Adnan Ashraf

Adnan Ashraf – Editor

Hook, character, plot, theme, diction, punctuation, and everything in-between.



Are you writing a middle grade novel? Or literary fiction (for grown ups)? Do you need an editor with sensitivity to your Muslim ethical and cultural norms? Maybe you are looking to improve 1) the effectiveness of your hook, 2) the consistency of your plot, 3) the depth, meaning and relatability of your characters, 4) the rectitude of your grammar, 5) the propriety of your punctuation.

A lifelong traveler, I lived in New York City for most of the 1990s: I appreciate people, writing, and art from all over the map. I earned degrees focussed on literature and writing fiction from Bennington College and the City University of New York and worked for years as a publishing operations specialist and then a content producer at Matthew Bender and Earthweb in Manhattan. Later, I earned a Level 2 Certificate in Creative Writing from UEA for completing a UEA / Guardian "masterclass" with Professor Jon Cook and award-winning novelist Adam Foulds, in London. The "class" was a months-long course (approximately five months long) called How to Complete the First Draft of a Novel. I did subsequently complete the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth... and final draft of my first finished novel.

I've taught English professionally in Ohio, Jeddah, California, Lahore, and Amman, whilst learning sacred knowledge from traditional scholars. My essay about the Near Eastern novels of Pickthall, “A Vehicle for the Sacred” was published by Brill in 2017. Journey Beyond the Great Tree (Zaynab Books, spring 2020) is my first middle grade novel.


For nonfiction writing about the creed, traditional arts, and culture of orthodox Muslim societies, I can help to a) fact-check, b) apply standard English transliterations of Arabic terms, and if needed c) edit a text.

I am a qualified and experienced English teacher (M.A. English / TESL, Kent State University) and can also help improve the quality of original language learning materials, including a) readings and b) reading comprehension activities, and c) quizzes, tests and exams on grammar, vocabulary building, reading and writing, covering most if not all proficiency levels.


Lavender Mist, anyone? A Wheatfield with Cypresses? If your writing is about art, I may be able to help add sensitivity and precision to your descriptions.

These are some of my interests and skill sets, and I would be happy to learn about your project to see if we're a good fit.

Action & Adventure Contemporary Fiction Middle Grade Social & Family Issues
Art ELT Islam
English (UK) English (US)
  • NYU Press Prize for Hyperfiction
  • UEA Creative Writing - Level 2
  • Transworld Schools' TESOL - Advanced
  • Language, Content Literacy, and Reading for 21st Century Learners

Work experience


Aug, 2019 — Present

Managed the copyediting, proofreading, interior calligraphy and cover design for the first Zaynab Books publication, the middle grade novel Journey Beyond the Great Tree.

Completed the developmental editing of the second edition of this novel, working with subject matter experts, educators, and beta readers to ensure the soundness of the text, and cultural sensitivity towards its intended readership of Muslim parents, children, and educators.

As art director, I ensured the book cover and interior design met or exceeded current publishing standards for middle grade novels. Please see the gallery below for the book cover.

Conceived, managed, and edited Parent & Child: Seven Stories (see photos below), an anthology of short stories co-written by Muslim parent and child teams.

Preiss Murphy

Mar, 2018 — Apr, 2019 (about 1 year)

I worked as an in-house, full-time editor in the curriculum development department. Over a one year period, using the Chicago Manual of Style, I edited and helped refine the following titles as part of a team of three to five editors:


A) Math and Me is a three-level math series for pre-K, KG1 and KG2, designed to help students develop early numeracy and math skills through engaging activities, fun and colorful illustrations, and a focus on hands-on experiences. Components: Student’s Book, Teacher’s Book, Posters, Word Cards, Worksheets.

B) Science and Me is a three-level science series for pre-primary school students aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. It presents science concepts in colorful and engaging lessons that focus on hands-on experiences designed to build on young learners’ natural curiosity and problem-solving skills. Components: Student’s Book, Teacher’s Book, Posters, Word Cards, Worksheets.

C) Life and Me is a two-level social studies series for kindergarten children aligned with the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies. It presents a combination of history, geography, culture, economics, and citizenship lessons through colorful, age-appropriate content that is easily understood, introducing children to the skills and concepts that will enable them to make sense of the world around them and contribute to it. Components: Student’s Book, Teacher’s Book, Posters, Word Cards, Worksheets.

D) The Preiss Murphy Science K-6 series is a seven-level program for elementary students written to cover the International Consolidated Standards (ICS) framework. It is a flexible and designed with the ESL student in mind. Preiss Murphy Science K is an activity-based and kinesthetically-oriented kindergarten program that encourages students to explore the world around them. Components: Student’s Book, Teacher’s Book, Workbook, Worksheets, Posters, Word Cards.

E) Yes Maths is a six-level series that gives students the essential maths skills needed to meet standards. Each lesson is explained in easily understood language, so that every language learner can benefit. Yes Maths covers all areas of the math curriculum with confidence-building lessons. Components: Student Book, Teacher Notes with Answer Key, iTools for interactive whiteboard lesson, Media Cards.

F) The Anchor Program is designed for grades K-6. Through stories, activities, and skills practice, students learn and build upon the basics of English to achieve fluency and master reading and writing. Through the activities, teachers can evaluate students’ progress.


Jun, 1992 — May, 2000 (almost 8 years)

I interviewed authors and artists and published in outlets ranging from Rhizome to ArtByte Magazine. In 1998, NYU Press awarded their inaugural prize for hyperfiction to The Straight Path, my first attempt at multilinear, hypertextual narrative fiction, an approximately 100 page work published as a website by the Press in 1999.


Revival of the Religious Sciences: An Abridgement (Ihya Ulum al-Din)

By Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali Abridged By Salih Ahmad al-Shami

This new volume of essays marks eighty years since the death of Marmaduke Pickthall. His various roles as translator of the Qurʾan, traveller to the Near East, political journalist writing on behalf of Muslim Turkey, and creator of the Muslim novel are discuss... read more
NY 1992 first edition. square octavo wraps. 142p. Good plus, slight cover wear; no owner marks. "We would like to address the rather complex, contradictory and paradoxical arelationship between those art practices and critical discourses which defiine themselv... read more
Acme Journal: Volume 1, No. 2 - 1992

Joshua (Editor); Miller, John (Editor) Decter

"each issue will develop a specific theme, providing a forum for investigations into the heterogeneity of contemporary culture...Our inaugural issue is inspired by contempt for what art criticism has ensemble of writings from art critics in the Ame... read more
INTERACTION began as online forum, hosted by Eyebeam Atelier, featuring an international group of artists, scholars, critics, architects, students, technicians, and curators. Discussing the transformations wrought by the Internet--particularly the latter's imp... read more

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