FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO TRAVEL is a travel magazine of essays, photography and commentary for women of color travelers and travel enthusiasts.
FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO TRAVEL is exactly what the name describes.
It's for me.
It's for you.
It's a space for women of color who explore our environment and its ability to transform who we are.
Letter from the Editor
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” – Dr. Maya Angelou
En route to the airport for a three-month trip to Malawi, Africa, this quotation, with an accompanying picture of Maya popped onto my cellphone screen. News just broke of Maya Angelou’s death and social media exploded with her poetry, her pictures, her books, her laugh, her story. I swaddled myself into it— into Maya— allowing her words to subside the innumerable questions and anxieties about my upcoming journey.
That journey, unbeknownst to me, had nothing to do with my physical presence in Malawi and everything to do with an endless sojourn into what it means to be a traveller and by extension, a travel writer and photographer. Write about the place, not yourself; that is travel writing’s number one rule. But Maya’s words recognize that identity can change one’s experience in the world. As a woman of color, this is everyday life.
For Colored Girls Who Travel takes a new approach to travel writing and photography—one that puts you, the traveler, and the dynamic intersectionality of your identity at the center of the story. It acknowledges that the places we travel extend beyond elements of our physical environment: the things to see, touch, smell, hear and do. For me, the “place” to travel begins with those undiscovered parts of who I am and how I think, and at times, reacquaints me with my ideas and desires so easily lost in the ebb and flow of everyday life. Traveling is not just about what you bring to a place, but what the place draws out of you. Capturing snapshots of those extracted bits of me through words, photographs and other media help give me pause, creating the space I need to reflect on the me I was before, the me I am now, and how place and experience bridged the two. In short, traveling is about me. Traveling is about you.
I am surrounded by types of women of color who, like Maya describes, “grab the world by the lapels,” fiercely brazen in their approach to life. I created For Colored Girls Who Travel for me, for us, for colored girls who travel, to share these stories with others and shift the paradigm on what it means to be a woman and a person of color in a world—a world incessantly demanding an apology for being both. A world waiting in vain as it will never get either.
For Colored Girls Who Travel is exactly what the name describes. It is for ALL women of color who travel in all types of ways— across the ocean or across the street, to a new place or to the place where you were born. Through its ongoing development, For Colored Girls Who Travel itself is a journey and I sincerely thank you for taking it with me. I hope it will guide us as we explore the world not as spectators of difference, but as a community of women of color, building bridges between our experiences and kicking ass.
- Jodi-Ann B., CREATOR of FCGWT
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Dr. Maya Angelou
Thanks for your interest in contributing to For Colored Girls Who Travel. Content published on FCGWT include writing and photography is accepted on a rolling basis.
FCGWT is looking for the types of stories that inspire readers to seek new opportunities for adventure. Stories can encourage readers to follow in the footsteps of the writer’s experience and visit new places and discover new things to do. Stories may also be written in such a way that becomes universal in its specificity, allowing readers to transcend the story’s locale and apply new perspectives and ideas to their own lives and travel experiences, regardless of place.
What counts as travel? FCGWT considers various forms of travel for its site content: international, domestic, experiences as a visitor or resident.
FCGWT accepts both original and previously published content:
- Original content: Content developed specifically for FCGWT and not currently available on any other site. Only original content will be eligible for inclusion into the forthcoming print edition of FCGWT
- Previously Published Content: Content available on other sites and cross-posted with FCGWT. In addition to promoting original content, FCGWT serves as a travel writing aggregator, giving writers the opportunity to expand their audiences. All previously published content will include links to their original sites.
Writing categories include:
- Essays: Possible essay topics include, but are not limited to: reflections on the travel experience, integration of travel to current news events, insights on a “day in the life” of travel, food, transportation, and so on. Other writing submissions may include interviews with travelers, local people, family members, migration stories, personal histories, etc. Word limit: 300 words minimum; no maximum length.
- Prose: Narratives and creative writing, typically shorter in length. Poetry also accepted. No word length parameters.
- Conversations: Documented excerpts of conversations had during travel. Conversations should illustrate larger themes about the local context, interpersonal relationships, identity, and insights into social issues. Audio recordings can accompany written conversations. Subjects can be local or other travelers. No word length parameters.
- Other: Service information, such as things to do, transportation tips and other travel logistics, are not a priority for FCGWT stories. However, lists detailing this information with links can be submitted with other content.
Writing submissions should include high quality photographs, but it is not required.
Photography submissions at categorized by City, State; City, Country; or Country, Continent. Location galleries typically include 8-12 photographs. Photographers must submit a Traveler’s Statement and Contributor’s Profile. The traveler’s statement must be included with each gallery submission.
Contributor Eligibility: For Colored Girls Who Travel is inclusive of all women of color contributors. Writers and photographers who identify as cis women, trans women, gender non-conforming and Native, Latina, Asian, Middle Eastern and Black are encouraged to submit. International contributors are strongly encouraged to submit.
Response Time: Everyone will receive a response within one week of submission.
Contributor’s Compensation: Contributors will not be financially compensated for their work at this time. If this policy changes, unpaid contributors will be compensated retroactively. Content will be used for the website only; additional uses will require FCGWT to gain consent from contributors. Contributors will be compensated for work used for sellable products, i.e. phonebooks, postcards, etc.
Ready to submit? Here’s how to send in your work
- General inquiries and writing submissions can be sent via the online submission form
- Photography collections and photography to accompany writing submissions can be submitted via email or Google Drive at email@example.com
- All accepted contributors will be asked to submit a 3-5 sentence biography and photo FCGWT accepts multiple submissions