About Us

Founded by like-minded activists, writers, and readers in 2006, DesiLit Magazine will be a biannual online magazine, publishing in Summer and Winter. We are committed to creating a forum for exceptional contemporary writing and art focused on South Asia* and the diaspora.

Our magazine will print essays, fiction, humor, poetry, reviews, and art. We plan to attract, nurture, and promote artists whose work breaks established molds attached to definitions of South Asia, and hope to showcase their material so that it is accessible to all audiences. We are also interested in pieces that celebrate traditional art forms.

For more info, please contact Sumita Sheth, Executive Editor.

DesiLit Magazine is run by a dedicated all volunteer staff which allows us to pay professional rates to our writers.

* South Asia is defined as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, The Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: How often do you accept submissions?
  • A: As we hope to have two issues a year, that'd be twice!

  • Q: Do you consider submissions all year long?
  • A: People are welcome to submit all year round but the editors only have two reading periods, based on deadlines declared on our Submission page.

  • Q: Where do the DesiLit Magazine editors work from?
  • A: Our respective "grottos" I think! Seriously though, being volunteers, we are made up of a global team of people cooperating virtually to bring South Asian and South Asian–inspired literature and art to a more mainstream audience, while providing this niche group a forum.

  • Q: Who gets to decide what will go in the magazine?
  • A: It's a democratic process with all editors reading everything that is submitted. After many emails, voice mails, and long distance phone calls it is decided on whether a piece is of immediate interest for this issue, potentially of interest, or not for us. We found that things are very democratic taking into account the number of votes, but compromises do take place if an editor is extremely taken with a particular piece.

  • Q: How does payment work?
  • A: We pay writers once they make edits to our satisfaction. Payments with contracts are sent out right after publication of the Issue that their piece appears in.

  • Q: May I submit to more than one department?
  • A: Yes an author/artist is welcome to submit pieces to all our departments, if that happens to be the breadth of their talent.

  • Q: May I make multiple submissions to the same department?
  • A: Yes you may, but within limits. (see answer to next question)

  • Q: How many submissions a year may I make?
  • A: Well, technically there are no limits, but we are not sure how happy our editors would be to receive a many pieces from the same person. Be reasonable about your selection of submitted pieces and considerate of the fact that other people's work is being reviewed as well, and editors must respond to everyone in a timely fashion. You may be hurting your own chances being overzealous.

  • Q: If the same piece applies to more than one department, does s/he need to submit it separately to each department?
  • A: If you want the same piece considered by different departments, then you need to submit it to each applicable department, along with a note stating which other departments you are submitting the piece to (a little like simultaneous submissions). This helps us keep track of things internally.

  • Q: Can I expect feedback on my work from editors?
  • A: Although we know how important it is to get feedback on your work as a writer, unfortunately due to the amount of editing we have and other time restraints this will not always be possible. You may already be doing this, but for feedback you may want to consider a writing group or class if you want active feedback.

  • Q: Still have questions?
  • A: Please email us at management@deslit.org. We will do our best to help!

    Staff Biographies

    Sumita Sheth, Editor-in-Chief

    Terrified of fish and thus unwilling to go into oceans and lakes, Sumita Sheth writes, reads, dances, paints, and sings (albeit mostly off-tune) around New York City as well as wherever else she finds herself.

    In her free time, Sumita is actively involved in volunteer work, blogging, and a bit of editing.


    Satya, Associate Editor

    An artist/vocalist/engineer originally from Bombay, India and currently residing in Chicago. She has been active in the Chicago music scene performing, touring and has recorded with two groups Las Guitarras de España and the Matt Geraghty project. Her art is carried by the Blank Kanvas gallery and has been exhibited in Chicago. She does graphic and publicity material design work freelance, and has been involved with organizational activities of South Asian literary/arts festivals in Chicago.


    Mary Anne Mohanraj, Consulting Editor

    Mary Anne Mohanraj is the author of BODIES IN MOTION, a set of Sri Lankan-American linked stories, covering two families and three generations (HarperCollins). She teaches fiction at Vermont College and Roosevelt University, and is working on a follow-up book, THE ARRANGEMENT, a contemporary threesome novel. Mohanraj recently received an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship. She currently serves as the Executive Director of DesiLit (www.desilit.org), an organization that works to support S. Asian and diaspora literature, and also directs the Speculative Literature Foundation. Mohanraj was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka.


    Anjali Goyal, Fiction Editor

    Anjali Goyal was born and raised in small-town Ohio and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is the programs coordinator at The Asian American Writers' Workshop in NYC, and is also organizing the South Asian Women's Creative Collective's annual literary festival taking place this November, this year titled Electric Ladyland. She likes thrifting, organic vegetables, and repainting her apartment.


    Lakshmi Juneja, Fiction Editor

    Lakshmi Juneja works full-time as a technology project manager at a Fortune100 company in the Chicago suburbs. When she has some time she likes to read, knit, and work on her yard. She was born in New Delhi and raised in Jamshedpur, India.


    Nina Sharma, Poetry Senior Editor

    Nina Sharma is a writer living in New York City. She is currently in the Liberal Studies, American Studies program at Columbia University where she is concentrating in the study of immigrant and diasporic texts. In her life past 110th street, she co-hosts a reading series downtown at The Edge Bar, also one of her favorite spots.


    Bushra Rehman, Humor Senior Editor

    Bushra is a Pakistani from Queens, NYC. She is co-editor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism (Seal Press) and author of Marianna's Beauty Salon. Bushra travels around the country, reading poems and telling jokes and stories. She's been featured in The New York Times and NY Newsday. Her work has appeared in ColorLines, Mizna, Curve, SAMAR, Bottomfish and Voices of Resistance: Muslim Women Write War, Faith, Sexuality (Seal Press). To read poetry, or excerpts from her on-the-road desi adventure novel or memoir of being a Pakistani little rascal, visit her website www.bushrarehman.com.


    Radha Gummuluri, Webmaster

    Radha Gummuluri is a Bombaite who is presently living in Chicago, IL. She shares her studio apartment with two cats who dote on her. Radha works full time as a technical consultant for Atlas Software Tech. Some of the sites that she has designed and developed include www.womenforwomen.org, www.teachingexcellencenetwork.org and www.thetruthaboutpitbulls.com. In her free time she likes to read books, watch movies and volunteers her time with Deborah's place. She can be reached at radha_gumm@yahoo.com