I’m thrilled to announce the launch of a new project: Vela, an online magazine featuring “travel-inspired creative nonfiction, written by women.”
I’ll be contributing alongside five other writers — Sarah Menkedick and Lauren Quinn, both of whom I’ve worked with before at World Hum and Matador, as well as Simone Gorrindo, Molly Beer and Amanda Giracca. Sarah is the one who brought us all together; here’s an excerpt from her explanation of the project (and specifically, why it’s “written by women”):
The point here is not that this is a women’s site, by women for women, somehow female, feminine, or feminist in style. The fact that all of the writers are women is almost, almost incidental: it would be completely incidental if the publishing world did not create a situation in which women’s voices represent only a small fraction of the conversation. As it stands, this is the case, and as long as it continues to be the case than I believe in creating a separate space in which women can write what they want to write, with the same intellectual freedom as men; without a major overhaul of self and world views; without having to label themselves as “women writers” with the insinuation that they’ll come to inspiring conclusions about yoga and use laundry as a metaphor for despair; and without having to try and out-male the men, writing in the very male styles and with the very male intelligences so predominant in the literary world.
The alternative to these male styles and intelligences is not some sort of touchy-feeling wishy-washy lovey-dovey female emotional abstraction. I’m not sure what it is. It doesn’t even have to be “female”. It is what happens in the absence of the pressure to “make it” in an industry that is not only physically but intellectually dominated by men. That is what this site is: a space to maneuver freely without having to either set one’s work apart as distinctly female or suck it up trying to prove that women can do what men do and that what men do is the best and the norm.
I’m really excited to see what my fellow writers come up with. A new piece will be posted on Vela each week; my first story will be up at the end of the month.