What are we looking for?
The Markaz Review aka TMR seeks essays, feature articles and reviews of books, film, music, theatre and art, as well as profiles/interviews of artists, filmmakers, musicians and writers (1,000-3,000 words). We’re interested in covering a worldwide array of visual, literary and performing arts events, as well as current affairs. We also publish opinion columns (750-1,500 words). Our style is serious without being academic. Our writers care and are even passionate on the subjects they cover.
Critical and comparative thinking in TMR writing is key. It is essential for all Markaz Review stories that the writer have a strong point of view, a clear voice, a sense of authority about the subject, with a commanding lead paragraph and a strong conclusion. Merely relating biographical details and sharing quotes doesn’t do the trick. Readers want to know from the get-go, why should they be interested in this subject or this person? what’s so special about it/them? The writer has to get at the essence of the subject, and not be satisfied with appearances — just quoting someone, for example, is being satisfied with the surface details, with appearances, but what lies beneath, what is the psychology and/or philosophy of the subject, the experience and its meaning or significance? We want to think more about essences than appearances. We also encourage writers not to only get information from the subject (the “horse’s mouth” as it were) but other sources, including critical assessment. This goes without saying.
Query the Editors (How to Query)
Pitch your story idea to one of the editors with a jab, a roundhouse and an uppercut punch:
1. Tell us in a sentence or two what the story or subject is, and why it’s relevant and needed;
2. Explain why you think it’s a great fit for The Markaz Review;
3. And why you’re the one to write it.
If you haven’t previously written for The Markaz Review, include a sample clip/link or two so we can get a sense of your flare.
That’s all there is to it. A good query will get a faster response! Come on, knock us out! (Editors can be reached via their first name-at-themarkaz.org or query firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Book publicists, authors and publishers should address a press release and an electronic ARC of your book to our Deputy Editor, who handles assignments: Rayyan Al-Shawaf, rayyan-at-themarkaz.org. To potentially have your film, art exhibition or other event reviewed, drop us a line at info-at-themarkaz.org and your query will be forwarded to the appropriate editor.
Reviewers: While we are very open to comparative review essays (typically 1,000-3,000 words), we discourage writers from pitching reviews in which they would be writing about books or films by friends. A little objectivity goes a long way, and we prefer critical writing that holds work to high standards.
What do we care about?
TMR is an international platform for creative inquiry, criticism, performance and dialogue that explores the arts, humanities and current affairs. Recognizing that we live in a world fragmented by racism, gender discrimination, settler-colonialism, class and caste systems, xenophobia and orientalism, we raise our voices for social justice and human rights.
No AI Policy
• The Markaz Review has a NO AI POLICY: The Markaz Review is devoted to creative work from human writers and artists only. Text and image generation by AI systems have achieved remarkable verisimilitude to actual writing and art created by human beings. However, we are not open to works that include Artificial Intelligence in the creation of art or texts, whether the generation of whole articles or prompts, titles, names, outlines, dialogue, plot elements, descriptive passages, etc.
• If caught, violators of this policy will be permanently banned from our pages.
• No, running a spellchecker or grammar tool on your finished text is not AI.
When does TMR publish?
Written or audiovisual contributions appear either in TMR Weekly, publishing every Monday, or in our monthly online magazine, a themed issue every 15th of the month. Submissions range from 750 to 3,000 words, but please query with a one- or two-paragraph pitch, to editor-at-themarkaz.org.
All work must be turned in as either a Word file or a Google doc using the Word formatting. Track changes (not email exchanges) remain the gold standard with respect to editing, corrections and final drafts. No exceptions.
Please do not send stories or corrections in the body of your email. After publication, minor corrections are acceptable via email.
If you are sending images, upload all of them to one Google drive folder and share the link to that folder with TMR. Upload a Word doc with captions for your images into that same folder. Please do not send multiple images with multiple emails.
All op-eds, columns or reviews must be turned in not less than one week prior to the agreed-upon publication date. We publish every Monday, thus your work must be turned in no later than the previous Monday.
Queries will be accepted up to the 20th of the month preceding the month of publication (always the 15th of each month).
The final polished draft of approved stories will be accepted up to the 5th of the month of publication, unless translation is required, in which case you must add an additional week to 10 days ahead of the deadline on the 5th of the month. Any stories turned in after the 5th of the month of publication will be considered late and may not make it into publication. To avoid confusion, please turn in your work early or on time.
Editing, layout, design and publication prep for each monthly issue must be completed no later than the 10th of the month. This allows TMR time to prepare PR and marketing of the issue, prepping social media posts and other outreach.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS—The Markaz Review’s May ’23 issue is all about WORK
Unconventional professions, dangerous jobs, unemployment, crazy work stories, work pressure, deadlines, irritating colleagues, dead bosses, spies, assassins, tightrope workers, circus hands, labor protests, feminist icons breaking barriers, immigration attorneys saving lives, good cops/bad cops…TMR is looking for scintillating, titillating, aggravating, unbelievable, unforgettable stories related to work (fiction or creative nonfiction). Whether you started a new business, lost your job or are angry over new technology or AI, query the editor-at-themarkaz.org by April 15, copy deadline April 20th for publication on April 30 in the May ’23 WORK issue.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS—Our June ’23 issue is devoted to EARTH
The Markaz Review seeks creative essays, short stories, art, music, film, video, and/or photography for our June EARTH issue. EARTH is our only home, but often we treat it like an orphan child, disregarding our relationship with nature and abusing the planet. We often find ourselves in dystopias, and our literature, film, and art are replete with apocalyptic visions. Can it be any other way? We welcome speculative fiction, sci-fi, environmental musings, and essays on city vs. country, the wild life vs. the urban rat race, travel stories, measures to save the planet, and coexisting with nature. Deadline to query, May 10. Copy deadline May 20. Write email@example.com
Future Issue Themes
—SUMMER LIT ISSUE July/August
Issue themes are subject to change.
What’s been our track record?
Over the years, Levantine Cultural Center/Markaz flagship programs have engaged communities to overcome animosity and racism to learn about one another. They include Arabs, Blacks and Jews: The Art of Resistance (2005-2010); Freedom Theatre West (2011-2014); Gaza Surf Relief (2007-2015); New Voices in Middle Eastern Cinema (2010-2015); and the Sultans of Satire (2005-2017). Meanwhile our Inside-Outside Gallery (2009-2016) presented many group and solo art exhibits featuring fine artists from across the Middle East/North Africa and the American diaspora.
The Markaz Review (TMR) is a non-profit publication. TMR pays all contributors an honorarium within 30 days of publication.
What else would you like to know?
The Markaz Review presents online art galleries as well as live performances, short films, discussion groups and presentations/Q & As with world experts. We soon hope to produce a regular podcast and online arts and language courses. The primary language of TMR is English. All articles also appear in French and Spanish versions. We frequently translate from Arabic and other languages.