We publish only work by Lesbians. We are particularly interested in work that reflects the diversity of our experiences: as Lesbians of color, ethnic Lesbians, Jewish, Arab, old, young, working class, poverty class, disabled, and fat Lesbians. We welcome experimental work. We will not print anything that is oppressive or demeaning to Lesbians or women, or that perpetuates stereotypes. We keep an open and critical dialogue on all the issues that affect our lives, joy, and survival.
Asian Lesbians! Do you feel invisible to other queer women or Asian lesbians? Isolated? Happy? Charismatic? Shy? Defiant? Modest? Soft-spoken? Boisterous? Empowered? Helpless? Bold? Bald? Not Asian enough? Disconnected? Tom-boyish? Androgynous? Academically Sapphic? Retired?
Sinister Wisdom invites and welcomes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art, and genre-bending works from all Asian Lesbians: American-born Asians, South Asians, Southeast Asians, East Asians, etc. We welcome work from Asians Lesbians in the States and all over the world written predominately in English.
If you are lesbian and Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian, Pakistani, Bangledeshi, Sri Lankan, Nepalese, Afghan, Mongolian, Taiwanese, Korean, Hong Kongese, Macanese, Cambodian, Thai, Laotian, Singaporean, Malaysian, Pilipino, Indonesian, Burmese, Timorese, etc, please submit to us.
If your Sapphic work deals with Asian desire, fetishism, straightness camouflaging, homophobia, genocide, fasting, seclusion, negation, invisibility, confusion, arranged marriages, bisexuality, Daoism, Christianity, Taoism, Muslimism, Buddhism, Confucianism, negative stereotypes such as apathetic, outsourcing, “Geisha Girl,” or “perpetual foreigners”, please submit to us.
If your work is Asian, Sapphic, healthy and happy, please submit to us.
If your work is Asian, Sapphic, erotic, scholarly, secular, graphic, phantastical, haiku-ic, asexual, sassy, nuptial, eye-opening, monochromatic, please submit to us.
If your work deals with Asian Sapphic suicide, public flogging for having lesbian sex in a car, mung bean cakes, compassion, defecation and rape, nail salons, criminalized Asian lesbianism, avocado sushi rolls, dry-cleaning, cancer, impotence, astrology, lentil, naan, and chickpeas, and everything else please submit your work to us.
If you (mis) identify yourself as bamboo ceiling lesbians, not-a-model-minority due to your excessive or non-excessive lesbianism, facial whitening, please submit to us.
If you think you are not submissive or obedient, but you are Sapphic and Asian, please submit your work to us. If you think you are blissfully complacent and shy, please submit your work to us anyway.
If you work addresses Asian culture, music, food, travel, and Sapphic mail-in brides, please submit to us.
If you know someone who is Asian & lesbian, please encourage them to submit their work to us.
If you are Asian & lesbian, and your work does not deal with any of the above topics, desires, foie gras, martial arts, please submit to us regardless.
If you are Asian & lesbian, please submit poetry, visual art, comics, photographs, anime and films (screenshots only), interviews, academic anecdotes or notes, fiction, non-fiction, and genre-bending works to Sinister Wisdom through Submittable.
Images should .jpg or .tif files only, and be of print resolution, sized at least 300 ppi (pixels per inch).
The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2019. The anticipated publication date for this issue is in 2020.
Guest Editor: Vi Khi Nao. Born in Long Khanh, Vietnam, Vi is the author of Sheep Machine (Black Sun Lit, 2018) and Umbilical Hospital (Press 1913, 2017), and of the short stories collection, A Brief Alphabet of Torture, which won FC2’s Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize in 2016, the novel, Fish in Exile (Coffee House Press, 2016), and the poetry collection, The Old Philosopher, which won the Nightboat Books Prize for Poetry in 2014 and is a finalist for a 2017 Lambda Literary Award. Her work includes poetry, fiction, film and cross-genre collaboration. Her stories, poems, and drawings have appeared in NOON, Ploughshares, Black Warrior Review and BOMB, among others. She holds an MFA in fiction from Brown University.
To Be a Jewish Dyke in the 21st Century: A New Sinister Wisdom Jewish Lesbian Issue
Every generation of Jews experiences their times as fraught with questions of identity and allegiances. We come from long traditions that are radical as well as conservative, religious and secular, defiant and assimilationist – and resisting binary categories altogether.
Sinister Wisdom asked us, Judith Katz and Elana Dykewomon (bios below), to take a fresh look at contemporary Jewish Dykes, in the spirit of the earlier anthologies, Nice Jewish Girls (1982, Evelyn Torton Beck, ed.) and The Tribe of Dina (1986, Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz and Irena Klepfisz, eds.).
Much to our individual amazement, we agreed. So this is a call to Jewish Lesbians, Dykes & Queer Women and these are some of our questions – to which we hope you will have answers. Or at least, great questions to ask back.
• How do we remember, honor, and engage with Jewish activists & writers who came before us (can we go back further than the lesbian Pauline Newman, who ran for Congress on the Socialist Ticket in 1918?)?
• How do we deal with/conceptualize zionism and the rights of the Palestinian people in these fraught, divisive, and infuriating times?
• What kinds of relationships do Jews of Color and Jews with white skin privilege have with/to each other? With larger Jewish and activist communities? Within our own networks?
• How do working class Jewish dykes see themselves in our larger Jewish and activist communities and networks?
• How do we perceive and deal with anti-Semitism coming from both the right and left? What kind of strategies can we use to counter that?
• What is the place of art in our activist lives: as makers, as audience, as resisters?
• What issues concern young Jewish dykes – how are they defining alliances and community?
• What role does being an observant Jew play in our activism? In our lives? What does it mean to be a Jew outside of traditional Jewish centers of culture and practice?
Looking toward answers for these and any other questions you can pose. We welcome poetry, prose, memoir, essays, short stories, fiction, songs, and visual art by Jewish Lesbians, Dykes & Queer Women (2,000 word limit).
So that's a start. Our call. Your response. Check out http://www.sinisterwisdom.org/node/16 for style guidelines.
Submit manuscripts through Submittable by February 28, 2019
Elana Dykewomon, a long-time social justice activist and teacher, has published eight books foregrounding lesbian heroism, including the award-winning novels Riverfinger Women (Daughters, Inc and Naiad Press), Beyond the Pale (Press Gang and Raincoast Books), Risk (Bywater Books) and most recently, What Can I Ask – New & Selected Poems 1975-2014 (Sinister Wisdom Sapphic Classics). She is currently working on a play about lesbian community and the right to die. From 1987-94 she was an editor of Sinister Wisdom and experiences both apprehension and excitement at the prospect of editing another issue.
Judith Katz is the author of two published novels, each first published by Firebrand Books in the 1990's, then reissued recently by Bywater Books: Running Fiercely Toward a High Thin Sound which won a Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Fiction, and The Escape Artist, which seeks to remind us of the place of Jewish lesbians in our history and our historical imaginations. She is currently trying to wrestle her third novel to the ground, and working on a longer non-fiction piece about her brother's unexpected death in 2005. Editing this issue of Sinister Wisdom is a challenge I look forward to with pleasure!
Writing collectives/groups have played an integral part in lesbian literary history, and this special issue of Sinister Wisdom seeks to interrogate the role they have played in supporting our personal writing, as well as their impact on the larger lesbian literary community. In this issue of Sinister Wisdom, guest editors S. (Stephanie) Andrea Allen and Lauren Cherelle are seeking personal essays, stories, interviews, oral histories, poetry, short academic papers, and other original writing and art focused on lesbian writing collectives.
Organizing questions for this issue include: What lesbian writing collectives have supported your writing? How do lesbian literary collectives help foster your creativity? How have lesbian writing collectives helped to improve your writing/writing journey? What has been your experience facilitating or hosting writing collectives? How does your collective find members? What are the guiding principles of your writing collective? How do lesbian writing collectives counter systems of oppression? What challenges has your writing collective/group faced? How have you addressed those challenges? What lessons can we learn from lesbian writing collectives/groups of the past? What technological innovations have you used to create/facilitate/host your writing collective? Has your writing collective/group collaborated with other writing collectives? How has your writing collective supported your local community? We are especially interested in hearing about your successes and your accomplishments, so tell us what has worked, but don’t be afraid to tell us what didn’t.
Submit to Sinister Wisdom's themed issue on Lesbian Writing Collectives by July 30, 2018.
S. (Stephanie) Andrea Allen, Ph.D., is a native southerner, writer, scholar, and educator. She works as an English instructor at a local university, co-directs a literary non-profit for Black women writers, and is publisher and editor-in-chief at BLF Press. Her work can be found in Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction, Sinister Wisdom, and in her debut collection of short stories and essays, A Failure to Communicate. She is also co-editor of Solace: Writing, Refuge, and LGBTQ Women of Color, and Black From the Future: A Collection of Black Speculative Writing (Forthcoming 2019)
Stephanie holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Purdue University, an M.A. in English from Auburn University, and a B.A. in English from Columbus State University. She is currently working on a second collection of short stories and her first novel.
Lauren Cherelle uses her time and talents to traverse imaginary and professional worlds. She manages and writes for Resolute Publishing, an independent publisher that helps transform dreams into realities for women. Lauren co-edited Solace: Writing, Refuge, and LGBTQ Women of Color (2017) and co-directs the Black Lesbian Literary Collective. She is the author of the f/f novel, The Dawn of Nia (2016), and she has written short stories for Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction (2016) and G.R.I.T.S: Girls Raised in the South — An Anthology of Queer Womyn’s Voices & Their Allies (2013). Her stories reflect the lives of Southern Black girls and women.
Lauren holds an MBA from the University of Tennessee and writing certifications from the University of Louisville. During the week, she works in nonprofit development. On the weekends, she hangs up her fundraising hat to focus on personal writing and family. Join Lauren on Twitter: @laurencre8s and @blacklesfic.
While Landdykes’ issue (Sinister Wisdom 98: Landykes of the South) focused on the lived experiences of lesbians in rural communities, what are the lived experiences of lesbians in the city. Where do the lesbians in the city come from if and when not from the city? What propels them to move into the city? What propels you to stay in the city? What, for some of you, inspires you to leave?
This special issue is focusing on how lesbians live in the city, whether they live in the city by themselves or within intention community. We are specifically interested in lesbians who write, draw, take photos of the transition into the city as it documents how the move into the city changes their lives. We are also interested in the lesbians who have never left the city; who help make the city a haven for the lesbians who move into the city from non-cities. And what about the lesbians who write about why despite the parades and the marches and the organizations, the city was not all it was for everyone who moved there, who stayed there? In revisiting this call, initially published in 2017, I encourage lesbians and women loving womyn from cities like Las Vegas, Phoenix, AZ, Miami, and Atlanta to contribute. Priority will be given to works that are neither racist, ableist, or otherwise objectifying underdeveloped characters and/or dehumanizing womyn. Given recent events, content warning of violence against womyn would be preferred.
While the visibility in the city sparks our interest, so too does the"disappearing dyke spaces," stories. Pulling from the Vice documentary called The Last Lesbian Bars, it's on Vice, which addresses the lack of physical spaces for lesbians to come together, how are those that built them coping? How are millennials are adapting to their absence? What are they/we using to socialize, mobilize and meeting one another? Let us know!
In sharing your stories, your photos, your drawings, your interviews, your poems, tell us how the city changed what being a lesbian means to you. I will privilege integral representations of racially, ably, and other marginalized members of the lesbian community. I also encourage individuals who have had lesbian relationships but no longer or have never identified as a lesbian to contribute, considering Sinister Wisdom’s widening scope of audience members and contributors. Let us know if and how “the city” allows you to be a bigger, badder, lesbian. Let us know if being a lesbian was not enough when you arrived and when you settled into the city. Show us the pictures of your ‘lesbian city;’ tell the story of what a ‘lesbian city,’ would, could or should look like. Tell us why, tell us how, tell us when. Whether you’re 19 or 91, what are the lesbians in the city like? what is your lesbian experience in the city like? How did transitions in ethnic, racial, class, gender diversity change your individual and collective understanding of lesbianism? What are the negotiations you make to be a lesbian in the city you were born, in the city where you ‘came out,’ in the city where you landed?
We look forward to diversifying the face and body of lesbians riding on trains, biking on the road and moving into skyscrapers. Scrape the sky of our imagination with your creation.
All offerings of work for this issue should be made by May 31, 2019. The anticipated publication date is January 2020.
Erika Gisela Abad was born and raised in Chicago, though she’s lived in Portland, OR, Las Vegas, NV and visited NYC, Cleveland, OH, and Seattle, WA throughout her academic and political career. She will be presenting “Who will read, write or buy our happy endings,” at Clexacon and in 2016, she presented on LGBT Rican issues in Chicago at summits hosted by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies. She has supported Sinister Wisdom reviewing issues such as Landdykes, and What can I ask. She’s been published in Sinister Wisdom’s Out Latina Lesbians in 2015, among other venues such as BlazeVox, Mujeres de Maiz Identity Blinging, Black Girl Dangerous. She was a frequent performer of Portland, OR’s Dirty Queer between 2011 and 2016. She’s also been a feature for Chicago’s Surviving the Mic and for Rape Victim Advocate’s 2016 open mic. An essayist, fiction writer and scholar, she blogs at erikagabad.wordpress.com. You can follow her on Twitter @lionwanderer531. She teaches in the Interdisciplinary, Gender and Ethnic Studies Department at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Claudia Rodríguez, is a writer/performer from Compton. She is the author of “Everybody’s Bread,” her first published collection of s poems (Korima Press 2015). Her work has appeared in Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts in Los Angeles: An Anthology. Tia Chucha Press. 2016, Mexican American Baseball in the Pomona Valley, Baby Remember My Name: An Anthology of New Queer Girl Writing. Edited by Michelle Tea, Chicana/Latina Studies: the journal of MALCS Fall 2004 Issue. Claudia received a COLA Fellow Award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs in 2015 and a Resident Artist Award in 2014 also from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Her interests are in developing community-based art. Oral history, queer publications, youth-oriented poetry workshops, and theater are some of the genres she’s worked with over the last nineteen years. As co-founder of Butchlalis de Panochtitlan (BdP), a performance ensemble, she authored and performed sketches addressing the intersectionality of gender, immigration status, race and class and issues such as gentrification, intimate partner violence, addiction and interracial desire.
More about Claudia Rodriguez, MFA at http://rodriguezwriter.blogspot.com
Yovani Flores was raised in Chicago’s Humboldt Park community spent childhood summer in Puerto Rico, and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Her stories are swathed in diaspora roots, memory keeping and imaginations of a young queer girl. Flores’ debut Short Story, El Lloron was featured on NPR’s Three Minute Fiction Contest, won a second place writing Prize from Curbside Splendor Publishing, and published in The Journal of Latina/Chicana Studies. Her work appears in Acentos Review, Drunken Boat, Latino Perspectives Magazine, Repeating Islands, Esta Vida Boricua: Universidad de Puerto Rico, Mayaguez. Centro Voces: Center for Puerto Rican Studies CUNY, La Repuesta, Contributor at La Tolteca Zine, and Guest Editor at 5Q: Five Quarterly Magazine.
Chair, AJAAS: Association de Jotería, Arts, Activism and Scholarship.
Co-Founder, Producing Director of Mujeres del Sol.
Co-Founder, Las Pilonas Productions, supporting actor in Thresholds, an Award Winning short film by Las Pilonas Productions, Directed by Linda Garcia Merchant, Co-Producers, Writers Yovani Flores, Evon Flores Barrera, Linda Garcia Merchant.
We use three pieces of full-color visual art each year for the cover of the journal. We invite visual artists to submit .jpg or .gif files of their work for consideration through Submittable.
If your work is selected, you will have to provide us high-quality .tiff files to print the cover.
We print black and white images in the pages of the journal and invite artists to submit black and white images as .jpg or .gif files for consideration. Again, if work is selected, you will have to provide us with high-quality.tiff files to print inside the pages of the journal.
NOTE: Sinister Wisdom is filled for 2018 and 2019. You may continue to submit work - and we will continue to accept work, but it will be for publication in 2020 and beyond.
Material may be in any style or form, or combination of forms.
Maximum: five poems, two short stories or essays, OR one longer piece of up to 5,000 words.
Please proofread your work carefully; do not send us changes after the deadline.
Please send a short contributor biography between 25 and 125 words with your submission.