We seek original pieces—visual and/or written—centered around discussions of identity, cross-community solidarity, creative expression, critique, and activism. We accept short stories, academic papers, think-pieces, plays, translations, visual arts, poems, interviews, reviews, critiques, or anything else you can think of.
Issue 3. SOURCE
causality, complicate, birthplace, origins, ground zero, fount, rhizome, knowledge, canon, memory, credibility, authority, systems, cradle, inception, archive, storage, cache, database, informant, documents, history, memorialize, reference, tributary, access, scarcity, abundance, local, voice, proof, self, body, spring, life, magic, mystery, healing, myth, fable, story, obscure, rupture, interrogate, intervene, beginning, root.
- Author sends pitch to editor[at]khabarkeslan.com. The pitch shouldn't be longer than 300 words, and should include a sentence about the author.
- Pitches are circulated to Khabar Keslan's editorial board, and occasionally to outside readers with special expertise.
- We inform authors of editorial decisions as quickly as possible, usually within a week or two.
- If a pitch is promising, we will contact you with a deadline for a first draft.
- We typically go through two to three rounds of edits with the author before a final top-edit for publication.
- We reserve the right to edit all manuscripts to improve readability. All editorial changes will be cleared with the author before publication.
- Send an email to editor[at]khabarkeslan.com with the word PITCH in the subject line. Multiple pitches are welcome, but please title each pitch with "name_title_form." We use Microsoft Word, so all submissions should be sent as a .doc or .docx.
- Attach your Word document(s) containing the 300 word pitch, where you describe the content of your piece, the form the piece will take (fictional short story, painting, journalistic think-piece, etc.), and how it fits the issue's theme (only applicable if you are responding to a call for submissions).
- In the email itself, tell us a little about yourself! Unless you request otherwise, this will be used as your author bio.
Guidelines for non-fiction
Please refer to these style guides, 'borrowed' heavily from the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP).* For additional questions, please refer to the Middle East Topics and Arguments (META) writer and transliteration guides.*
*No affiliation to any of these publishers.
- We seek clear, direct, and readable writing. Please, do not do this.
- Capture readers’ attention in the lead paragraphs: convince them immediately that the article is worth reading.
- Keep sentences short, crisp, and in the active voice.
- Avoid jargon and identify all acronyms and people.
- Avoid signposting (e.g., “This article argues that,” “as I show below”) and other conventions of academic prose. Resist the temptation to mention the concepts of theoreticians unless they are central to the argument of the article. In such cases, the concepts should be explained in plain English with concrete illustration.
- While we are in the business of making your voice heard, the first person should only be used sparingly and tastefully. Expect editors to be very particular about this. This does not apply to creative reflections pieces.
- Heads and subheads should be succinct and jargon-free; if they are not, expect the editors to make them so. Heads and subheads are the editors’ prerogative.
- In general, refer to the Associated Press Stylebook on questions of mechanics and usage.
- For those seeking further guidance, tips 1-5 in this list compiled by a W. W. Norton editor are particularly useful.
- We do not translate pieces yet. We are willing to publish your Arabic piece; however, it will take much longer than an English one. We apologize for this, and it will certainly change in the future.
types of nonfiction
The best non-fiction pieces for Khabar Keslan acknowledge and interrogate frameworks and narratives. In other words, we're not looking for something you'd find in a think-tank publication or a security studies/counter-terrorism journal. There is already a lot of coverage on war in the MENA region. We would rather not publish pieces focusing on war, with some exceptions.
- We like creative non-fiction and investigative/analytical articles that address a political situation, a particular struggle, an untold story or history, a trend in media, an institution, a social class, social practices and policies, or something else.
- Articles should be original, and based on considerable knowledge of the subject. Do not send personal Middle East peace plans or travelogues (unless they're satirical).
- 2,000-5,000 words
- Khabar Keslan publishes interviews with unique persons or with those who can give expression to popular sentiment on matters of importance. We particularly look for activists, community leaders/organizers, and artists.
- Questions should search for problems or weaknesses, not simply elicit information or self-aggrandizing statements.
- Interviewers must transcribe, edit, condense and even rearrange the interview to bring out the most important elements.
- 2,500 words
- Reviews succinctly assess a single book, film or other piece of cultural production.
- 800-1000 words
- Review essays deal with a major (and usually contemporary) topic in an original way and use the review of several books, films or other pieces of cultural production as an instrument for discussing important issues.
- 3,000-5,000 words
- Dispatches report recent news that has not already been covered in the general press. They should present a story in a detailed way, with much firsthand material and a feel for the place in question.
- 800 to 2,000 words
Borrowed from Rusted Radishes.
- Creative essays: We are receptive to high-quality literary fiction, and are happy to read stories with both traditional and experimental forms and subjects. We will consider flash fiction (350-1000 words) and short stories (1000-5000 words).
- Poetry: We are looking for poetry that reflects, creates, destroys and rebuilds. The writing has to be layered in its images, content, presence and creativity. Build a world involving, but not limited to, your humanity and non-humanity, filled with your otherness and compiled with your own conflicting perspectives in different voices. Avoid standard rhyme schemes, experiment with your poetry, but make it accessible. Send 3-5 poems in a single document.
- Drama: We seek plays (one-acts and full-length pieces, translations, and adaptations) that take advantage of and/or subvert theatrical conventions. A written play alone does not constitute theater; it is only a small part of it. We hold that plays are, by nature, incomplete on the page. With this in mind, our goal is to inspire people to perform the works we publish.
- In general, we have very few restrictions on fiction. Please contact us for more information.
Khabar Keslan also offers a support system for facilitating and editing interviews. If you have an interview (even if it's just an idea) that you'd like to execute, please contact us with a 300-word pitch that includes:
- A short description of yourself and your experience with interviews (if you have none that's absolutely fine, we provide information on conducting interviews from those with experience),
- How you'd like us to help,
- The name(s) of the interviewee(s),
- Whether you have access to the potential interviewee(s),
- What themes you'd like to explore,
- A draft of at least 10 questions,
- A timeline (if applicable).