Papercuts magazine is delighted to announce that acclaimed Pakistani novelist Musharraf Ali Farooqi will lead the Fall 2015 ‘Fables and Folklore’ issue as the magazine’s first-ever guest editor.
Farooqi is an author, novelist and translator. His 2012 novel Between Clay and Dust was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize. He has also established a reputation as an authority in South Asian folklore and speculative fiction, particularly in Urdu. He has most famously translated Dastan-e Amir Hamza, and is working on a massive project to translate Tilism-e Hoshruba, both counted among the world’s biggest fantasy epics.
“I am looking forward to guest-editing the forthcoming Fables and Folklore issue of the PAPERCUTS magazine and working with its dedicated editorial team to develop the content,” Farooqi said, in an email message. “Our folk and literary traditions are replete with myths and legends, and the phenomenon has retained its presence in the popular imagination.”
Fiction and poetry submissions are now open for the Spring 2016 issue, also known as Volume 16, which is expected to be published in March.
This is going to be Papercuts magazine’s first time working with a guest editor and the magazine’s longtime Editor Afia Aslam, who will be stepping down after the Spring 2015 issue, is calling this an “exhilarating time” for the publication.
“We are about to enter a definitive phase in our journey towards creating a sustainable, professional literary magazine,” Afia said. “As Editor, it was my job to build this boat right. Now it’s time to test how well it’ll float without me holding it up.”
Afia said since the beginning, the magazine’s challenge has been to set up systems that can be independent of individuals and deliver in the long run.
“Today, we have that team: a group of talented, competent, motivated individuals who care deeply for the magazine,” she said. “Today, Papercuts is the kind of publication that will have a Man Asian Prize shortlisted author editing it, followed by other amazing writers.”
Read Afia’s full message here.
The guest editor position, an experiment at this stage, promises its own unique contribution to the magazine’s ethos to support quality writing from South Asians and emerging international artists.
Translations from subcontinent’s local languages will be a prominent feature for Volume 15, according to Farooqi, who writes the monthly Microtalk column for Livemint, which explores the myths and legends of the subcontinent, and tweets @micromaf.
“While few English language works from the Indian subcontinent have explored the various genres termed as ‘speculative literature’ comprising supernatural, fantastical, or futuristic elements, the vernacular languages present a large body of this literature, and I hope to see translations from some of this literature in this issue of the magazine,” he wrote in the message.
Ever since DWL’s biannual magazine started publishing online in 2006, we have relied on an editorial team of DWL members to put together the magazine’s issues. Over the years (and 13 online and two print editions), we have successfully built strong fiction, poetry and reportage editing units at Papercuts. Our content editors, led by Editor Afia Aslam and Associate Editor Noorulain Noor, work closely with contributing writers and poets prior to publication.
On behalf of the entire Papercuts editorial staff, we would like to thank Afia for putting in countless hours of hard work over the years. From deciding a magazine issue’s theme to lining up content and finalising magazine design and layout, Afia was available every step of the way to supervise and guide editorial. She provided the vision for Papercuts to grow and helped it transform from a platform for hobbyist writing to a quality print-and-digital publication. We wish her all the best for the future, just as we know she will continue to support the future issues of Papercuts.