for the love of the written word



Last date for submissions: February 15th 2021

Kindly scroll down for Issues and Submission related information.

About Us

Qissa, meaning fable, is a word found in the Malabarian dialect of Kerala in south India. The small coastal region of Malabar with its endless stories, mangroves and mangosteen trees has raised many talented writers. Be it poetry or satire, we have our icons. We strive to keep that spirit of storytelling alive. 


Qissa is an online quarterly literary publication with a focus on south India. We accept relevant and innovative short fiction, poetry and essays from around the world. 

We love gutsy, insightful, and provocative work. There need not be something new for you to say, but the way you say it has to be birthed anew. Like a fresh gust of sea-breeze, if your writing refreshes our soul, we’d be happy to give your work a home.

There is no charge for submissions. You can send in your work either in English, or Malayalam. 


Call for Submissions


Qissa invites submissions in both English and Malayalam for Issue 2 slated to be out in March/early April 2021! [Submissions are currently closed. Deadline was February 15th.]


We are looking for writing that connects effortlessly with its readers through un-synthetic language, that flows with a specific direction to its natural end. In other words, we are looking for poetry, fiction and non-fiction (including book reviews, literary essays, interviews etc.) that speak to us in memorable ways. We specifically applaud writing that voices the unsaid, ruminates on the unmentionable, and traverses the difficult landscapes of literariness and life. 


While we have a specific focus on south India, it is not necessary that your work be based on the many wonders of the southern parts of the subcontinent. However, if you do have a connection to south India that you would be interested to explore, by all means, do that and send it over! 


Send in your submissions to submissions.qissa@gmail.com by February 15th. Do make sure you follow the Submission Guidelines thoroughly. Check out our previous issues for the kind of work we look for.

Submission Guidelines


  • We are accepting 3 poems per submission, in English or in Malayalam, one submission per language.

  • Your poems should not have been published elsewhere. If you have published on personal blogs or social media profiles, that is okay. 

  • Simultaneous submissions are not allowed. 

  • Please send in your poems in Arial 12 pt. font in a Word document or PDF to submissions.qissa@gmail.com with Poetry_yourname in the subject line. 


  • One author can only send one short story per quarterly cycle, in English, or in Malayalam. 

  • Your short story must be less than 5 pages i.e. (1000-3000 words). 

  • We do not accept previously published fiction. 

  • Simultaneous submissions are not allowed. 

  • Please send in your stories in Times New Roman 12 pt. font in a Word doc or PDF to submissions.qissa@gmail.com with Fiction_yourname in the subject line. 


  • This category includes book reviews, interviews, essays, and creative non-fiction, in English or Malayalam. 

  • Your submission should be between 900 to 1200 words. 

  • Simultaneous submissions are not allowed.

  • Please ensure that your submission is in Times New Roman 12 pt. font in a Word doc or PDF and is sent to submissions.qissa@gmail.com  with Non-Fiction_yourname in the subject line.  

Any submission that does not follow the guidelines will be summarily rejected. 


With every submission, please send in a brief bio of 3-4 sentences, and a headshot in .jpg format in the same email. 

Response time:  3-5 weeks


All copyrights revert back to the author after publication. In case of republication, please mention Qissa as the original publisher. 



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Meet The Team

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Athira Unni



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Athira Unni lives on coffee and thunderstorms. She loves house plants and her cat Thomas. Her debut poetry collection "Gaea and Other Poems" was published in September 2020. She blogs at chocolateandink.wordpress.com

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Sukanya Shaji



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Sukanya Shaji is a freelance writer, poet and lawyer. She loves rainy days and people who smile with their hearts.

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Aiswarya Sanath



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Aiswarya Sanath is a research scholar and a translator who dabbles in poetry and politics. But on most days you can find her chasing purple sunsets and taking a book large, and a worry small. 

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Lakshmi Prabha



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Lakshmi Prabha is a research scholar and content creator based out of Darjeeling. She is a people person who loves good company and good music.