Samiha Hoque

Shaherazad Shelves

My Manuscript Wish List®

Shaherazad Shelves is a small independent press. We are a Muslim-owned business, which informs our operation and some of the clauses in our contract. We offer modest advances on a case-by-case basis.

Samiha graduated from Brooklyn College with a minor in English with honors and a B.S. in the Earth and Environmental Sciences. As the lead editor and director at Shaherazad Shelves, she actively seeks MG fantasy, YA, and Adult fiction. She is also accepting fantasy chapter book series. (Due to religious reasons, she works only with female authors at this time. Exceptions may apply to adult fantasy.)

MG, YA, or Adult Fantasy

  • Every subgenre of fantasy (dark, portal, urban, court, etc.)
  • Settings with generic monotheistic systems
  • Magic-less/cozy fantasy, but yes! to mythical creatures like The Princess Academy or Dragon Slippers
  • #OWNVOICE second-world fantasy
  • Middle-grade fantasy like Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine or Skylight by Patchree Jones
  • Chapter book fantasy like The Magic Tree House series; contemporary chapter books are allowed if there is a Muslim protagonist (like Yusuf and Yusra’s Holiday Dilemmas)
  • Dream projects: Wuxia, Balkan-inspired fantasy, prehistoric Earth as a setting (e.g., mammoths, dinosaurs), chapter book/early middle-grade horse or dragon series.

YA or Adult Contemporary

  • Upmarket fiction (literary aspects + commercial plot)
  • Anything that explores culture
  • Slice of life/high school stories
  • New adult/Adult romances (bonus to see a non-super-rich love interest)
  • Dream Projects: Muslim romances starting after marriage, love life of essential workers (factory, janitorial, etc.)

Adult Historical Fiction

  • All time periods, preferably with romance sprinkled in
  • Anything after WW2 might be a hard sell unless it has an interesting set-up, e.g., Bangladesh’s independence in 1971
  • Dream projects: Regency-era fantasy, Tang dynasty-inspired fantasy

Adult Nonfiction

  • Counter-culture essays/collections
  • Career-based memoirs (think: James Herriot’s veterinary series) OR memoirs during important life or historical events
  • Books about Muslim communities, events, and anything that includes science with Islam!
  • Dream projects: essay collection critiquing post-modernism, modern beauty standards, or secular religion.

Overall things she likes:

  • Moral-driven books/moral characters
  • Muslims in fiction
  • If your story compares to ANY book she’s acquired, she’d LOVE to see it!
  • Retellings, folklore, and legendary beasts
  • Stories that are anti-colonial/imperialist
  • Little or no magic
  • Girls working with boys, not against, re: Studio Ghibli
  • Romantic aspects should be minimally physical, leaning more emotional
  • If you think your story is “too generic” for the market, chances are Samiha would like it
  • F/f friendships as an integral part of a story, as well as female villains!
  • Don’t stress about word count or the three-act structure; Samiha believes a story can be told at any length and in any way!
  • The inherent diversity of Muslims. While experiences vary, she leans toward orthodoxy (Sufism is orthodoxy! Samiha will die on this hill)
  • Samiha is a hands-on editor. She will comb through your work!


  • Heists
  • Horror
  • Mystery/thriller/detective (but OK if it’s in MG)
  • Religion as an antagonist force
  • Anything about France, Belgium, Netherlands/Denmark, or Portugal that doesn’t address their brutality of indigenous peoples
  • “Issue books” if they bash a culture, people, etc., to appeal to the modern gaze
  • Any level of descriptive/explicit sexual actions, heavy romance before marriage
  • “Stabby” heroines or morally gray protagonists unless written purposefully
  • Hard Sci-fi (genre blends of sci-fi are OK e.g., goldenpunk or silkpunk).

Fun facts about me:

I have an identical twin sister (she’s really smart), and I like to crochet.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be emailed to

Please familiarize yourself with the imprints and what each is looking for before submitting. I accept both unagented and agented submissions. I prefer agented submissions to be sent via email rather than the Query Manager link.

Guidelines & Details