Disheartened by work that seemed “alternative” for the sake of being alternative, not because the content supported it, our Founder Athena Dixon launched Linden Avenue in June 2012. Since then, Linden has offered a safe space for writers of all backgrounds and publication histories.
Our goal has been to create a place where writers would feel comfortable in sharing their words and in turn themselves. Linden Avenue Literary Journal seeks work that highlights the intersections between art and everyday life and that gift us with extraordinary imagery. We look for work that resonates on the tongue and on the page. We especially favor clear, concise, and character-driven narratives. We aim to highlight the best work submitted regardless of any affiliation or prior publication. We publish work that is as beautiful in construction as it is in content.
Linden Avenue Literary Journal’s editorial staff is exclusively made up of black women though we welcome interns from all racial and ethnic backgrounds. As black women, we often share the experiences of marginalization by institutional racism and sexism, limited narratives in literature as harmful tropes and sexual objects, and the regular dismissal of our traumas by our colleagues, peers, and those in power. Though we all come from vastly different backgrounds, we have found parallels in sharing our stories of struggling with imposter syndrome, being confronted with the quiet violence of micro-aggressions on a daily basis, and the constant aggravation of our mental health as a result. Knowing what it’s like to be pushed to the outer edges of our communities, despite being trendsetters, we value the importance of cultivating a unique space in the publishing world where we can center experiences and language that are often erased from broader literary spaces. We don’t see the dominant culture as the default. And as “Daughters of the Diaspora” we understand our cultural heritage as part of a gift in perspective that we’re using to actively create a safe and inclusive space in publishing.
It is our aim to increase diversity in publishing by encouraging art from writers and storytellers traditionally underrepresented in the industry. These categories include, but are not limited to, race, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, disabilities, and age. Additionally, we strive to include writers of all publication history or career stage. Writers from all backgrounds are encouraged to submit though your submissions will be rejected if they contain any racist, xenophobic, sexist, transphobic, ableist, homophobic, or otherwise abusive and hateful content.
Athena Dixon is a poet and essayist. Her work has appeared both online and in print at Narratively, The Grief Diaries, The Rising Phoenix Review, Blackberry: A Magazine, THIS Magazine, Pluck!, Compose Journal, and OVS Magazine among others. Athena has been a presenter at both AWP and HippoCamp, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and is a Tin House scholar, VONA, and Callaloo fellow. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte and bachelors degrees in English and Sociology from Kent State University and Youngstown State University. Her chapbook, No God in This Room, is available from Winged City Press. Her work is also forthcoming in The Breakbeat Poets Volume 2: Black Girl Magic. She writes, edits, and resides in Philadelphia. Learn more about Athena at www.athenadixon.com
Gabrielle Lawrence is a freelance writer, editor, and writing instructor from Southern California. Her writing has been nominated for Best of the Net and Best New Poets. She serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Linden Avenue Literary Journal and her work can be found in Another Chicago Magazine, Rising Phoenix Review, The Squawk Back, Gravel Magazine, Sundog Lit, and others. Follow her on Twitter @gabrielle__l or visit gabrielle-l.com for more info.
Managing Editor Emeritus
Angie Chatman writes fiction and nonfiction. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Blood Orange Review, Hippocampus Magazine, fwriction:review and elsewhere. Angie was the Book Reviews Editor for Fifth Wednesday Journal and Managing Editor for LALJ. She is still an active member of the LALJ team now as Managing Editor Emeritus. A member of the inaugural class of Kimbilio Fellows, Angie holds an MFA from Queens University in Charlotte. She also holds an MBA from the Sloan School at MIT. She and her husband live in Boston.
Kymberli Morrell, a Philadelphia native, holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Boston University, and a master’s degree in English and Publishing from Rosemont College. She taught Developmental English and English Composition at Montgomery County Community College until 2014. She is an avid reader, crediting her love of reading and overall fascination with the use of the English language to her mother and high school English teacher. Kymberli also loves writing, and is currently working on a collection of essays. She still resides in the Philadelphia area with her son.
Evelyn N. Alfred is a librarian, poet, and social media content curator for the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Her writing can be found at The Offing, Literary Orphans, and New Flash Fiction Review. She lives in Mitchellville, Maryland with her wife.
DW McKinney is a writer based in Las Vegas. Her work is featured in Bitch Media, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, Stoneboat Literary Journal, TAYO Literary Magazine, and others. Her essays have appeared in HelloGiggles and Elite Daily, and she currently serves as creative nonfiction editor at The Tishman Review. She holds an MA in Anthropology from Texas State University and a bachelor in Biology from Dominican University of California. She has essays forthcoming in Narratively and Road Grays. Learn more about her at www.dwmckinney.com or follow her on Twitter @thedwmckinney.
Constance S. Collier-Mercado is an experimental writer/artist, founder of The CultSTATUS Arts Haven, and self-proclaimed ‘Anthropologist of the Arts’ in search of all the culture she can get. Born in Chicago and raised in the Bronx, she is in constant search of new ways to embody her ideals of woman/ish activism and all things afro-diasporic. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming from FIYAH Literary Magazine, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, Kweli Journal, and elsewhere. She is currently writing a first volume of poetry and two novels. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @WriterChicLady.
Sherrel McLafferty is an Ohio writer working toward her MFA in poetry from Bowling Green State University. She is a poetry reader for Split Lip Magazine. Her work has been, or will be, featured in places such as Requited Journal, ArLiJo, and Notre Dame Review. Feel free to follow her @AwesomeSherrel.
L’Tanya Durante writes creative nonfiction and has a particular love of reading and writing flash nonfiction. Several of her “Tiny Truths” have been published in Creative Nonfiction Magazine. She is currently an MFA candidate at Bay Path University and is working on her thesis, a collection of essays that challenge the myth of what it means to be a strong black woman. Follow her on Twitter @writeordiegirl.
Silk Jazmyne is a reading, writing, drinking student of life who loves narrative in all its forms. She’s a book reviewer, essayist and fiction writer. Her work has appeared both online and in print at Black Girl Nerds, Straylight Magazine, Femme Feature Magazine, The Gateway Review and Serendipity Literary Magazine. She was born in New York and grew up all over as a Navy brat. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Tampa and a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Florida International University. She’s an Account Coordinator at a boutique advertising agency by day and a magical realist author by night. She loves the artistically strange and currently lives and works in Florida.