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Torch Literary Arts seeks to light the path for Black women writers

Gathered in a Zoom workshop, a group of Black women had the opportunity to do some “digging into that honesty box,” as presenter Ebony Stewart put it. Part of that exploration of honesty meant looking their imposter syndrome — or feeling of fraudulence and self-doubt — in the eye. “Self-sabotaging your greatness because you don't think you deserve to be great,” one participant wrote in the chat about the syndrome. “The thing you say you are but fear you aren't,” wrote another. As the writers posted their feelings, the space grew more open and comfortable, accepting and affirming. It was the exact space Amanda Johnston wanted to create when she decided to found Literary Arts in Austin. “It is impossible to have a full representation of the world that we live in, and the world that we read, without the voices of Black women,” Johnston said. More: Everyone processes grief differently. One man used 365 days of paintings to show his journey. Carving a space for Black women writers, Torch Literary Arts is a nonprofit dedicated to featuring and fostering creative from Black women. Though Austin-based, writers come from worldwide, including Jamaica and Nigeria. But before Johnston founded Torch Literary Arts, she was finding her way as a Black female writer in a space where such voices are often difficult to find. Johnston said a New York Times study showed people of color wrote only 11% of books in […]

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