Story Fellowship 2023/2024

Mobility, Home, and Belonging Across East and Southeast Asia

BEBESEA and New Naratif logos

We believe that real human stories play a crucial role in raising awareness, understanding, and sympathy towards migrant communities and stateless people alike. Those who are immobile or involuntarily mobile have been stripped of basic rights and privileges we often take for granted.

This fellowship aims to give back power with a chance to tell their own stories. We aim to conduct a capacity building, in the form of a Story Fellowship grant and mentoring, for migrant and undocumented communities in the regions. Through this programme, we aim to publish stories that highlight voices, concerns, and aspirations from the communities. 

— Call for Submissions —

We are inviting members of migrant communities in/from Southeast and East Asia, individually or collectively, to pitch your ideas for original works to witness and raise awareness of experiences of migration. Successful stories will be published by New Naratif and BEBESEA.

Selected fellows will receive training and mentoring on storytelling and advocacy by experts in journalism and human rights advocacy, as well as US$1,000 per contribution to fund their proposed work.

We welcome works of fiction and non-fiction alike. We make no limitations on format as long as the final product can be published and/or showcased in online platforms. These include, but not limited to, journalistic articles, comics, illustrated stories, photo essays, short films, documentary videos, audio works, and others.

The work of the selected fellows will be published on New Naratif and BEBESEA’s website and their social media platforms. Fellows may choose to remain anonymous and will be given a chance to request certain terms and conditions of publications and online appearances for safety considerations.

— Suggested Topics —

Last year’s fellows cover a wide range of topics, from stateless communities in Malaysia to the personal experience of a 12-year-old boy fleeing Myanmar’s military occupation. The stories are available on our website.

This year, we aim to cover just as wide a range of topics as the previous year. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The resilience of migrant workers and their communities;
  • Experiences of forcibly displaced queer people across Southeast Asia;
  • Gender-based violence among migrants and refugees;
  • Climate refugees and involuntarily displaced populations;
  • Displacements and exiles on political and/or religious grounds;
  • etc.

— Submission Guidelines —

The deadline for submission is Sunday, 24 September 2023 at 11:59 pm MYT.

You may submit as an individual or a group via this form, OR by sending the following information in writing or in a recorded video to info@bebesea.org with a subject line “Pitch for Story Fellowship _Your Name”.

Email applicants are expected to include the following information: 

  • Name and/or pen name/pseudonym
  • Email address and phone number 
  • Details of your proposed work, which should include:
    • Working title (can be changed later)
    • Format (e.g. written article, video, photo essay, etc.)
    • Description
    • Rough outline
  • Short biographical information (where you live, where you come from, what you do for your work, and anything else you might like us to know in relation to your proposed work)

Your proposed work must be original and has not been previously published. The proposals must be written in English. If your final output is not in English, do mention so in order for us to consider utilising a translator.

For further information, email info@bebesea.org.