Turath’s New Authors Program (Studio) provides new writers and illustrators an opportunity to publish new books rooted in Islamic thought while receiving feedback from a community of writers, translators, scholars, and readers. Through this community, new authors are also able to access stories and content not available in English as source material for their work.
Why Children's Books?
“Read that again!” – 8 year old child who found a picture book hilarious
“I wish there was a compendium of fables from Islam’s history for my kids” – Islamic studies scholar
“It would be great if my daughter had a Muslim hero” – Father
“I love how she found the illustrations of the mosques lovely” – Mother
Kids, like adults, are inspired by the beautiful and heroic, intrigued by the strange and distant. They carry the seeds planted in their youth all the way to adulthood. Various studies have shown that rootedness to their families and heritage imparts lifelong confidence in children. This includes connectedness to characters, stories, motifs, and symbols from their din and languages. Unfortunately, we suffer from a dearth of children’s books rooted in Islamic ideas, resulting in a lost opportunity for children to get to know their own roots and understand key concepts.
Turath wants to support authors who will help solve that.
What: Part-time Seasonal Program
Turath will support a pilot cohort of 3 new writers and 3 illustrators, who will aim to create 2-4 pages a week from July-Dec 2022 for a target of a 50-100 page work by the end of the program (or 2-3 smaller works). Unlike the translators program where the works are known, Turath cannot commit to publishing these works upfront. However, it will strongly consider publishing works which are highly rated by a review panel and focus groups with target readers (children ages 5-12). Turath can commit to offering the authors constructive feedback from the perspective of these panels, other writers, and scholars, and showcasing completed work through its website and channels. The program’s goal is to encourage talented new writers to break into authoring their own works, and accessing Islam’s rich intellectual heritage, in any language, as source material.
The new authors program is a new initiative. However, Turath has ran a similar program, the Young Translators Program, for three years now. Learn More
- Trained over twenty first-time translators, hailing from Zaytuna, Oxford, UChicago, SOAS, Cambridge Muslim College, and top madrasas
- Translated seven key texts, including texts by Imam Ghazali and Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali’s Lataif al-Lata’if.
- “Young Translators Bringing Forth Our Heritage” Featured in Muslim 500
Who should apply?
- Anyone interested in writing or illustrating children’s books rooted in Islam’s thought, history, concepts, characters, etc.
- Strong candidates will be comfortable receiving and giving feedback, as well as learning new skills and knowledge
- Application will focus on the ability to write creatively, engage with feedback, and instruct illustrators
- Author/illustrators are encouraged but not required. Rudimentary illustrations are great visual tools to communicate with professional illustrators
- Authors should show sensitivity to Islam’s norms about illustrating certain personages while maintaining the fact that children typically love illustrations