It’s time to write away for the 2017 Colorism Healing Writing Contests!

In addition to continuing the annual poetry contest, I’m launching our first ever essay contest! The addition of a new form of writing will open the contest to a wider range of people and allow for greater depth, perspective, and nuance in the exploration of colorism and healing.

Click here for a definition of colorism. Click here to see results of the 2014 or 2016 contests.

2017 Theme & Mission

The purpose of the Colorism Healing Writing Contests is to raise awareness about colorism among all people and to provide a productive, creative outlet for self-expression and healing.

This year’s theme is:

Write away…

The theme “Write away…” encourages people to write profusely and enthusiastically. However, the concept of “Write away…” is also a challenge to use writing as a form of social action and as a medium for personal and communal healing. You might compose a poem or essay to write away… fear, hurt, resentment, stereotypes, anger, shame, self-doubt, or any number of issues associated with colorism. Language has power. Your voice has power. And collectively, the submissions to this year’s contest have the potential to change minds and heal hearts.

2017 Rules & Eligibility

The Colorism Healing Writing Contests are open to anyone.

Submit one original poem or essay up to 1,000 words by 11:59pm Central Standard Time on Friday, June 30, 2017. You will be able to submit via the contest page starting January 1, 2017.

By submitting to the Colorism Healing Writing Contests, you agree to have your poem published online at and in the subsequent print anthology, should your piece be chosen as a winner, finalist, honorable mention, or editor’s pick.


Prizes apply for both divisions (Youth and Adult) of the poetry and essay contests.

  • 1st Place: $100.00 plus publication online and in print
  • Finalist: Publication online and in print
  • Honorable Mention: Publication in print
  • Editor’s Pick: Publication in print

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