Want to learn more about publishing?

Then take a class with me!

Starting March 12, I’ll be teaching an online class about publishing. I’m really excited to be collaborating with the Kitchen Table Literary Arts Center as a teaching artist, and I hope that you’ll consider joining me. To learn more about the Kitchen Table Literary Arts Center, click here. To register for one of their amazing classes taught by women of color, for women of color, (including mine), click here



As you all know, I’m  nearly done with this grad life (Hallelujah!) and I’ve started working on a few new projects. I’ve also created a new website that will serve as my main blog going forward.   I am transitioning from grad student to full time writer and publisher (and who knows what else, a sista is looking for a job too!), and I decided that I needed a new website/blog to represent this aspect of my work and life.  For those of you who have not already done so, please consider following me over at my new spot,  SAndreaAllen.  I’ll share updates, and even a little of my works in progress. 🙂

I still love this blog and I will continue to post here, but I do intend to spend more time over at the new spot.  I hope to see you there!


The Time is Now

A few posts ago, I mentioned that I was working on a few projects and that I’d be sharing more details soon. Well, soon is now!

For the past several months I’ve been working on starting a small press, and I’m happy to say that BLF Press is now live and open for submissions.  It has been a labor of love, and I know that I’m wandering into treacherous waters. However, I believe that I am moving forward under the power of my Black feminist foremothers, who also did the improbable and lived to inspire generations of writers and book lovers all over the world.

I also take my cues from Jewelle Gomez, who wondered in her now famous essay, “But Some of us are Brave Lesbians: The Absence of Black Lesbian Fiction,” what would become of Black lesbian writing. I am also reminded of Audre Lorde’s difficulty trying to find a publisher for her biomythography, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name.  I dare say that today, Black lesbian fiction seems to be thriving, and that the ability to self-publish has given more women the power to see themselves in print.  But I believe that we must do more. Our lives, our stories, and our experiences are still marginalized. So many of us have stories to tell, and I’d like to help writers develop and get their work into the hands of readers who will love it as much as we do.  I believe this work is necessary.

We are building a team of experienced editors and designers, and we are ready to help you create your best work. Come see us over at BLF Press, and if you like what you see, help us spread the word.

Love and light,









Reference: “But Some of us are Brave Lesbians: The Absence of Black Lesbian Fiction.”
Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology. Eds. E. Patrick Johnson and
Mae G. Henderson. Durham: Duke University Press, 2005. 289-297. Print.


Because I apparently have nothing else to do, other than you know, writing a dissertation, teaching two classes, and keeping my girlfriend happy, I’ve started working on a collection of short stories. Well, I’ve picked up the manuscripts I put down a while back.  All, if not most, will feature Black lesbian protagonists. Why, you ask? Because Toni Morrison said so and I quote: “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

While there are a certainly good collections of Black lesbian long and short fiction circulating, there aren’t nearly enough. I love Fiona Zedde and Skyy, and I’ve written about Jewelle Gomez, Ann Allen Shockley, and Cheril N. Clarke on my blog and in my academic work.  I’ve been writing fiction and creative non-fiction for several years now, although I’ve rarely shared it with anyone, much less tried to publish it.  I’ve decided that it’s finally time to add my meager scribblings to the cacophony of Black lesbian literary voices that are already out there, and that inspire me to tell my stories.

The story I’m currently working on is entitled “Addicted,” and no, it’s not about sex! It’s actually about a woman who finds out that her partner has a gambling problem. I’ll share an excerpt soon.

Where will I find the time to write you ask? Well, as busy as I am, I still have small chunks of time where I’m able to do a bit of creative writing. I’ve also set up a reward system that seems to be working: I “gift” myself writing time when I’ve completed my other tasks and reached my academic writing goals for the day/week. I also keep a mean schedule and I’ve also learned to say “no” to random requests and engagements that I just don’t want to participate in or can’t make time for. Don’t worry, I’m still pretty visible on campus and I do my share of graduate committee work, but I’ve learned to be a bit more protective of my time and productive energy.

I’m excited and terrified, but I’m as committed to telling these stories as I am to finishing this Ph.D., and those of you that know me personally know how committed I am to that. My goal has always been to “work my program” (my apologies to Cheryl Dunye), and that is exactly what I’m doing. Still, I’m pretty stoked to begin work on this other project, and I hope you’ll hop on this train with me. I think it’s going to be an exciting ride.

Peace and productivity,

Sista Outsider


Over the past couple of years I’ve envisioned this blog to be a space for showcasing and discussing Black lesbian cultural texts. (I’ve been a slacker, I know.) I’ve also tried to marry a little of my academic life with my personal life, and that has prevented me from posting here as much as I’d like. In other words, as a dissertating grad student about to go on the job market, I’ve been pretty careful with my posts. However, I’ve found a better solution: create a separate space for my academic “stuff.” Duh. 🙂

I’d like this space to be a little more ME, so I’m removing the “Academic” page and I’ll be posting more often about things that move me, and although most of them will be related to my identities as a Black lesbian wannabe academic cultural critic, some of them may not. Thank you for reading along with me thus far and I hope you’ll be seeing a lot more from the blog soon.

The struggle continues,

Sister Outsider