Saadia Faruqi is a Pakistani American author, essayist and interfaith activist. She writes the children’s early reader series “Yasmin” published by Capstone and other books for children, including middle grade novels “A Place At The Table” (HMH/Clarion 2020) co-written with Laura Shovan, and “A Thousand Questions” (Harper Collins 2020). She has also written “Brick Walls: Tales of Hope & Courage from Pakistan” a short story collection for adults and teens. Saadia is editor-in-chief of Blue Minaret, a magazine for Muslim art, poetry and prose, and was featured in Oprah Magazine in 2017 as a woman making a difference in her community. She resides in Houston, TX with her husband and children.
I began my journey in 2009 with an academic text. My first children’s book was a series called YASMIN, which began publication in Aug 2018. The series now has 12 books and is very popular. I started working on middle grade novels several years ago, but it wasn’t until my friend Laura Shovan asked me to co-write a novel with her that I got serious about this age group. Our novel A PLACE AT THE TABLE comes out in May 2020, followed by my solo MG, A THOUSAND QUESTIONS later that year. I’m usually on submission for a couple of weeks or more before my work is typically sold.
I have participated as mentor for several contests including AMM. I also informally help several writers with editorial feedback.
I believe that POC have so many stories to tell that they have historically not been allowed to tell. As one of the few South-Asian/Muslim women authors in traditional publishing, I want to help others like myself gain a foothold in kidlit so that our stories become as popular and mainstream as everyone else’s.
I’m most interested in contemporary, realistic or historical fiction middle grade written by Muslim, South Asian or Arab writers. I can also help with fantasy and sci-fi genres although those aren’t my preferences. I want to see stories that center Muslim/South Asian/Arab cultures in a respectful and realistic manner, written by authors who belong to those cultures.
Everything is okay as long as you do it well
I WILL PROVIDE:
- Edit Letter (Big Picture developmental feedback)
- Line edit (dropping notes into a Word Document)
- Skype or phone call
I will read the entire manuscript and provide an edit letter. If the manuscript needs a lot of extensive craft help, I may not provide line edits. If I feel that the manuscript is polished and requires a manageable amount of help, I will include line edits within the document. I will then schedule a phone or Skype call with my mentee to discuss my notes and answer any questions. At this time I will ask if my mentee wishes to send back the revised manuscript to me for a final review after incorporating our discussed changes. I will give short overall feedback on revisions, and will continue to work with the mentee if they require.
Someone who works hard and is not afraid of detailed feedback. Someone who has personal knowledge and experience of the cultures they’re writing about. Someone who will not give up.
Contemporary fiction about first generation American kids. Friendship stories. Happy stories centering marginalized youth whose pain is NOT what propels the story forward. Refugee stories with a positive message. Historical fiction about places and events outside of white, western history. Shakespearean re-tellings. Girls in nontraditional roles, brave and sassy.
DO NOT SEND ME:
Do not send me a story that’s about a culture/religion/person that you, the writer aren’t a part of. Please mention your #ownvoices connection in your query.
I’ll watch anything about British/Scottish history. I devoured Shakespeare in my teens. I love clever shows like Schitt’s Creek and Derry Girls, but also immigration stories like Kim’s Convenience. It’s very hard for me to watch or read fantasy, but I can give it a try if the setting is middle eastern.