Our Mission Statement
To support and publish traditionally underrepresented writers and artists.
The Selkie was founded in May 2018 in Edinburgh by Taliha Quadri, Lis Mesa, Chelsea Welsh, and Sonali Misra. The founders met through the University of Edinburgh while pursuing postgraduate degrees in Creative Writing, and the idea for a literary magazine was born – a magazine with representation as its core value that would extend across the boundaries of academia, culture, gender, and race, and offer the works of underrepresented writers year-round to its readers.
In 2022, Taliha Quadri stepped down from the position of managing director and the role passed to Lena Kraus. Zala Jambrovic Hatic took over as chief editor. The Selkie Publications CIC remains a non-profit community interest company; it does not profit from its website, anthologies, events, or workshops. Any money we make is re-invested into the company to help us continue supporting underrepresented voices. The Selkie is run by volunteers who are passionate about working with underrepresented writers and artists.
We accept and publish work by individuals who self-identify as underrepresented in terms of race/ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, sex, gender, socio-economic class, neurodivergence, disability, and refugee/immigration status. We do not charge contributors for submissions and the material published on the website is free to view by our readers. Though contributors are not currently paid for published work, payment is prioritised where funding is available – these opportunities are clearly highlighted as being paid.
Unlike most literary magazines, The Selkie not only publishes quality submissions, but also helps authors develop and improve their work. Upon acceptance, each submission undergoes a round of developmental and general edits, with our experienced editors providing in-depth feedback and working with the author to truly make the piece shine. In addition, all pieces also undergo a round of copy-edits before publication. This way, authors are given the support and opportunity to grow and improve before having their work promoted on our website and social platforms.
We chose the selkie for our symbol because we were drawn to the image of a wild, untamed being emerging from the unseen depths of the ocean. Selkies are creatures of ancient lore, who swim in water as seals yet have the ability to transform into humans and walk on land. Shedding their skins allows selkies to sing and dance on land, giving in to the joy and freedom of expression. However, when they first emerge from the waves, selkies make sure to hide their pelts in order to protect them – for without their seal skins, they would never be able to return to their native home. Their story resonates today, for it is these “skins” that underrepresented individuals wear and shed as their circumstances change – at times a burden, but mostly a gift that unfortunately is not always recognised; an essential part that must be preserved and allowed to flourish. The Selkie aims to support and nurture voices from diverse and often marginalised backgrounds. We remain united in providing a space for stories that reach underneath our skins, where our shared humanity exists.