Nonfiction Submissions

Sisi Afrika publishes nonfiction — essays, reportage, interviews, reviews, criticism, op-eds, think pieces — on art, culture, science, health, technology, economy and politics.

Do you have a piece of work that captures the scope and tone of our press? See Submission Categories for our primary interests.

We proudly champion clear, concise, low-jargon writing. We are a multidisciplinary magazine, but do not fancy gobbledygook or needlessly complex sentences.

Whether your essay centers on art, culture, politics, or economy domains, we encourage contributors to recapture their lost gifts of storytelling and conversation, to write with the gusto of a storyteller.

Whether you are diving deep to untangle big ideas around scientific discoveries, medical and health controversies, or tackling technology innovations that can be adopted to improve lives in Africa, we encourage our authors to think narratives. Narrative writing helps us relay events, people, and places in an emotionally engaging way and makes it easier to communicate complex material to general audiences.

“Science communication is a popular buzzword these days in the science community, especially among younger scientists — because communication is an important part of the scientific process. It can help non-scientists understand how discoveries make communities healthier and lives better”, writes Kenyan Scientist and Assistant Professor of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. We recommend her “How to Talk About Science to the Public” article published in the Scientific American as a guide.

The economist John Kenneth Galbraith, in “Writing, Typing and Economics” emphasized the importance of revision — “There may be inspired writers for who the first draft is just right. But anyone who is not certifiably a Milton had better assume that the first draft is a very primitive thing. The reason is simple: writing is difficult work.” This difficulty has driven many writers to drink. John advises us not to turn to alcohol and drugs, when for lack of a better word, shit hits the fan.

Remember, as Thomas Wentworth Higginson, once penned a “Letter to a Young Contributor” in April 1862, “no editor can ever afford the rejection of a good thing, and no author the publication of a bad one.”

In the end, our desire is to lend multidisciplinary critical writing something that it frequently lacks, namely, examples drawn from real life, real work, and real places, real names, and real bodies — rendered with beauty and literary panache.

Submit:

Creative nonfiction — 1000 to 5000 words | Reviews — 1000 to 3000 words | Reportage, Op-eds and think pieces — 1000 to 3000 words | Essays and criticism — 1000 to 5000 words | Interviews — 1000 to 3000 words

All submissions should be in Microsoft Word with the title of the article as the file name. The first page should contain the title of the article, name of author, number of words, and a summary of the article (not more than 50 words). The body of the article should be formatted in Time New Roman 12-point with 1.5 line spacing.

The submission should be sent as an attachment to submissions@sisiafrika.org with the title of the article as the subject line. In the body of the email, please include a bio (not more than 50 words). We prefer bios that shout about creative, academic and professional achievements. We don’t appreciate false modesty.

The magazine is published by a nascent non-profit organization, Sisi Afrika Foundation, barely cutting its milk teeth. We do not have funds to pay for submissions now, but are pursuing sustainability opportunities and will soon offer our knowledge producers responsible compensation for their honoured contributions.