Skip To Content

How the Literary World Is Fighting the Muslim Ban

A group of literary agents is publicizing an open call for submissions from Muslim writers, in response to the recently instituted Federal ban on refugees and immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries.

“Like so many of you, we are gravely alarmed by the present administration’s recent broad ban on refugees and immigrants from Muslim countries,” the agents wrote in a statement. “We also fear the message sent by these bans to people within our country and to those outside of our borders.”

The agents then explain how they think they can help.

“Literary agents are in a unique position to help contribute to bringing more empathy, compassion, understanding and tolerance into this world through books,” the agents stated. “We seek out unheard voices so that others can hear them.”

The list of agents includes Julie Barer of The Book Group, who is looking for adult literary and historical fiction; Barer’s clients include Joshua Ferris and Celeste Ng. Other prominent agents listed include Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency, who is seeking middle grade, young adult and adult fiction, and Daniel Lazar of Writers House, who is seeking “middle grade, young adult and adult fiction, especially books with a great sense of history and maybe even a touch of magic.”

The agents ask that email queries use the subject line “Open Call” and that they adhere to general submission guidelines listed by each agency. The complete list of participating agents is available on agent Clelia Gore’s website:

Aviya Kushner is The Forward’s language columnist and the author of The Grammar of God. (Spiegel &Grau). Follow her on Twitter at @AviyaKushner

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.