Authentic Voices Initiative

Women’s National Book Association’s Authentic Voices Program

The Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) in collaboration with Women of Color Writers Podcast is excited to launch the WNBA Authentic Voices program, an initiative that highlights diversity in publishing by bringing authentic voices to the table in an educational, immersive, and equity-building program. This new program will be piloted out of the WNBA’s Los Angeles chapter.

Study after study has shown the lack of BIPOC authors in the book world. In order to build equity in publishing, we must provide BIPOC communities the foundation and tools needed to understand and compete in the publishing world.

Donate to the Authentic Voices Initiative:



 A bio (500 words or less). It should describe you, your background, what community (city, town, etc.) you are from, and why you are interested in the program.

A sample of your work. It doesn’t have to be perfect! We want to get a feel for your voice. The sample can be something that you want to work on while participating in the program. Please make sure the submission is no longer than 2,500 words.

An entry form. The Google form is located above or here.


      • Submissions will be reviewed by the WNBA Authentic Voices committee.
      • Submissions are free.
      • You need not be a WNBA member to submit.
      • Only a maximum of seven writers will be selected.
      • All courses will be offered via Zoom.
      • Writers may submit from anywhere in the United States.
      • Students who complete the program will receive a certificate of completion and a monetary stipend.


Phase One is the writing process. In this phase, a creative writing instructor will take students through an impacted creative writing class. This class will hone in on assessing their authentic voice, writing through trauma for healing, and completing a short story.

Phase Two is the editing process. Editing is an essential part of the writing process. Self-editing is a learned skill that gives writers an advantage over those who don’t. This will be a short two-class course that will teach our writers how to take a look at their work objectively.

Phase Three is the querying and platform-building process. Querying is perhaps one of the most challenging parts of the publishing process that most writers face. In this phase, our instructors will show writers how to sell themselves, their work, craft their bios, and so forth. During this time, we will also teach writers how to build their online platforms for the purpose of marketing themselves. Writers will end up with a strong query letter for their short story and a solid foundation of what agents, editors, and publishers are looking for when it comes to writing submissions and author platforms.

Phase Four is the publishing professional phase. A publishing representative will speak to writers about the publishing industry, the publishing process, and how to sell their books using their platform.

All work will be published in an anthology after the program has been completed.

For any questions email

Our hashtag: #judylopezaward