Announcing the Next Two ‘ArabLit Quarterly’ Themes: CRIME and CATS

Those are two separate themes; we are not requesting contributions about criminal or crime-fighting cats; although, naturally, we’re open to anything that’s evocative, soul-cracking, un-put-downable, fun:

For our Summer 2020 issue, the theme is crime / جريمة.

“The Man Fell Asleep and the Thief Robbed Him.” Kalīla wa Dimna, Bibliothèque nationale de France. Département des manuscrits. Arabe 3465.

As always, we are interested in a wide variety of interpretations of this theme from translations of true-crime stories to meditations on the nature of crime to the depiction of crime in Arabic children’s literature.

Regular features include: #LiteraryPlaylist, Open Letter to a Late Author, Food for Writing, and Judge a Book By Its Cover.

Among our favorite crime narratives are Hanane Derkaoui’s short story “A Way to Mecca” (which can be found in Marrakesh Noir, ed. Yassin Adnan) Salah Eissa’s Raya and Sakina’s Men, Etel Adnan’s play, A Crime of Honor, and, naturally, “The Three Apples.”

But we’re always open to something new, noting that a magazine should be a place of experimentation and rigorous delight, both for authors and for translators.


Pitches for this issue should be in by April 20. Drafts of completed works should be in by May 20. We aim to publish June 21-22.

Submissions are open.


For the Fall 2020 issue, the theme is cats / قطط.

Safynaz Kazem
Tawfiq al-Hakim

Naturally, we are as interested in The Merits of the Housecat, by Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti (tr. David Larsen) as we are in “Medieval Cat Poem” by Abū ʿĀmir al-Faḍl ibn Ismāʿīl al-Tamīmī al-Jurjānī, in Rehab Bassam’s “Days of the Black Cat,” in “Minouche,” by Anis Arrafai, and in cats both real and mystical.

We are also interested in cat recipes (?), cat essays, cat comix, feline playlists, a history of cats in a particular city, as well as other cat topics not yet considered.

Also: If you have classic photos of Arab authors and their cats, please do share.


Pitches for this issue should be in by July 20. Drafts of completed works should be in by August 20. We aim to publish September 21-22.

Submissions are open.


General questions

Yes, we do pay:

$15/page, to author and translator, unless by other arrangement.

Of course we recommend:

Those who want to submit look at a copy of ALQ. You can get a single-issue e-pub or print, become a subscriber on Exact Editions, or subscribe to all the e-pubs through Patreon.

How to submit?

Please use the Submittable; questions can be sent to Please give some notion of how your piece will relate to the the theme (unless it’s obvious).

We’re also accepting submissions:

For the 2020 ArabLit Story Prize.