Welcome to Asymptote’s submission portal. For full submission guidelines, please go to our Submission guidelines page here. Categories below pertain to sections in our quarterly issues, accessible from our archive here. Fiction and Poetry submissions may be considered for the Translation Tuesday showcase at the blog if not deemed suitable for our issues—and may be published there after permission from the submitter has been sought.
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You may include one or more works of short fiction or excerpts of a longer work translated into English, but please send no more than 5,000 words by only one author in total.
For works of literary nonfiction such as memoir and travel writing, submissions must be work translated into English. Despatch typically must involve some translation from a foreign language (e.g. excerpts from an interview). However, essays about translation may be written in English. We will also accept the occasional essay in English about literature that takes into account the global context we live in.
When submitting, please send a single document with the following materials in the following order: the original text, the translated text, and bios for both the author(s) and translator(s). And please use single-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font with non-indented paragraphs.
Please send up to 10 pages of poetry by one author translated into English. If the originals are included in the submission, the length of the entire document may reach 20 pages (that is, a maximum of 10 pages of translated work accompanied by 10 pages of original material). Please start each poem or section of a long poem on a new page unless the work absolutely demands to be read without page breaks.
Brave New World Literature Feature
To mark our second decade, we will switch out our permanent Writers on Writers Feature with a Brave New World Literature showcase (see our Winter 2021 issue for examples of work we have already published under the aegis of this Feature). We invite essays from readers, critics, translators engaging with and problematizing the very concept of “world literature.” Topics might include: the trend toward a more decentralized curation even as English remains dominant in world literature (as evidenced by the number of English-speaking Nobel laureates in the last decade alone), online literary journals and the role they play in curation, hegemonic statuses of texts determined by a predominantly white publishing industry (and the associated “danger of a single story”), the concept of the global novel, notions of center and periphery, major and minor literature, advocacy for underrepresented voices in world literature, modes of circulating world literature, canonization, literary gatekeeping, and even the question of institutional funding. All other guidelines apply. Rolling deadline.
This portal may only be used for contributors either based in sub-Saharan Africa or translating work from this region only. Please make sure that the genre of your submission is stated clearly in your submission. Microsoft Word attachments must be labeled with the last names of the author and translator: authortranslator.doc.
The work of literature, as Umberto Eco said, is “a sweet mission in this world dominated by disorder and decay.” In that spirit, the Asymptote blog is looking for fellow thinkers and readers in furthering our mission, by contributing to the global conversation on literature and the arts in translation.
Showcasing new writings on world literature and culture, the Asymptote blog is on the constant lookout for individual voices, probing analysis, and topicality in our postings. We have published pieces on topics ranging from global cinema, to the ethics of review, to the literature of revolution. Apart from essays, we run dispatches from international literary events, interviews, book reviews, and more. Like our journal, we are looking for creative, original, and highly engaging work that considers the role of translation in literature, the arts, and the fabric of everyday life.
We encourage writers of all stripes and colors to engage with global issues as well as particular interests. At Asymptote, we’re all about breaking borders and boundaries, and are looking for writing that does the same. (IMPORTANT: Please note that literary translations should still be submitted via the Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry or Drama portals, as all work will be considered first for the issues before they are then considered for the blog.) Rolling deadline.