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Online Class

The Authentic Voices Writing Fellowship

Our Founder, Natalie Obando, created the Authentic Voices Writing Fellowship as a strategic grassroots program to drive equity in publishing. It’s no secret that the publishing world lacks voices of color in print and in the office. And while there are countless discussions by numerous publishers, agencies, and media outlets of diversity, equity, and inclusion for those who have been marginalized from the book and publishing worlds, there has been little sustained action. Programs that publishers and others have cobbled together always fall short.

Natalie’s program, the Authentic Voices Fellowship, was created and designed by her to combat the systemic racism that she’s not only witnessed but actually has been on the receiving end of in the publishing world. Her background and upbringing has made her insight priceless when creating programs like these. Because of her history, knowledge, and continued struggles experiencing systemic racism in publishing, her mission is to create a more equitable world with stories that truly represent who we are and training more people from diverse backgrounds for roles in publishing.

The Authentic Voices Fellowship is a four-month-long program that immerses writers in writing, editing, marketing, querying, and publishing. At the end of the program, the fellows not only get their work published in an anthology, they also are connected to various agents, and editor mentors, and (thanks to donors) receive a stipend for their creativity and work.  

2021-2022 Anthology

Through the writing of six exceptional women, you will get to know cultures and stories from a truly authentic lens, not the lens that you've been accustomed to. Whether through fiction or creative non-fiction, these stories will transcend stereotypes that you've been slowly accustomed to and will give you a look into the heart and soul of communities you wouldn't know otherwise. The words in this anthology are raw and aren't polished to make you feel better. They are left sharp to just make you feel.

FOREWORD by Devi S. Laskar, Author, The Atlas Of Reds and Blues (Counterpoint Press, 2019) and CIRCA (Mariner Books, 2022)
INTRODUCTION by Natalie Obando, National President of Women's National Book Association and co-founder of Women of Color Writers

• Alaa Al-Barkawi, "A Disappearance"
• Amber Blaeser-Wardzala, "What Comes After"
• L. Iyengar, "Life Cycles"
• Yemimah, "Far Above Rubies"
• Cecilia Caballero, "A Starburst Within Myself"
• Arao Ameny, "Tangawizi"

To Support Future Programs and Learn More About These Writers
Purchase Your Copy Here.


2021-2022 Authentic Voices Fellows

2022-2023 Authentic Voices Fellows

For more information about the program and how to apply for it, visit the program page here on the Women’s National Book Association’s website.

Donate to this amazing program that is actually making a difference! 

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