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Call for submissions: a queer and trans Arab and Arabophone anthology

Please note that the deadline has been extended until September 30 at 11:59pm ET.

(from the El Ghourabaa website)

Metonymy Press is excited to be publishing El Ghourabaa, a queer and trans Arab and Arabophone anthology edited by Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch and Samia Marshy.

What Eli and Samia are looking for:

We want to collect our uncanny, fun, experimental, creepy, sarcastic, playful, vulgar, inventive, sexual, weird, sweet, and evocative poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction in one place. Our goal is to celebrate Arab* and Arabophone** writers and our weird, nuanced, diverse, fraught, joyful communities. While several Arab and SWANA writers’ anthologies exist, there are very few anthologies that explore the space between being Arab or Arabophone and being queer and/or trans. Being queer and Arab is sometimes complicated. We won’t bog you down with all the ways it’s supposedly impossible, ungodly, wrong, a shame, a secret, etc. etc., to be queer and/or trans and Arab or Arabophone or Muslim, whether coming from our own communities or elsewhere. It’s 2022 and we all know the gist.  

What to send?

Send us up to 4 poems, or 6 pages, as well as up to 2,500 words for fiction or creative nonfiction. Translation into English is welcome! Please submit .doc or .docx files. PDFs will be accepted if you are submitting visual poems. As the anthology editors, we care about showcasing work by queer and/or trans Arab writers or Arabophone writers, whether or not the work is about being queer and/or trans and Arab or Arabophone. We are much less interested in submissions that rely heavily on identity tropes or that cater to outside audiences in an explainy or didactic manner unless it is being done in a fresh way. Please do not send us work that is transphobic, queerphobic, racist, anti-Black, anti-Indigenous, ableist, fatphobic, etc. If you’re unsure, get someone to read it beforehand.

Is it okay to submit previously published work?

Previously published in a journal or online is okay, as long as you have permission from the previous journal. Please do not send us work that has previously appeared in another anthology.

What about work in translation?

We are also looking for work in translation! If you are a queer/trans Arab or Arabophone translator working on translation into English and translate/want to translate another queer and/or trans Arab or Arabophone writer, we would love to have your work. Please submit with the added context of who you are, who the writer you are translating is, and whether or not you already have the rights to translate their work. Please send both the original work and the translation. If you have not already translated the piece, tell us a bit about the original and why you would like to translate it.

Where do I submit?

Please send your submissions to with the subject line, SUBMISSIONS: [GENRE OF SUBMISSION] by September 30th, 2022 (NEW DEADLINE!)

Include a note, telling us: How you heard of us, your pronouns, a short bio, the titles of your pieces, and if you want, how you identify. We’d also love to hear if and how much you’d be game to participate in promoting the book (online and via launch events) should your piece be accepted!

Will I get paid?

If accepted, you will receive $200 CAD and five free copies of the anthology.

Are you only looking for work from Arabs?

* We use the word Arab as we are Arab, as a political identity that disrupts the ideas of nationalism, illegal settlements, violent borders, and other colonial and racist tactics. We recognize that some communities, particularly North-African, Sudanese, or Somalian communities who are not/don’t identify as Arab, might not feel comfortable with this term. We welcome submissions from these writers, anyone from Arabophone communities, and anyone who denies Arab culture forced upon them through Arab colonialism.

**Credit to Safia Elhillo’s “Searching for the words to describe myself” in Harper’s Bazaar, for helping us find the best way to include Arabophone writers, particularly Black Arabophone writers, who don’t identify as Arab, but nevertheless are part of the Arabic speaking community.