Back Where I Came From | Book*hug Press

Back Where I Came From

Call for Submissions

Back Where I Came From will be an anthology of twenty essays by diasporic writers about travelling to their motherlands, ie: their families’ places of origin or their own, in cases of early childhood immigration. These travelogue essays will highlight personal insights about belonging and identity from their journeys. The collection is an invitation to readers to explore not only different points on our globe, but also the writers’ identities, the cultures surrounding and within them, and their ideas of home. Back Where I Came From will be co-edited by Taslim Jaffer and Omar Mouallem and is scheduled for publication by Book*hug Press in Fall 2024 as part of the Essais Series.

Editors Omar Mouallem and Taslim Jaffer are looking for personal, lyrical, and candid essays that touch on the themes of culture, identity, belonging, home, and estrangement. What have you stumbled upon while travelling to your or your parent’s birth country that made you reconsider yourself or place in the world?  Do you have funny or poignant stories of cultural awakenings or cultural complications to share? Were you trying to connect to a part of yourself or your family’s history – and how did that go?

The editors are considering submissions of works (between 1500 to 2500 words) until January 30, 2023. If your essay is accepted for publication, you will receive a $200 honorarium and two copies of the finished anthology.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to be in touch. (If you have an idea for an essay but aren’t sure whether it’s a good fit, we’re also happy to consider essay pitches, without guarantee of publications, until December 13th.)

Send your drafts, pitches, and questions to

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