Over the summer, Dr. Dorothy Chan – assistant professor of creative writing at UW-Eau Claire and editor of Barstow & Grand – got sick of racism, sexism and homophobia in the literary world.
“In the literary world, which basically started out as this boys’ club — it still often looks like this boys’ club — female editors are rare,” Chan said. “Right? But then when you get into more intersections of that, those editors also become an even greater rarity.
So Chan teamed up with her friend and colleague, Dr. Rita Mookerjee — who teaches in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Iowa State University — to launch Literary Honeyan online literary journal run entirely by Black women, Indigenous women, and women of color.
“It will be anti-racist,” Chan said. “It’s going to be intersectional feminist. It’s going to be queer-friendly. It will be all these intersections and all these stories and all these narratives that will make great literature. And there’s a lot of power in there.
“It will be anti-racist,” Dr. Dorothy Chan said of Literary Honey. “It’s going to be intersectional feminist. It’s going to be queer-friendly. It will be all these intersections and all these stories and all these narratives that will make great literature. And there’s a lot of power in there.
“It was born from a place of deep frustration,” added Mookerjee. “We see this language as: ‘We are committed to diversity’ and ‘We would like to raise marginalized voices’, and it is so outdated. It’s so empty.
Submissions officially opened on September 1 in their nine genres: Poetry; Sex, Kink and Eroticism; Tests; Hybrid; Comic books; Animals; Interviews; Comments; and Valentine’s Day. Genres are intentionally set to encourage fresh new voices that may not fit traditional literary journal boundaries.
They publish BIPOC women, non-binary and trans people, writers with disabilities, and anyone of color from the LGBTQ community, as well as allies who champion their causes. To encourage diverse submissions, they have no submission fees.
Their first online issue will appear in the winter of 2021, with upcoming releases according to each season. In the future, the founding duo hopes to pay its contributors to value their work. “I hope that Literary Honey could provide an example of what is possible,” said editor Jessica Stark.
You can consult Literary Honey at www.honeyliterary.com.