Whilst being based in the UK, TLC is committed to promoting international writing and literature. TLC is therefore now providing a dedicated manuscript assessment service tailored to writers from the Arab world, writing in English, who are based in the Middle East. We are delighted to be working with Thalia Suzuma, a Gulf-based editor who has worked with prize-winning authors such as Saud Al Sanousi and Mai Al Nakib. Thalia will be working as the TLC Middle East’s reader and scout to reach writers across the region, with partnerships to be announced.
At TLC Middle East, we are deeply committed to amplifying the voices of writers from this region and to help them reach the largest number of readers possible. We believe that literature’s power rests in its ability to bring about paradigm shifts within the reader, and to cut through tightly-held beliefs. An increase in widely-published books by authors from this region can help to provide more alternative narratives of what it is to be Arab to those whose knowledge of the Middle East comes solely from newspaper headlines.
TLC Middle East provides developing writers with an honest, detailed and professional manuscript appraisal from a highly skilled editor who has worked in the Arab publishing world and has a special interest in Middle Eastern fiction. We help writers understand whether they stand a chance of success in the commercial literary market place and if they do, help connect them to a regional or international literary agent and publisher. We can also advise about the world of self-publishing, and help you think about the increasing number of options open to writers in online environments.
If you are a writer based in the Middle East writing a novel, a short story, a children’s book or short stories and would like guidance and support, an assessment will provide practical guidelines for self-editing, and give developmental and structural advice about basic narrative elements, showing you what you’re doing well, what’s working less well and why, and how to get your manuscript in the best possible shape.
“We are delighted to be working with the very talented Thalia Suzuma on developing a presence in the Middle East. Thalia brings a wealth of publishing and editorial experience from both the UK and the Middle East to bear on this new part of our already international business, and we look forward to working with her to develop a strand of TLC that can best help writers based in the region. Wherever there are voices that want to be heard, TLC’s editorial team wants to be, helping people writing understand how to improve, and how to navigate their way, where possible, into being published in a variety of environments.”
Rebecca Swift, TLC Director
Please follow the usual submission guidelines here, using the email subject header ‘TLC Middle East’, so we can make a note to remove the VAT from your assessment fee (VAT is included in TLC’s online fees).
Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, West Bank and Gaza, Yemen and Sudan.
Thalia Suzuma is a Dubai-based editor and the TLC Middle East scout and reader. Until 2015, she was Head of English Publishing at Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing. There, she published prize-winning authors such as Saud Al Sanousi and Mai Al Nakib. The publication of Saud Alsanousi’s The Bamboo Stalk sparked interest in the international media and provided a different narrative on the human rights abuse of migrant labourers in the Gulf. At BQFP, Thalia worked on a list of fiction and non-fiction, identifying talent across the Middle East and working to promote it internationally. Her aim was to choose books that would be the most resonant, accessible and sometimes controversial to an international audience. The books she published, unlike many of their authors, did not get denied visas at airports.
Thalia was previously at HarperCollins and Pan Macmillan in London, and has worked in publishing for ten years. She has worked with such authors as Cecelia Ahern, Lauren Weisberger, Tony Parsons, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Rosie Thomas and Jeffrey Archer. She also published the best-selling sequel to The Devil Wears Prada whilst at HarperCollins. Thalia is bilingual French-English and has a working proficiency in Arabic. She has run creative writing and publishing workshops at Oxford, UCL and Southampton University.
Thalia reads literary and commercial fiction, and women’s fiction, for TLC Middle East
As editor, writer and journalist Camilla has worked in London and the Middle East for companies such as the BBC, Sky, Channel 4, The Economist and Al Jazeera. She is also a Company Director for Graham Greene Productions, granting permissions for film and theatre adaptations of novels by Graham Greene. In film and TV development, she worked on several BAFTA-award winning films, including as researcher, producer, script editor and reader, for a range of leading LA and London script doctors and Emmy and RTS-winning production companies. Camilla’s study of Classical Arabic poetry and post-Nahda novels at Cambridge University has also fed her writing, contributions and commissions of features on many Middle Eastern fiction writers and poets for www.Qulture.com, the bilingual Arab culture magazine she helped launch in 2013. She loves seeing ancient forms recycled (such as in the work of Ghareeb Iskander, Qassim Haddad, as well the vibrant use of verse by greats such as Hafez, Al Nasser and Nizar Qabbani by Majida El Roumi, Fairouz and Hind Hamed, among hosts of other musicians). To this end, she regularly offers feedback and editing support to poets and story writers from the Middle East region. In 2015 she set up an exiled writers group at Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers for those seeking to convert their rich literary heritage into the English language. She draws on rigorous training in both Western and Middle Eastern literary elements, through degrees at the University of Cambridge in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies and English Literature (which hones full critical readings of texts primarily through the Practical Criticism of poetry). Camilla was awarded the Ivy Compton Burnett Prize for Fiction, the Harvard Book Prize, as well as gaining several international film awards.
Camilla reads poetry, TV/Film screenplays and fiction for TLC Middle East
Hala Saadani is a bilingual (English and Arabic) editor and writer who has headed the Children’s and Young Adult Publishing division at Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation (subsequently Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press) for the past three years. She works to identify and mentor rising stars in C/YA literature, pair them with award-winning illustrators, and to find gems of C/YA literature that would work in translation. With a keen eye for talent and a deep respect for her audience, Hala can guide aspiring authors to achieve the highest accolades, such as the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, which was awarded to one of her authors, Ibtihaj Al-Harthi, for her first book (Mah and Me) in 2015.
Hala reads children’s fiction, middle grade and YA fiction for TLC Middle East