In my poetry classes in college, I wrote a lot pieces that reflected a contemporary writing movement called gurlesque, “a term that describes writers who perform femininity in their poems in a campy or overtly mocking manner, risking the grotesque to shake the foundations of acceptable female behavior and language.”After reading my work my professor gave me a list of journals that she thought would like my work and, excited at the prospect, I submitted to some of them.


Annnnd many of them declined my work. I’m resilient, but it did take a toll on how much I felt I fit in with the poetry world. I stopped writing for a while, but in becoming part of Blavity found myself wanting to get back into it and try submitting again. This time around I wanted to find journals specifically for diverse and Black voices. I thought I could find more inclusiveness and representation in the process and final collection.

The culmination of my search is this list of 24 journals seeking out voices from underrepresented groups, and some seeking African American voices specifically.


Have fun submitting!


For Diversity in general

  • Aaduna – Seeks multicultural voices and works to build a relationship with them in order to foster continued success and support in their careers.
  • Apogee – Wants to support societal change by publishing “exciting work that interrogates the status quo, providing a platform for unheard voices, including emerging writers of color.”
  • Cecile’s Writers – Believes “that whether intercultural writers write about it directly or not, something profound about being intercultural is voiced in their writing.”
  • Diverse Voices Quarterly – As the name implies, this publication celebrates work of every age, race, gender, sexual orientation, and religious background.
  • Duende – Committed to work coming from underrepresented groups in today’s U.S. literary ecosystem: writers and artists who are queer, of color, differently abled, immigrant, working class, youth, elder, and /or otherwise from communities overlooked by literary gatekeepers.
  • Festival Writer – Dedicated to innovation and inclusion, publishes traditionally marginalized groups.
  • Kalyani – With each issue focusing on a specific theme that impacts women in diverse ways, this literary magazine publishes women of color exclusively, especially those who are previously unpublished.
  • Kweli – With a name that means “truth” in Swahili, this journal highlights the community and kinship of minority groups by including many experiences of writers of color.
  • The Offing – Publishes work by people of color, women and gender non-conformists, and members of the LGBTQIA and differently abled communities that  challenges and experiments with literary and artistic forms and conventions while understanding the foundations of such conventions.
  • Moko Magazine – This one is a little more specific in that it seeks out work that reflects the diversity of the Caribbean heritage and experiences.
  • Muzzle Magazine – Not only does this mag want to unite diverse voices, but it has special issues with a particular theme occasionally, such as The Sex Issue and its current issue on mental health.
  • Spook Mag – A biannual publication that is described as a sort of literary mixtape and “an ever-evolving dialogue between past and present.” The poetry editor is Warsan Shire, who I see quoted often on social media and saw at a poetry reading (which was an amazing experience by the way).
  • Nepantla – A new poetry e-journal being curated by Christopher Soto in collaboration with The Lambda Literary Foundation with the mission of nurturing, celebrating, and preserving diversity within the queer poetry community. Though I couldn’t find their submission page, the Facebook has work you can check out for inspiration.
  • Black Fox Lit Mag – Founded by three women of color, this journal accepts all kinds of work but especially fiction from underrepresented styles and genres.
  • Specter Magazine –  “Publishes new art, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction from writers often forced to the margins of literature.”


For Black Writers Exclusively

  • African Voices – Strives for artistic and literary excellence while showcasing the unique and diverse stories within the African Diaspora, as well as providing community arts programs.
  • Blackberry – Features black women exclusively with a goal to “expose readers to the diversity of the black woman’s experience and strengthen the black female voice in both the mainstream and independent markets.”
  • Callaloo – Provides an outlet for creative writers who produce texts in different languages in the African Diaspora and serves as a forum for literary and cultural critics who write about the literature and culture of the African Diaspora.
  • Kinfolks Quarterly – Accepts poetry, photography, essays (personal, video, narrative, lyric, etc.), literary criticism, art criticism, reviews, extended meditations, flash fiction, and paintings that reflect the infinite and varied experiences of blackness.
  • Obsidian – Since 1975 this publication has showcased the poetry, fiction, drama/performance, visual and media art of Africans globally.
  • Black Renaissance Noire – Reflects modern Black concerns through essays, poetry, fiction, photography, art, and reviews.
  • Mosaic Magazine – Explores the workof writers of African descent, as well as including lessons plans based on their content and mission with each issue.
  • Black Magnolias – Like Nepantla, I’m not sure how up to date this journal is (their current issue is shown as being from Spring 2014). Even if submission are closed, it can be beneficial to check out the past work  that examines and celebrates the social, political, and aesthetic accomplishments of African Americans, with an emphasis on Afro-Mississippians and Afro-Southerners.


BONUS – The Writers of Color twitter page is constantly posting and retweeting opportunities for writers of color in many genres and styles. Check out their site as well.

*This list is not all inclusive – here are a couple sites with additional opportunities:


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