Over the last six years, Shade Literary Arts has had a small hand in supporting queer writers of color from across the world. Through 8 issues, three virtual readings, a relief fund, and a poetry prize for trans/GNC writers of color, Shade has done what we can to make sure queer writers of color are recognized, appreciated, and heard. This may sound like the beginning of a closure, but we are not done.
However, I, as the founder of Shade Literary Arts, Luther Hughes, must give you a much-needed update and call for community support. These last several years could not have been possible without you, my community, and Shade’s small staff team: Hazem Fahmy, Jonathan Jacob Moore, shivani narang, and Tariq Thompson. This small team has helped me immensely with The Shade Journal and other ways that have inspired me to keep pushing beyond heights I never thought Shade would go when it first started as a blog in 2014. In addition, I’d like to take this time to thank everyone who donated to our Queer Writers of Color Relief Fund and to Philadelphia Assembly and the Money in the Streets Initiative; we were able to distribute over $50,000 to nearly 200 queer writers of color in need. Thank you to jzl jmz for bringing the idea of a poetry prize for trans/GNC writers of color, and for collaborating with us to create THEE SPACE; thank you to everyone who donated to this program and to Xan Phillips for judging.
It's no secret that Shade has done a lot in these last few years. It’s no secret that Shade is just one of many places queer writers of color can get the support we need. So, why am I writing this update?
Like anyone who has created something, we know that it’s not easy to keep things afloat. Over these last successful and collaborative years, I have tried my best to financially invest all that I can to pay for staff compensation, contributor honorariums, Submittable and website fees, and more. I have tried my best. To anyone I have let down along the way, I apologize for this. It was never any second thoughts into putting what I could into my community. I care so deeply for this work that in many ways, I was always a little skittish to ask for monetary support outside major projects like the relief fund and THEE SPACE Poetry Prize. However, this last year was filled with a lot of major personal and professional events, and I had to re-think where my money went, and unfortunately, it couldn’t go to Shade as it has in years past. I’m not ashamed of this. In order for me to continue doing the work I love, I have to take care of myself in healthy ways. This meant, unfortunately, that our 2022 issue couldn’t be published, and more so, I lost access to a variety of things like our website and Submittable.
I’m pleased to say, though, that we have our website back and am now working on our Submittable.
This is where I look to you, my community, for continued support. With this message, we are launching our Winter Fundraiser to raise $2,000. Our goal of $2,000 will help us cover:
• Contributor honorariums for our upcoming issue, slated for May 2023
• Staff compensation
• Submittable fees
• Website subscription fees
The small work we do does matter. The support you give does make a difference. You can help us continue supporting our community by donating what you can.
I will do better for my community. I will continue pushing the limits of what Shade can offer. We are not done. This is not the end.
With gratitude and humility,