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Rowayat seeks original writing for upcoming online publications. We accept unsolicited simultaneous submissions and aim to respond within 3 months. Submission categories are fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, flash fiction, comics, art, reviews, and interviews — in English, French, or Arabic in translation. Contributors do not need to identify as of Arab/SWANA descent, provided their work is in dialogue with the transnational social realities of the Afro/Arab regions and its diaspora communities. Contributors may also decide to expand this reality altogether.

We also accept submissions from all Indigenous Peoples of Canada from across Turtle Island, as we are located on the unceded Indigenous lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka/Mohawk Nation, a historic place for gathering and trade for many First Nations. These lands and Indigenous Peoples have a history and legacy that is long and deep, and on which there have now been non-Indigenous settlers for more than 375 years. 

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.

Suad Kamardeen is Rowayat’s Fiction Editor.

She is a British-Nigerian Muslim writer, proofreader, Head of Editorial at Amaliah, hobbyist photographer, engineering graduate and a Creative Writing Masters student at the University of Oxford.

Her writing is fuelled by her desire to impact people’s lives positively, especially through storytelling. Her young adult novel, Never Enough, won the SI Leeds Literary Prize 2022 and was runner-up for FAB Prize 2021. In 2021, her adult novel was shortlisted for the Stylist Prize for Feminist Fiction 2021. Her writing has also appeared in Bad Form Review.

In 2022, Suad launched a writing community, Qalb Writers Collective, to support Black and Muslim women writers. She also co-hosts Ọrẹ Meji: Yoruba ni ṣoki, a podcast centred on embracing her mother tongue, Yoruba, and reconnecting with her heritage.

Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @suadkamardeen

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.

Sara Elkamel is Rowayat’s Poetry Editor.

Elkamel is a poet, journalist, and translator living between Cairo and NYC. She holds an MA in arts journalism from Columbia University and an MFA in poetry from New York University. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Magazine, The Yale Review, Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, and in the anthology Best New Poets (2020 & 2022), among publications. Elkamel was named the winner of the Redivider’s 2021 Blurred Genre Contest and the Tinderbox’s 2022 Brett Elizabeth Jenkins Poetry Prize. She is the author of the chapbook “Field of No Justice” (African Poetry Book Fund & Akashic Books, 2021).

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.

Ibrahim Fawzy is Rowayat’s Editorial Assistant 

He is an Egyptian literary translator and academic. He holds an MA in Comparative Literature, and was awarded a mentorship with the National Center for Writing, UK (2022/2023). His translations, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared or are forthcoming in ArabLit Quarterly, Words Without Borders, The Markaz Review, Modern Poetry in Translation, Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal and elsewhere. He also podcasts at New Books Network. His debut book Belonging to Prison will be published by Cambridge Scholars this summer. 

What he’s looking for

Work that inspires, challenges and fascinates readers. Work that gives voices to ordinary folks and their struggles. Work whose message is language per se, and takes risk with language. He enjoys themes of resistance, belonging, diaspora and gender politics. Ibrahim wants Rowayat to be a warm, encouraging and creative space for writers and translators to outspeak their strong, deep ideas and complex emotions.

 Submissions closed for Issue 6 “Faith” February 15th, 2023- We will open again soon!

Word is faith. A word after a word after a word is how we come face to face with our fallibilities and our power. It is what we do to move from reckoning to redemption. It is what we do to come closer to each other. To write is to have faith that you are not alone; someone out there is listening. It is an unspoken pact between writer and reader, that the words will connect you across borders and oceans, right here on the page where you cease to become strangers. Rowayat invites you to submit your short stories, poetry, creative nonfiction and literary translations to Issue 6: Faith. All shades and shadows of faith are welcome. All sizes too. Feel free to have faith in a tub of ice cream carrying you through the night, in as much as a rocket landing you safely on the moon.

Fill the form 

Please choose to submit from these categories:

One short story or novel excerpt (min. 1500 – max. 10,000 words)


Two pieces of flash fiction (no piece longer than 750 words)


Up to three poems

(or writers can submit one flash fiction piece and two poems)

Fill the form 

Nonfiction/Writing Central

All forms of CNF, essays, memoirs, travel literature, author interviews, and book reviews, as well as Writing Central (writing tips, translation advice, or creative writing lessons).

(min. 1500 – max. 3000 words)

Fill the form 


Comics: 4-8 pages 

Eye Candy: 10-14 pages of illustrations, photography, paintings, prints, sculpture, mixed media, or design.

Fill the form 

Before making your submission, please check:

  • Your spelling, punctuation, spacing, and all other formatting.
  • You have included your name and social media handles, website, or relevant links.
  • You have not exceeded the word count in your category.


We currently do not offer any compensation for submission, but we hope to bring you the fortune of readership. We plan to pay for contributions in the future.

The Rowayat team will look into your submission and get back to you as soon as possible.

  1. Online submissions must be in a single file in .doc, .docx, or PDF format.
  2. Your submission title must be 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 50-word bio
  4. Fiction must be double-spaced. Indicate stanza breaks in poetry.
  5. Include page numbers on prose or multi-page poems.
Fill the form 

Rowayat was first published in Cairo, Egypt (2012), in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, to encourage through creative writing and artistic expression the values of inclusiveness, democracy and the tolerance of social and individual differences. As Rowayat transitions to a more global readership, our focus remains on hybrid, diverse and pluralistic voices. For that reason, we will not accept any work we deem racist, homophobic, misogynistic, transphobic, ableist, fat-shaming, Islamophobic, antisemitic, Christophobic, orientalist, colonialist, fetishizing of cultures and peoples, appropriation of individual or community experiences of others, denigrating a culture, such as by favouring settler over Indigenous culture or favouring one cultural or religious community over another.