Honey Literary is a new BIPOC-focused literary journal built by women of color. Their first issue went live earlier this year and is available to read online so you can get a feel for the types of work they publish. They are currently open to submissions of Poetry, Sex/Kink/Erotic, Hybrid, Essays, Comics, Reviews, Valentines, Animals, Interviews, and artwork for their next issue. Their submissions page gives a detailed description of each type of work and can inspire you to write something new! For example, from the Animals description: “Highlight conservation work in your habitats. Profile the service animal of the year. Recount the folk tales that made you scared of drain serpents. Tell us about the anteater in the forest, the sandhill cranes in the parking lot, the carabao in the rice field, the angler in the deep. We want your venom, oily feathers, plush fur, mythical beasts, and whale songs.” For more information, see my interview with Founding Editor Rita Mookerjee and a link to submission guidelines below.
HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Honey Literary.
MOOKERJEE: Honey Literary is the kind of journal we all wished for when we were starting out as young writers of color. We have a commitment to access and work to tear down oppressive practices within the literary world. We invite everyone to enjoy great art and literature predominantly from BIPOC creatives.
HOPKINSON: How was Honey Literary originally started?
MOOKERJEE: Dorothy and I went to graduate school together, and we felt like the same kinds of poets and the same kinds of publishers dominated the field. Occasionally, representation improves, but mostly, we see straight white cisgender men running the show. We are fed up with that. We don’t want to be assessed and evaluated by people who are ignorant of both the literary traditions we practice and the hybrid cultures that we come from. Honey Literary exists to interrupt and challenge.
HOPKINSON: Who is your target reader audience?
MOOKERJEE: Our readers are largely BIPOC and queer people as well as others from marginalized groups. We are also here for people who want to see some inventiveness with genre. Honey Literary is inherently a feminist publication, and we got a lot of love from feminist circles with our debut issue.
HOPKINSON: What do you wish you’d see submitted, but rarely comes in?
MOOKERJEE: I wish we got more submissions from photographers, sex workers, filmmakers, and visual artists. Jessica Q. Stark, our comics editor, has such a great eye. I hope more visual artists send their creations to her!
HOPKINSON: What is your favorite part of being on staff with Honey Literary?
MOOKERJEE: Dorothy and I hand-picked our masthead; there were no applications or interviews. We are all fans of one another as well as co-editors. HL is a coven built on honesty, respect, and shared visions for the future of writing.
HOPKINSON: Where can we send submissions?
HOPKINSON: If someone has a question, how can they contact you?
MOOKERJEE: When in doubt, ask the big boss! firstname.lastname@example.org
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: May 1, 2021
SUBMISSION FEE: None
ISSUE FREQUENCY: 2x a year
AVERAGE RESPONSE TIME: within one month
SUBMISSION METHOD: email
SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS: Yes
FORMS: Poetry, Sex/Kink/Erotic, Hybrid, Essays, Comics, Reviews, Valentines, Animals, Interviews, and Artwork
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