Why choose Zabaan?
Zabaan, in Urdu, means ‘tongue’. We believe in tongue-lashing. We believe in catharsis through writing. We are committed to publishing bold literary writing: writing that challenges our notions of form, tradition, and convention, but also, of race, class, gender, sexuality, identity, psychology, philosophy, and the art of writing itself. We are interested in publishing radical voices, though not exclusively; we will read all sorts of work. But to lay it out simply, we are not a market-driven organisation. We believe in Wilde’s dictum: Art for Art’s Sake. Choose us if you follow that dictum.
Zabaan publishes fiction, poetry, translations (prose and poetry), and critical essays, in English, by both established and new writers.
Fiction entries are limited to 4,000 words per short story. We do not publish genre fiction (such as romance, science fiction, or fantasy). Send no more than one story per submission.
Poetry is limited to five poems per submission. Please send all five poems within the same MS Word file and as a single attachment.
Translations (Prose and Poetry)
Literary translations of short stories and poetry from any language into English are welcome (no more than one short story and five poems per submission). We are particularly interested in publishing vernacular voices from South Asia, though not exclusively. Make sure you obtain copyrights from the original author before sending us translations.
Critical essays with a literary merit are welcome as is creative nonfiction. Sometimes creative nonfiction evokes nostalgia, sometimes it takes us to places we have never been to. We are interested in essays about art, literature, literary criticism, travel essays, memoirs, culture, film, and society. Essays are also limited to 4,000 words per submission.
All submissions must contain a short third-person bio of the author on the first page of the word file attachment, followed by the text of the submission.
Do not include much in the body of the email.
In the Subject area, simply note your genre (poetry, poem, translations, or critical essay), title of your piece, followed by your full name.
Translations should additionally include a short third-person bio of the author whose work has been translated.
All submissions must be MS Word files (.docx or .doc), and should be formatted using 12-point Georgia font with double-spacing. Please note that any submissions not in accordance with these guidelines will not be considered.
We welcome simultaneous submissions but please do inform us if your piece is accepted elsewhere as we do not accept previously published items.
Send your submissions to:
Since we are a fledgling magazine operated by literary enthusiasts, we do not offer any monetary compensation.
All rights will revert to the owner upon publication, though we do ask that you acknowledge us in any subsequent publications of your work.
Please allow 1-2 months for your submission to be reviewed after sending it in. We do not usually take longer than that and will get back to you as promptly as we can.