What We Do


Torch Literary Arts is a nonprofit organization established to publish and promote creative writing by Black women. We publish contemporary writing by experienced and emerging writers alike. TORCH has featured work by Colleen J. McElroy, Tayari Jones, Sharon Bridgforth, Crystal Wilkinson, Patricia Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Elizabeth Alexander, and others. Programs include the Wildfire Reading Series, writing workshops, and retreats. 


Our Mission

To promote the work of Black women by publishing contemporary creative writing by experienced and emerging writers alike, to archive contributors' literary work for posterity and educational purposes, and provide resources and opportunities for the advancement of Black women through literary arts.


Amanda Johnston

Founder/Executive Director

Amanda Johnston earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine. She is the author of two chapbooks, GUAP and Lock & Key, and the full-length collection Another Way to Say Enter. Her work has appeared in numerous online and print publications, among them, Callaloo, Poetry Magazine, Puerto del Sol, Muzzle, and the anthologies, Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry and Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism. She has received fellowships, grants, and awards from Cave Canem Foundation, Hedgebrook, Tasajillo, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, The Watermill Center, and the Austin International Poetry Festival. She is a former Board President of Cave Canem Foundation, a member of the Affrilachian Poets, cofounder of Black Poets Speak Out, and founder of Torch Literary Arts.


We Believe

We believe that creative writing by Black women is valuable and necessary.


We believe in preserving our literary legacy by working across generations.


We believe that supporting creative writing adds to the cross-cultural appreciation of the arts.


We believe in utilizing current technology to connect our work to a broader audience.


We believe in meaningful collaboration based on respect, creativity, and freedom.


We believe in the power of community.