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“To write is to know that you are not at home.”

Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman

“The books I’m writing are houses that I build for myself.”

Etel Adnan

Many artists create works that are deeply rooted in place – like Etel Adnan and Rabih Alameddine, they express feeling both at home in or estranged from the world. Writing is often a means of making a home in the world. Adnan, whose paintings often depict her homes of Lebanon and northern California, has said that her  art is a reflection of her “immense love for the world.” Conversely, many of Alameddine’s characters feel out of place in the world, and find refuge in stories and the written word.

Muftah is now launching its first writing contest, and looking for submissions under the theme, “At Home in the World.” We are accepting nonfiction and fiction pieces, as well as poetry and illustrations. We want to hear your stories about belonging, estrangement, and everything in between. We urge you to interpret the theme with a sense of creativity and imagination, and will accept all topics, as long as they are loosely connected to it.   

Our guest judge, Saleem Haddad will be helping us to select the winners, whose works will be featured on Muftah.

All written submissions must be in English and previously unpublished.

We strongly suggest that applicants take a look at some of our past collections, including our creative writing section here. Please submit no more than one short story, one nonfiction piece, or five poems at a time.

Deadline:  March 1, 2018

Word Count: Up to 2,500 words for non-fiction/fiction pieces, up to five poems for poetry submissions.

Instructions for Submission: Please email all materials to [email protected], with submissions as an attachment (JPEG/PNG for illustrations, Word documents for written materials).