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A Year of Renewal: 2022 TORCH Recap

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

A look back at the relaunch of Torch Literary Arts in 2022 and a sneak peek at 2023.

Dear friends,

I hope this finds you well and easing into 2023 in good spirits. I can’t believe 2022 has already come and gone. So much good work happened at TORCH and I’m excited to keep it going in 2023. Torch Literary Arts has grown over this past relaunch year in ways we couldn’t have imagined. None of this would have been possible without the support of our amazing community. Below are some highlights from the year and a sneak peek into 2023.

Thank you for showing up to support Torch Literary Arts and the Black women writers we serve. Please enjoy this poem as a small gift of appreciation and to celebrate all of the writers featured in 2022.

Onward together!

Amanda Johnston

Founder/Executive Director

2022 Recap

+ Relaunched with 501(c)3 nonprofit status.

+ Initiated a new publishing model that increased annual features of Black women writers across poetry, fiction, hybrid genre, and script with pay starting at $50 per piece.

+ Paid over 40 Black women writers and artists.

+ Welcomed our first Administrative Fellows - Lori Moses and Leah Tyus.

+ Presented a reading and panel at the [margins] conference with Sequoia Maner, Saida Agostini, Kindall Gant, and Amanda Johnston.

+ Became an official community partner with the Texas Book Festival and curated events with Remica L. Bingham-Risher and Destiny O. Birdsong.

+ Collaborated with The EcoTheo Collective and LOGOS to present Deep In The Heart: An Evening with Natalie Graham, Remica L. Bingham-Risher, and Destiny O. Birdsong.

+ Provided 3 workshops at no cost for women of color: Affirmations from the Body with Anastacia-Renee, Spoken Word and the Recording Academy with Faylita Hicks, and Writing Speculative Fiction with Erin Roberts.

+ Curated the Wildfire Reading Series featuring LaToya Watkins and Jasminne Mendez.

+ Organized TORCH social events including a Future Front Club: This Is Not A Book Club at local independent bookstores including Bookwoman, Black Pearl Books, Resistencia, and the Austin Public Library, and gathered at The Paramount Theatre for a trip to see The Moth Mainstage.

+ Nominated TORCH features for Best of the Net, The O. Henry Prize, The Pushcart Prize, and the AKO Cain Prize.


+ Pay increase for Friday Features to $100 per piece.

+ Featuring more Black women writers through Monthly, Friday, and Special Features.

+ Collaborations with Black Mamas ATX, The Contemporary - Laguna Gloria, and more.

+ The launch of the TORCH Retreat: an annual, fully funded, week-long retreat for Black women writers. The retreat will take place summer of 2023 in Austin, TX.

2022 photos by Cindy Elizabeth, Larry Choyce, Amanda Johnston, and others.

Torch Literary Arts is a 501(c)3 nonprofit 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.


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