subject line which collection you are submitting to.  Please email your article to submissions@muftah.org. For additional information about Muftah, please read Our Mission page here.

Please note that we are only able to respond to those authors whose submissions are accepted for publication.

 

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