Guidelines for writers and creatives

Sekka specializes in publishing original, fresh and bold content in the fields of art, culture and literature. We publish feature articles, opinion articles, photo stories, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, photography and art that has a particular relevance to the Arab Gulf States and the wider Arab world, and the themes of our issues.

We enjoy working with new contributors of the Arab world, or who have a close relationship with it. We welcome submissions that are made at any time, as well as those that respond to specific open calls that we announce from time to time on our website and social media channels. If you are thinking of contributing an article, artwork/photography work, or literary piece to Sekka, please keep the following guidelines in mind:

1. Authenticity and exclusivity: If you are writing an article about a topic that has already been discussed in the media and in the community, then please present a new perspective or angle. Your article should also be exclusive to Sekka. We do not publish pieces that have appeared elsewhere before, even if it was only on your personal website or portfolio.

2. Knowledge and supporting evidence: Alongside the work of established thought leaders, we also publish the work of emerging writers. Thus, you don’t have to be a famous writer for us to publish your work, but you must have expertise in the topic you wish to tackle. Add supporting research and examples to your work. When you do, please include all the sources  you have used.

4. Style of writing: Our pieces are clear, bold and engaging. The voice should be friendly and conversational, as if you were sitting and chatting with a friend. Where appropriate, especially in opinion articles, feel free to inject your personality and your views. Give readers a taste of who you are and what you think. Readers should be able to sense your personality through your work.

5. Submission categories and lengths:

  • Big features: These are articles that discuss a big idea that would be relevant to Sekka’s readers that is based on research, or that is based on an interview/interviews with two to four individuals with expertise on the topic. These are 1,500 words long.
  • Big profiles: These are articles that focus on one only one individual, and highlight an aspect of their journey or work, an aspect that Sekka’s readers would be drawn to. These are up to 1,500 words long.
  • Small features: These resemble big features, but include an interview with only one to two individuals about a topic, if not research based. These are up to 700 words long.
  • Small profiles: These resemble big profiles, but are only up to 700 words long.
  • Opinion articles: These are articles that express a strong, research based opinion about a specific, usually timely, topic that would be relevant to our readers. These are 1,500 words long. 
  • Photo stories: We publish photo stories that are up to 700 words long, that shed a light on an  artist  or photographer’s work, its subject matter/theme and the inspiration behind it, while giving a brief background about about the artist throughout.
  • Fiction/non-fiction/ poetry:  For fiction and non-fiction works, the word count is between 1,000 to 5,000 words. You can submit 3 stand alone poems at a time, at a total length of 2,000 words. We are looking for literary works in English that have not been published before, but we are also interested in translations of fiction, non-fiction and poetry that has never been published in English. 

We review both finished pieces and pitches. When pitching ideas, please send an outline of up to 500 words that details what your submission will tackle and why.

When submitting, type the words “ Sekka Submission” in the subject line and indicate the article category. For example, if you are planning on submitting an opinion article, please write “Sekka Submission: Opinion Article.”

6. Avoided topics: At Sekka, we don’t discuss or publish any topics that revolve around religion or politics. We also don’t accept any work with reference to profanity.

Information writers and creatives should provide

Please include your full name and your cell phone number when you make your submission to us on editorial@sekkamag.com. If this is your first time submitting to Sekka, please tell us about yourself, your experience, and your qualifications for submitting a certain article or creative work. If you are a published writer, please include no more than three samples of your work. If you are an artist or photographer, please include three samples of your work.

Written works

If you are submitting an article or a creative work, keep in mind the following:

  1. All submissions must be sent in Microsoft Word or Google Document format, as that allows the editor to make comments on the article. Strictly do not send PDF documents.
  2. Please suggest headings and subheadings for all articles/creative works and label them as such: [LEAD] and [SELL]. You may suggest more than one heading and subheading. However, our editors may discuss these with you later, or change them without notice. This is the policy of most publications.
  3. Before the introductory paragraph of the article write [BEGINS] and at the very end of the text of the article please write [ENDS].
  4. Include your full name below the subheading, and insert a short bio about yourself at the very end of the document.
  5. You may send photographs/illustrations separately, and describe where you would put which, within the article/ creative work to indicate your suggested format. However, the final decision about what images are chosen and what order they follow will be up to the relevant Sekka team member. Submitted photos and illustrations should be be at least 5 MB in size, be in JPEG or PNG format, and be accompanied with a description and photographer/illustration credit.
  6. Submissions should be made in the Georgia font size 12.
  7. Spacing should be no more than 1.5 .
  8. Strictly do not justify any of the paragraphs in your article.
  9. Include all your sources whenever you do a research based article by incorporating hyperlinks from trustworthy sources wherever possible. If the source is a book, mention the book title and page numbers in a footnote.
  10. Include links to the social media pages of interviewees if public and relevant at the very end of the article, but before the bio. You can see how this is done on our website.

Photographs

If you are planning to submit photographs taken by you, please ensure that:

  1. Any photographs submitted should be in JPEG or PNG format, and in a resolution of at least 300 DPI.
  2. That all photographs are titled and captioned accordingly. You may send a separate word document detailing these captions.
  3. Wherever possible, please send captions or titles of works in English, or translated to English.

Illustrations

If you are planning to submit illustrations created by you, please:

  1. Send two to three initial sketches of your idea. These could be done digitally or via pencil and photographed.
  2. Send a colour palette for the artwork. Keep in mind that artwork we feature is colourful, bold and vibrant. Browse our website and Instagram page for examples.
  3. Ensure that any illustrations submitted are in JPEG or PNG format, in landscape or portrait A4 size in a resolution of at least 300 DPI and in CMYK colours. Don’t send any illustration in RGB colours.
  4. Please send an Instagram post, Instagram story and Twitter sized copies of your illustrations.

For any queries about video submissions, please contact us directly.

What happens after you make a submission

Because of the high volume of submissions we have to go through, please allow us up to eight weeks to get back to you. If you don’t hear from us within that period, please assume that your proposal has been turned down. If we have passed on a story you have submitted, please feel free to get in touch and to propose another idea after the eight weeks have passed.

Our editing process is very thorough, and you may be asked to conduct several rounds of revisions before we finalise your piece for publication.

Contributors are encouraged to submit a suggested headline for their proposed article or work. However, we retain the final decision rights over article headlines.

Sekka holds copyright on the finished articles, but contributing writers continue to own the ideas in their articles. Articles published in Sekka should not be republished in other media, except on personal blogs, portfolios, websites or social media platforms. Creative writers, photographers, and artists continue to retain copyright of their work unless they are commissioned by Sekka to create exclusive work.

Once your submission is published, a member of our team will get in touch with you to notify you.

Thank you for your interest in Sekka, and we look forward to reviewing your submissions.