Call for Submissions: “Scribes, Griots, Poets: New Writing From West Africa” – Bellingham Review

Dear African Literature Association Members,

It is our great pleasure to invite you to contribute to a special section of the spring 2020 issue of the Bellingham Review. The section will be dedicated to new writing coming out of West Africa, under the title "Scribes, Griots, Poets: New Writing From West Africa". We would like you to tell us a story you simply ought to tell – we seek voices that need to be heard, words that must be written. We hope to publish powerful voices speaking to what is happening in West Africa now, but with one eye on tomorrow.

This special section that showcases literature from this region follows previous international issues that were dedicated to writing from Palestine-Israel, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Canada and received great attention and exposure internationally. Poems, short stories, essays, as well as excerpts from oral and written traditions are welcome.

We are seeking original submissions in English; if in translation, the writer must obtain the translator’s permission. We may be able to help locate a translator for French language submissions. We will also consider previously published work that was not published in the U.S. as long as the writer holds copyright. The work should not exceed 5,000 words, and we aim to pay an honorarium for each accepted work.

Let us introduce you to the Bellingham Review. We are published out of Bellingham, Washington, at the 49th parallel of the United States, located on the Puget Sound. The Review has existed for more than thirty years, and it is a nationally and internationally known literary journal. In 2002, the Bellingham Review received the 2002 Bellingham Mayor Arts Award, as well as recognition by for innovative content and design. The journal received a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 2005, and we’ve introduced many emerging writers to the mainstream literary community and major publishing houses. Please visit our website at to see more of what we've been doing.

Poems, stories and essays from the Bellingham Review have been picked up and reprinted in many venues, including Harper’s magazine, the Utne Reader, and in The Pushcart Prize Anthology (Best of the Small Presses). Also, to the best of our knowledge, the Bellingham Review is the only literary publication to have been part of a major league baseball broadcast.

The Review is an exciting place to be, in other words, and we hope to feature your work in its pages. The deadline for submission is January 5, 2020 although earlier submissions would be much appreciated. If you plan to submit, please let us know as soon as possible, along with what you will send and, if pertinent, translator information. Upon receiving all materials, we will review and reach out if your work meets our editorial needs.

With best regards,

Susanne Paola Antonetta - Editor, The Bellingham Review Christopher Wise & Kristiana Kahakauwila – Consulting Editors