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10 Things to Consider if You’re Writing Your First Piece for Amaliah

by in Identity on 20th June, 2022

We are passionate about ensuring that Amaliah continues to surface the many voices of Muslim women on Amaliah.com. 

We also recognise that it may be your first time writing with us or figuring out what does work for Amaliah.com, which may be daunting at first.  To ease the process, we’ve put together some writing tips covering everything from structure to tackling the blank page, in addition to our submission guidelines. 

We hope this helps you convey what you intend We wish you the very best and look forward to your reading your words soon Insha Allah.

10 things to consider if you’re writing your first piece

  1. Start with a thesis in mind: What do you want the reader to take away from this piece /  Why are you writing this piece? / What is the one thing you want the reader to remember or understand from this piece? 
  2. Why am I the best person to write this? This allows you to hone in on the unique perspective which you bring to the topic / piece.
  3. Who are you writing this for? Thinking of an audience (even if it’s just one person) allows for clarity.
  4. What is the best format to communicate this? e.g. a reflection piece, a listicle, a series, an interview etc. 
  5. Do you have enough information to write or would you benefit from doing some research around the topic first to include other perspectives? (AVOID the research procrastination pitfall where you convince yourself you don’t have enough information to begin writing and end up in a research black hole)
  6. Create a basic plan using: Introduction, Body, Conclusion. Then break the body down into the core points you’re trying to make (What journey are you trying to take the reader on?)
  7. You’re ready to write your first draft! Focus on getting your words out, and don’t worry about perfect sentences for now. Once you’re done, leave the piece for a day (a few hours if you’re tight for time) and then come back to it with fresh eyes.
  8. First edit: Read through your work, cut out the parts that do not contribute to the point you’re trying to make, make a note of areas/arguments/reflections that need to be reinforced (e.g. are you only scratching the surface, have you provided enough context?, would other resources add to this?) [Doing this on a different format or in a different font might help)
  9. Rewrite the piece, making the necessary changes, and take a step back again then come back to it, read it aloud for clarity. This helps you pick up on clunky sentences, a lack of flow and sometimes repetition
  10. If you have time, share with one or two people for feedback. Don’t rush to incorporate every feedback you get. Sit with each one and see if it enhances the point you’re trying to make or if it deviates from it. Sometimes feedback is helpful in showing you how your work can be misunderstood due to a lack of clarity. 

A little advice

  • The blank page is ALWAYS scary, so just go for it. You can only edit what you have written down. 
  • If you’re really struggling, you can set the bare minimum goal of starting with bullet points only. Once you get into flow, the sentences will form and you can go back to work on a full first draft
  • Another useful tool when stuck is the GCSE English PEEL (point, evidence/example, explanation, link back to thesis). It always comes in handy because it forces you to be clear in your writing and about what you’re trying to say
  • You’ve probably heard this a million times, but writing, rewriting and obtaining feedback are the best ways to build on your writing muscles and improve in the craft. 

Once our editorial team receive your piece over at contribute@amaliah.com the team will accept it for consideration. What will happen next is an allocated editor will go through it and do one of the folllowing:

  • Accept it for publication
  • Advise it might not be quite for Amaliah
  • Offer feedback on tone, structure or request elaboration

Remember if on this occasion your contribution isn’t published it just means we may already have a piece like it or it’s not fitting of our current Editorial tone.

Amaliah Team

Amaliah Team

This article was written by a member of the Amaliah team or a collective team effort. You can follow us on @amaliah_tweets for the latest or head over to our Instagram @amaliah_com. If you're reading this and are thinking about contributing an article then send us an email with a brief or a full article to contribute@amaliah.com