BREAKING: Literary Agents Respond to “Muslim Ban”

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Dear Writers: I have just received an amazing letter in support of Muslim writers (and the wider Muslim community) from Cindy Uh, a senior literary agent with Thompson Literary Agency, and Clelia Gore of Martin Literary Management. This is what they said:

In response to President Trump’s “Muslim ban” targeting refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, literary agents from Seattle to New York City have come together to announce an open call for submissions by Muslim writers (https://cleliagore.com/open-call/).

The events following Trump’s executive order on January 27, 2017 deeply shocked and saddened all of us. The messages of fear of and discrimination against Muslims within this country and to those outside its borders are not ones that reflect our own beliefs and understanding. As literary agents, however, we are in a unique position to help change the negative perception that is being perpetuated by the current administration.

We all agree that the current political climate demands a greater presence of authors of Muslim heritage in the book marketplace. We believe that diversity and inclusivity are essential for a representative voice, and only make us stronger.

As a result, we are taking action by encouraging submissions from writers of Muslim heritage for children’s and adult fiction and nonfiction books. This is our open call for stories that will bring increased understanding, tolerance, empathy and compassion in the world. We are seeking out these unheard voices so that others can hear them.

To learn more or to join the effort, please contact:

Clelia Gore at clelia@martinliterarymanagement.com

Cindy Uh at cindy@thompsonliterary.com

Please visit this page to see the full list of agents participating in this effort. Whether you write picture books, romance, humor, horror, science fiction, YA, non-fiction, or something else, there is an agent waiting for your submission.

Spread the word, and please be respectful of each agent’s time, making sure to follow any guidelines correctly, and to submit your best work.

With many thanks to the sponsors of this initiative!

UPDATE: For your convenience, I have listed the submission guidelines for each participating agency on this page. Happy querying!


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Amel

Amel is an experienced freelance writer, editor, and Arabic to English translator. She started the Muslim Writers Club as a means of sharing useful information about the art (and business) of writing.
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2 Comments

  1. Literary agents that are seeking Muslim writers are engaged in reverse profiling.  Not only is it patently discriminatory and exclusionary to non-Muslim writers, it is a foolish way to do business.   It is so hypocritical and wrong-headed and unfair and phony that it stinks to high heaven.  Let them take books based on the religion, ethnicity, and/or race of the authors:  I can’t wait to witness the losses they will incur.  You still have to produce writing that people want to read, no matter what your special needs are.  If you think this design is going to prosper, you have another thought coming.

  2. Thank you for your comment, Cliff. I don’t think these agents want to exclude non-Muslim writers (or only represent Muslim writers). It is simply an initiative to invite more diverse work, which is also something many readers want to see. In that sense, it is a good business decision for these agents…and you are absolutely correct that the writing will have to be good. I don’t think for a moment that there will be any compromise on that point. This is not about being granted special privileges or automatic representation. We will have to work hard for this, just as we always have.

    Amel – MWC Admin
    Muslim Writers Club recently posted…Q&A: Finding a Publisher for my NovelMy Profile

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