Rowayat seeks original writing for upcoming online publications. Submission categories are Fiction, CNF, Poetry, Flash Fiction, Comics, Art, Reviews and Interviews - in English or French or Arabic in translation. Contributors do not need to identify as Arab/SWANA descent, provided their work is in dialogue with the transnational social realities of the Afro/Arab regions and their diaspora communities. Contributors may also decide to expand this reality altogether.
Rowayat accepts unsolicited submissions of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction during our reading periods. We accept simultaneous submissions, but please let us know as soon as your submission is accepted elsewhere. We aim to respond within 3 months.
Our review process is semi-anonymous (our readers do not know the names of submitters, and then they pass all submissions to the genre editors. You may submit to more than one genre (but only 1 submission per genre—thank you!).
Mai Serhan is Rowayat’s Managing Editor.
She holds an MA in Arabic Literature from the American University in Cairo and an MSt in Creative Writing from the University of Oxford. She is the recipient of the Center for Book Arts Poetry Chapbook Award for, CAIRO: the undelivered letters, the Narratively Memoir Prize for The Renegades: a story of Palestinian diaspora, and the Master’s in Creative Writing F.H. Pasby Prize from the University of Oxford.
What she’s looking for
Work that is intentional and that inches quietly toward heat at every turn. Work with a strong subject matter that is unafraid to dig deep and crack open. Work that expands the limits of language, form and genre. Work that derives its power from simple, universal truths and that is capable of relaying truths in their simplest and most inventive form. She enjoys themes of diaspora, family gender politics, race, class, sexuality and mental health.
Fatima ElKalay is Rowayat’s Poetry Editor.
She holds an M. Litt in Creative Writing from Central Queensland University. Her work has been shortlisted for the London Independent Story Prize and the ArabLit Story Prize for short fiction in translation. Her first collaborative collection Dessert for Three combines fiction and memoir, and was published by Rowayat in 2022.
What she’s looking for
Work that resonates truth and distills difficult, complex emotions. Some of her favorite themes are loss, displacement, death in its many forms, belonging, freedom and injustice. She loves when a writer takes an ordinary word on an extraordinary adventure that shocks, delights, or even scares us. She enjoys hybrid forms that challenge the reader and challenge what we know about form.
Nesma Gewily is Rowayat’s CNF and Literary Translation Editor
She holds an M.A. in Arabic Literature from the American University in Cairo and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the same field from the University of California in Berkeley. Her first travel memoir, Irth al-Hikãyah, was published by Dar Al-Shorouk in 2014. Her second book, a novel and a work in progress, traces the steps of her characters across continents and history.
What she’s looking for
Work that is rooted in our capacity to live authentically, feel our emotions, think our ideas, and wonder about our own questions. This is a challenging task in a world that floods us with ready-made images and voices. She wants this space to be one where authentic voices meet; the voice of a writer who translates life into writing and the voice of a reader who translates writing into life.
Please choose to submit from these categories:
Check out our Young Readers section on our website for inspiration:
Submission from Age 8yrs old to 16years old and adults writing children's literature/YA
One short story or novel excerpt (min. 1500 – max. 10,000 words)
Two pieces of flash fiction (no piece longer than 750 words)
(or writers can submit one flash fiction piece and two poems)
All forms of CNF, essays, memoirs, travel literature, author interviews, book reviews and Writing Central: writing tips/translation advice/creative writing lessons.
(min. 1500 – max. 3000 words)
Comics 4-8 pages
Eye Candy 10-14pages of illustrations/photography/paintings/prints/sculpture/mixed media/design
Before making your submission, please check:
Your spelling, punctuation, spacing and all other formatting.
You included your name and social media handles, website or relevant links.
You did not exceed the word count in your category.
1. Online submissions must be in a single file in .doc, .docx, or PDF format.
2. Title your submission in the following format: YourSurname_SubmissionTitle
3. You must include a cover letter with your submission on the first page with the title of the piece, its category, word count, your name, contact details, website/social media links, and a 50word bio
4. Fiction must be double-spaced. Indicate stanza breaks in poetry.
5. Include page numbers on prose or multi-page poems.
6. Include your name on every page.
Are you a budding writer? Are you interested in translation, editing, and literary journals? Email us, and we will pair you with a mentor with experience in your desired area of focus.
If someone is willing to be a mentor – please contact us too.
Creative writing tutoring: one-on-one, group workshop lessons available at different times of the year.
Do you have a manuscript? Work one-on-one with a mentor to revise, polish and submit your manuscript.
provides an excellent opportunity to get to know our editorial staff and learn from them.
Volunteering teaches how Rowayat operates, how to use submission tools, and how you can help support our mission.
- Rowayat Board member or Advisory Board member:
Gain experience and friendship through governance of a literary non-profit
- Rowayat Reader: Reading submissions and deciding whether they move on to the editorial team. By volunteering as a reader, you’ll be exposed to a wide variety of work that could improve your writing style and craft.
- Rowayat Social Bug: We always need volunteers to help us with social media; if you want to be part of a dynamic creative team, don’t hesitate to contact us.
It’s a great way to gain experience, meet writers, improve your own writing, understand the submission process and contribute to the literary community.