Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) has opened a call for submissions for any literary and/or artistic works inspired by life in confinement due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, including personal changes that have occurred as a result of the world in crisis.

Rima Ismail, Outreach and Special Projects Manager at HBKU Press, explained that this is a unique opportunity to document history as it unfolds, based on actual accounts of the community experiencing it. The invitation is open to both the local and global community.

Our entire publishing house has shifted to working remotely but despite this challenge, we are still looking to promote literacy and learning.

HBKU Press Together Apart

The call for submissions looks to collate reflective pieces, anything from personal essays, narrative first-person writing pieces; illustrations and drawings, photographs, or original memes; poetry or any combination of the mediums listed above that come as a reaction to the changes that the coronavirus has thrust upon us.

Pieces should reflect experience of working from home and/or losing your job; being house-bound with family or separated from your loved ones; having to change major life plans; shifts in attitude or worldview; the experience of contracting the disease or knowing someone who has;  or anything related to how you feel, or how you cope and adapt to the global pandemic. If your submission is chosen, it will be included in the book tentatively titled, Together … Apart.

What they hope to achieve at the end of this, according to Ismail, is a global snapshot full of candid moments about this time. She said that they want to document revelations, inspirations as well as challenges and difficult truths.

The call for submissions is open to anyone of any age because if we’ve learned anything from the virus, it’s the fact that it does not discriminate.

The bottom line is, as a global community, we are all in this together. We hope that the published book will reflect the spirit of cultural exchange that is essential to HBKU Press mission.

HBKU Press will begin accepting submissions until 6 May 2020 in Arabic, English and French, where applicable. For more details on the requirements and terms and conditions, interested participants are welcome to visit their website at hbkupress.com.

Only full application packages, which include a completed application form, a short descriptive rationale, a brief biography and the submission piece will be considered for publication.