by Hanna Ortega, 3/7/2023
Gathered in a Zoom workshop, a group of Black women writers had the opportunity to do some "digging into that honesty box," as presenter Ebony Stewart put it.
Part of that exploration of honesty meant looking their own imposter syndrome — or feeling of fraudulence and self-doubt — in the eye.
"Self-sabotaging your greatness because you don't think you deserve to be great," one participant wrote in the chat about the syndrome.
"The thing you say you are but fear you aren't," wrote another.
As the writers posted their feelings, the space grew more open and comfortable, accepting and affirming. It was the exact space Amanda Johnston wanted to create when she decided to found Torch Literary Arts in Austin.
"It is impossible to have a full representation of the world that we live in, and the world that we read, without the voices of Black women," Johnston said.
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 Toi Derricotte, Tayari Jones, Sharon Bridgforth, Crystal Wilkinson, Patricia Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Elizabeth Alexander, and others. Programs include the Wildfire Reading Series, writing workshops, and retreats.