African American writers have special opportunities to use their unique voice in a variety of magazine markets.
Finding Your Writing Voice
Your writing voice differs from your style. Style deals more with the technique you use, while voice reflects who you are. This includes your:
African American writers have a chance to shed their masks and false personas and let the real writer emerge like a butterfly from a chrysalis. Practice writing regularly and finding your voice will become a natural part of the writing process for you.
Establishing Yourself as a Writer
Whether you want to make your living as a freelance writer or a novelist, it usually requires baby steps. When a publisher asks for your clips, he is asking for copies of previously published work. With that in mind, it is a good idea to shop around for markets to get shorter articles and stories published. Choose markets that interest you, write and submit. However, you don't want to wait to hear from the publisher to start your next piece. Sometimes it takes months to get a rejection or acceptance. Waiting can waste your valuable time.
Magazines Looking for Submissions from African American Writers
African American Review is published quarterly in March, June, September, and December. This publication includes essays on African American literature, theatre, film, visual arts, and culture. Interviews, poetry, fiction, and book reviews are accepted.
African Voices Magazine is a quarterly literary magazine providing a chance for emerging artists of color to obtain experience and exposure.
ANANSI introduces original short fiction by talented writers of African descent.
Black Renaissance Noire publishes essays, poetry, fiction, photography, art, and reviews addressing contemporary Black concerns. Manuscripts are accepted in English, French or Spanish. Submissions should be double spaced in WordPerfect 5.1 or Microsoft Word 6.0 format. Send a self addressed stamped envelope with adequate postage if you want your manuscript returned. Send manuscripts to:
Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire
Africana Studies Program
New York University
269 Mercer Street, Suite 601
New York, NY 10003
Callaloo is a journal devoted to creative work by and critical studies of the work of African-Americans and peoples of African descent throughout the African Diaspora. Send queries by snail mail or by email to [mailto:email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org]. Submissions should be sent to:
Department of English Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-4227
Essence is a magazine with an editorial focus on today's career-minded, independent, urbane African American woman.
Gifted Voices is a nationally distributed, monthly publication that promotes the literary talents of emerging and established African American writers. If it's for, by and about African-Americans, it's of interest to their readers. Submissions can be sent via e-mail at [mailto:email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org].
Harlem World publishes articles on culture, style, cuisine, music, literature, and of course articles on historic and present day Harlem.
Mosaic Magazine is a quarterly magazine that explores the literary arts by writers of African descent. Each issue offers a unique blend of essays, profiles, and reviews.
Souls is a quarterly interdisciplinary journal that only accepts unsolicited electronic submissions.
Timbooktu features stories, poetry and essays dedicated to giving greater exposure to up-and-coming writers and poets of topics that relate to the African American experience and culture.
Western Journal of Black Studies publishes scholarly articles focusing on issues related to the African Diaspora and the experiences of African Americans in the United States.
African American Book Publishing Resources
- Amistad Press (Imprint of Harper Collins)
- Ballantine/Random House (Random House Publishing Group)
- HarperTrophy (HarperCollins)
- Kensington Publishing
- Warner Books
If you want to be a writer, start writing, take online writing classes or sign up at your local community college. The key is to actively move toward improving your craft.
The markets in this article focus on African American opportunities, but as a writer you are not limited by race. Reach beyond your comfort zone and let your voice be heard. If you wonder where to start, there are new markets everyday to challenge your muse. Let your voice be heard.