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    Burn The Wagon: Call For Submissions

               Burn the Wagon Chapbook Series Our city’s official logo proudly proclaims El Monte’s place at the “end of the Santa Fe Trail.” The white covered wagon at the center of the logo places white Americans as El Monte’s “pioneers.” Indigenous people that occupied these lands before and the Mexican, Latino, […]

Give to Kweli Journal

I’ve been involved with this online literary journal for some time now. They published one of my short stories, and I’ve had the honor of serving on the board. Kweli will turn 5-years-old next month! This is due to the efforts of its wonderful founder, Laura Pegram, who is dedicated to publishing voices of color and to supporting writers. We’re looking to raise $10,000 in the next few days. Please consider donating. Any amount helps!

To donate please go to: http://kwelijournal.causevox.com/

And now here is a message from Laura, who can best explain the mission and accomplishments of Kweli:

I need your help ‪#‎GivingBack‬. I am the founding editor of Kweli Journal, the first online journal of its kind to nurture writers from various diasporas. Our Kweli Scholars program provides emerging writers of color with tuition-free writing classes and mentorship. In addition, our online literary journal and free Reading and Conversation series, presented in partnership with the New York Times African Heritage Network, have allowed new voices to share both page and stage with Hodder Fellow CRISTINA GARCIA, MacArthur Fellow EDWARD P. JONES, and other notables.

I started Kweli when I was newly disabled. I was in a wheelchair back in 2007 and unable to navigate the 5 flights of stairs in my walk up to teach at FDCAC, the center that nurtured me as a young writer. But I still wanted to ‪#‎giveback‬. Kweli Journal became an extension of the cultural work I did as a part-time instructor at FDCAC and as the Acting Director of the John Oliver Killens Young Writers Group. But Kweli was also a healing distraction, a distraction from the severe head pain and the crippling fear that I might not get out of my wheelchair. A few of my former FDCAC students gathered around to help me create Kweli in the living room of my small apartment. TRINEE ADAMS, NICOLE VASQUEZ and JEANNA LUE were part of our founding group of contributing editors. Nicole and Jeanna are with us still some five years later as Kweli board members.

2014 Highlights

This year alone, three Kweli sister authors secured literary agents as a direct result of either participating in our Kweli Scholars Program and/or by attending our Annual Writers Conference (NICOLE DENNIS-BENN, RACQUEL GOODISON and MELISSA SIPIN) and a number of Kweli authors are contributors to the newly released anthology: ALL ABOUT SKIN, SHORT FICTION BY WOMEN OF COLOR co-edited by JINA ORTIZ and ROCHELLE SPENCER (University of Wisconsin Press).

This past March, we hosted our first book party at La Casa Azul Bookstore for WISE LATINAS, WRITERS ON HIGHER EDUCATION, edited by Kweli author JENNIFER DE LEON.

In July, we launched our Craft Talk and Reading series with JENNINE CAPÓ CRUCET, author of the forthcoming novel MAKE YOUR HOME AMONG STRANGERS—Kweli was the first journal to publish an excerpt from Jennine’s debut novel in October 2011. Jennine is also guest editor of our current issue which launched this past October. RU FREEMAN, VANESSA HUA, KAITLYN GREENIDGE, ROSEBUD BEN-ONI and TIPHANIE YANIQUE are just a few of the authors featured in this issue.

Kweli was able to gain three guest editors this year thanks to our first NYSCA grant award. JEFFERY RENARD ALLEN guest edited our summer issue, JENNINE CAPO CRUCET guest edited our fall issue and DANIELLE EVANS will be guest editing our final issue of the year.

In October 2014, Kweli was part of BinderCon’s inaugural conference at NYU and I shared a panel with GRACE ANEIZA ALI (Of Note Magazine) JULIET P. HOWARD (Women Writers in Bloom) and KAMY WICOFF (SheWrites). The panel was moderated by CAMILLE RANKINE. Many thanks to CYNTHIA MANICK for realizing this dream and curating this stellar gathering of women literary entrepreneurs.

2015

A major highlight of 2015 will be Words and Images (working title): a Reading, Conversation and Photography Exhibition with NIKKY FINNEY, RACHEL ELIZA GRIFFITHS and PARNESHIA JONES at the Schomburg Center on April 23, 2015. Did you know that Nikky Finney was also a photographer, and that Rachel Eliza Griffiths was the first photographer granted access to CALLIE BARR CLARK’s cottage on William Faulkner’s estate in Oxford, Mississippi? Please join us next spring to celebrate Nikky Finney’s SWEET BOX OF WORDS, Rachel Eliza Griffiths’ LIGHTING THE SHADOW and Parneshia Jones’ VESSEL.

And please join us on ‪#‎GivingTuesday‬. Kweli is part of this national day of giving to nonprofits both small and large. We are trying to raise a minimum of $10,000 in the next 72 hours and we are a fifth of the way there. Please consider a donation and help us spread the word about the journal’s mission and our #GivingBack campaign. We are a very small circle of sister volunteers dedicated to community. We turn five years old on December 3rd. Your gift will help us move into year six. Click the link below to hear more of our story and to give. Every single dollar helps us #giveback to new voices of color. Thanks so much for your support.

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