The Writer’s Will Reviews: Black Girl Magic Vol. 1

black-girl-magic-lit-mag-vol-1Black Girl Magic Lit Mag is a literary magazine created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority voices and characters in speculative fiction, especially Black women’s voices. Black Girl Magic Lit Mag believes that by showcasing stories featuring Black female voices and characters we can create a reflection of ourselves in the literature that we love, in a world where our images are constantly controlled, shaped, and distorted by those outside of our experiences.
We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) QUILTBAG, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. Our mission is to increase visibility for diverse authors, specifically women of color, and empower a wide variety of readers in the process.

Genre: Literary Magazine, Sci-fi, Steampunk Horror, Dystopian
Rating: 4.5/5

Black Girl Magic literary magazine is a project founded by Editor-in-Chief Renesha Williams, and edited and written by a host of equally dedicated and magical black women. The inaugural edition of Black Girl Magic features five short stories that range in genre from dystopian, steampunk horror, and science fiction, all featuring black leading casts. Each short story is followed by an interview of the author, answering questions such as “Why did you submit to Black Girl Magic literary mag?” as well as what making stories with black women MCs means to them.

My personal favorite of the bunch was Bang and a Whimper by Satya Tara Nelms. In general, I’m usually not a big fan of dystopian stories, but this one really pulled me in. Nelms writes in such a colorful way, bringing readers right into the grit and anguish of the narrative, as a leading lady, Maia, lives through the beginning of Earth’s collapse into anarchy. Global warming has finally managed to ravage the land, causing major sea level rises and overcrowding, and the government is no longer in control of the populace, the remaining citizens
left to resort to looting and hiding away from those who would enslave them. Maia’s story follows her own captivity along with other women, and the horrors she destined to experience if she doesn’t escape.

What this project produces is a collection of quality, fantastical stories that I never had while growing up. It warms my heart to see this hashtag turned into a physical representation of what we mean when we say “Black Girl Magic.” It’s more than black girls looking gorgeous with their contours and naturally full lips and 4c textures on Instagram, and it’s more than being caricatures of stereotypical black women; it means opening up all realms of humanity to black girls, so that they are allowed to be a mystical, powerful, and versatile as any other character in the media. What’s especially awesome about this project is that it allows writer’s (black or otherwise) to add to the conversation by submitting their own work to the magazine, promoting these authors and their stories to the readers who would most appreciate their work.

If you’re a fan of these types of stories, absolutely go and buy Black Girl Magic literary magazine right this instant! I’ve already bought volumes 2 and 3 and I’m sure all be anticipating volume 4.

You can purchase volume 1 of Black Girl Magic Literary Magazine now on Amazon, or consider buying a monthly or yearly subscription straight from their home site!



About the Founder

K. Nicole Williams lives and writes in a quaint town in the Shenandoah Valley with her husband and three wonderful sons. She has been writing since the day her mother handed her a crayon, but has only started publishing her work in 2012. When she is not writing, she is either reading a good book or chasing after her boys.