African Diaspora

Poems and personal essays wanted for a new book: The editor is seeking contributions from Black and Mixed-race women of African & African-Caribbean descent on the themes of hair and/or skin.

Shangwe Hair and Skin Anthology

Poems and personal essays wanted for a new book. The editor is seeking contributions from Black and Mixed-race women of African & African-Caribbean descent on the themes of hair and/or skin.

New & previously published poems & personal essays accepted. New unpublished writers, particularly welcome.

Closing Date 30 November!!!

Nicole Moore (Editor) is compiling a new anthology of poetry and autobiography contributions that portray the perspectives of black and mixed-race women of African & African-Caribbean descent. The book will be a powerful medium for black and mixed-race women to explore, celebrate and reflect upon and share their
experiences. The anthology will also provide a reflection of many aspects of Black cultural heritage. The autobiography genre is consistent throughout and will provide new and creative ways of thinking about black and mixed race women. The aim of the anthology is to facilitate and enrich a greater understanding and
insight into creative writing written by black and mixed race women. The published anthology will be promoted with a well marketed launch, book readings and spoken word events where contributors can share their writing experiences.


TWO THEMES: Natural Hair Perspectives & Skin Perspectives

1. Non-fiction: Poetry/Personal Essays
Subject: Natural Hair Perspectives

Have you tried numerous hairstyles over the years from perms, relaxing, extensions, etc, before deciding on a natural style? Or have you always had a natural style? Do you think natural hair choices evolve from having some knowledge of your African and/or Caribbean history and tradition and a desire to express your hair through Africentric cultural/ancestral connections, or is it only about fashion, i.e. self image and hair style? These are just some questions/ideas to help with the thinking/writing process. Most of all it is your hair story, your hair journey to or with natural hair that I am interested in, so please feel free to be as creative as you like!

2. Non-fiction: Poetry/Personal Essays
Subject: Skin Perspectives

Our skin is an amazing covering; it’s our waterproof barrier and protects us. However, does your skin expose you in anyway? What does your skin mean to you? Do you love the skin you’re living in? Then tell me why. Do you think your skin tone can and does influence the life you live? Do you wish your skin tone was
lighter/darker? Does society have an obsession with fair skin? Is lighter skin ‘better’? Does culture play a part in breeding this mentality? Do you use or have you used skin lightening creams? If yes, do you see this as no worse than liposuction, and plumping up lips? Or, does it make your blood boil when you see those
skin lightening adverts in Black women’s magazines? These are just some questions/ideas to help with the thinking/writing process. I am particularly interested in your thoughts and feelings creatively expressed on the subject of skin, and please feel free to be as creative as you like?

Personal Essay pieces length: 500 -1,500 words exploring Hair and/or Skin Themes written in the first person.
Poems: Maximum of 4 poems exploring hair and/or skin themes, with a limit of 40 lines each. Can be previously published.

A4 – printed one side only.
Double line spacing (except poetry).
Number each page and please include your name, address, title of entry on a separate cover sheet with each contribution.
Short Biography: 50 words max.
Colour Photo in JPEG format. (Hair Perspectives only)
Word count.
All work should be clearly typed.

Submissions must reflect the perspectives of black and mixed-race women of African or African-Caribbean descent. Writers, who are published in anthologies, journals and magazines for example, are still eligible – but new, unpublished writers are particularly encouraged to make a contribution. Please note that submission
of your poetry, essay, etc. does not guarantee inclusion. Copyright belongs to the author.

Payment – we cannot pay contributors on this occasion as funding for commissions is not available. However, contributors will be able to purchase one copy of the published anthology at a discount price.

The Editor reserves the right to make minor cuts, alterations and corrections without reference to the writer. In the case of major edits, every effort will be made to consult with the authors. If you have any questions or queries, please email Nicole Moore at nicole(at)

NICOLE MOORE, Editor, Writer, Published Poet:
Nicole is a Black British woman born in London of Guyanese and English parentage. Nicole writes poetry and non-fiction and has performed her work at a range of venues in London. She is the founder of Shangwe – a website that promotes the development of new Black British creative writing and
literature. Nicole is editor of two collections of poetry and autobiographical writing: Brown Eyes (2005) and Sexual Attraction Revealed (2007).

Nicole’s work has been published in Poetry Today Anthologies, Writing in Education Magazine, Trespass Magazine and The Weekly Gleaner (UK). Nicole has fourteen years freelance writing experience and five years experience of working as an Arts Tutor and Workshop facilitator specialising in creative writing. For a full biography visit

Definition of terms:
Nicole Moore recognises that the term ‘Black’ has both a racial and political level of meaning and individual Black people relate to the term in different ways. For clarity, ‘African’, ‘African-Caribbean’ and ‘Black’ are used interchangeably and are defined as women who descent from the African continent and include first generation African-Caribbean women and African-Caribbean women throughout the Diaspora.

‘Mixed-race’ is a chosen term and in this context is used to describe women whose origin is described as being from different ‘races’.