What We Do

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Yellow Arrow Publishing supports and inspires writers identifying as women through publication and access to the literary arts. This project is based in Baltimore City, with a focus on literary events and publishing local writers.

There are many ingrained beliefs about what writing should be. Style guides, universities, and publishers enforce norms created long ago under circumstances that lacked diversity and representation of different modes of storytelling. This has shaped the writing world today by making it difficult for writers who find themselves outside of these norms to get published. Because of this, women’s voices are underrepresented in literature.

Yellow Arrow Publishing anticipates making an impact by providing opportunities and inspiration to more wonderful, vibrant voices in our community. In our classes, workshops, and writers groups, we allow women to express themselves however they come to us by creating a safe space to be proud of their work, lives, and stories.

Since its inception in 2016, Yellow Arrow Publishing begun its work in several arenas. It has published an adventure travel novel, gaining semi-finalist status from the Tucson Festival of Books Literary Contest. Our biannual literary journal is now on its third volume of creative nonfiction and poetry, representing voices worldwide. We are nourishing a draft anthology by the Baltimore-based Girl’s Book Club, a group of sixth graders who are busily writing about superheroes and utopian visions of the future. The First Friday Reading Series in Highlandtown is in its third season, hosting a wide range of authors and genres as folks tour the arts district. In addition, we have begun offering workshops on myriad topics, to help writers improve their craft.

Creating diversity in the literary world is deeply important work. It is our belief that when we share our stories with each other, it creates a ripple effect of empathy, compassion and understanding. We see creativity as an act of service, making this project not just about great literature, but about contributing to the collective voice in our community. It’s about saying, yes, we belong here, too.

It is our hope that providing more opportunities for women to participate in the literary arts will stimulate social change by expanding literary norms. For every writer who gets published, there are a hundred more with equally valuable stories to tell. We must share our voices so that our daughters, nieces, and little neighbor girls can read our stories and know that her individual lens is important. Expressing who we are and sharing our experience, strength and hope, deepens the understanding of the human condition, allowing us all to better empathize with one another.

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Who We Are

Gwen Van Velsor, Founder

Gwen Van Velsor writes creative nonfiction and pseudo-inspirational prose. She started Yellow Arrow Publishing, a project that publishes and supports writers who identify as women in 2016. Raised in Portland, Oregon, Gwen has moved many times, from sea to shining sea, now calling Highlandtown, Baltimore her forever home. Her major accomplishments include walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Spain, raising a toddler, and being ok with life exactly as it is. Her memoir, Follow That Arrow, was published in 2016.

Ariele Sieling, Vice President

Ariele Sieling was born and raised among the trees and her dad’s honeybees. She began writing at an early age, and now has two scifi series, Land of Szornyek and The Sagittan Chronicles, and a children’s book series called Rutherford the Unicorn Sheep. She has been featured in numerous anthologies (most recently Beamed Up by Amphibian Press), Bewildering Stories Magazine, and Bee Culture Magazine. She lives in Baltimore with her husband, a dog, three cats, and a fish. You can learn more at http://www.arielesieling.com or follow her on Instagram @arielesieling.

Kapua Iao, Editor-In-Chief for the Yellow Arrow Journal

Kapua was born and raised on the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii, though she felt the travel bug at an early age. She holds an M.A. in Art History from SUNY-Buffalo and an M.A. in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto. At present, Kapua works on the Gournia Excavation Project (www.gournia.org)–the excavation of a Minoan town on Crete, Greece–as Project Organizer, Registrar, and co-publisher. She is also currently a freelance editor for archaeological books and journals and has written a few publications herself. Having traveled and lived all around the world, Kapua currently resides in Montréal, Quebec.

Leila Warshaw, Editor

Leila holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in creative writing. Her work focused mostly on poetry, but she dabbled a bit in creative non-fiction. After school, she worked for several years writing online content for local organizations. For Leila, Yellow Arrow is an opportunity to explore how poetry and non-fiction each influence the other. Leila has written previously for Little Patuxent Review and The Marc Steiner Show. She currently manages a museum gift shop, where she spends her days researching Maryland businesses, designing new products for the shop, and writing about the books, gifts, and antiques sold.

Ann Quinn, Editorial Associate

Ann Quinn’s poetry was selected by Stanley Plumly as first place winner in the 2015 Bethesda Literary Arts Festival poetry contest, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work is published in Potomac Review, Little Patuxent Review, Broadkill Review, and other journals and is included in the anthology Red Sky: Poetry on the Global Epidemic of Violence Against Women. Ann lives in Catonsville with her family where she teaches reflective and creative writing and music and plays clarinet with the Columbia Orchestra. Her degrees are in music performance; she fell in love with poetry in mid-life. Her chapbook, Final Deployment, is published by Finishing Line Press. Please visit online at www.annquinn.net.

Maggie Epps, Editorial Associate

Maggie Epps began her career as a playwright at age 6. However, it reached its peak at age 8 after her class put on her World War II epic. She retired to focus on her education. After graduating from NYU with a degree in Passion Studies, Maggie explored Washington, DC. She worked on Capitol Hill, and in a variety of childcare and food service jobs. She earned a Masters in Social Work from Catholic University. Afterwards, she worked in community mental health, before venturing out to Mountain View, California to learn web development. These days, Maggie lives in Baltimore, Maryland and works for the Wikimedia Foundation, helping them fund projects like Wikipedia. In her abundant free time, she chases a toddler, and writes speculative fiction and occasionally non-fiction.