Women We Read This Week

Women We Read This Week

Lizzy Goodman's "Kendrick Lamar, Hip-Hop's Newest Old-School Star" in The New York Times Magazine On the surface, this is a well-done profile of unexpected It hip-hop star Kendrick Lamar. Goodman depicts Lamar's struggles to balance the demands of fame and life on the road, with need for personal space in which to write highly anticipated new songs--and to stay sane. ... [Continue Reading]


Bookmarked: Elissa Bassist’s Five Female Humor Writers

Editor's Note: Even in our hyper-connected age, it can be pretty easy to fall into the habit of reading the same writers in the same publications. One of the many things we've been shown running Vela is the breadth and diversity of female voices. We editors have been asking: how do we get out of our literary bubbles and find new writers? Welcome to Bookmarked, a new ... [Continue Reading]

Women We Read This Week

Women We Read This Week

Sara Corbett's "The Unbearable Lightness of Being the Boarder Queen" in Outside Never mind the mixed-up byline (the online version credits Michael Llewellyn). This March 2000 profile of pro skateboarder and snowboarder Cara-Beth Burnside is by the great Sara Corbett, and I read it the old-fashioned way a couple of nights ago: in print, in Outside's 25th anniversary ... [Continue Reading]

Photo: Jeff Archer


Because of the fog, no one can enter San Quentin. Inmates must remain in their cells to be counted. We must remain on the outside. Nearly 100 people stand around, chatting, waiting to enter in order to watch prisoners perform a series of drama sketches, or “the play,” as the friendly correctional officer will call it on my way out (as in: “Oh, you came for the ... [Continue Reading]

Women We Read This Week

Women We Read This Week

Quinn Norton's "The Land That Never Has Been Yet" on Medium In her most recent piece for Medium, writer Quinn Norton begins with: It’s hard to write about your mom. She looms over you — at first literally — then over your life, like a mythic mountain laced with the river you drink from. And even as you travel away through time and she seems to get ... [Continue Reading]


On Reading a Killer’s Manifesto

Over Memorial Day weekend, I enjoyed an idyllic three days with friends. When they left on Tuesday, I returned to the world and caught up on the news I’d been missing. I’d heard of the Isla Vista shooting, but it wasn’t until Tuesday where I finally learned of all the details. While I had been blissfully bouncing my friends’ new baby on my knee, letting him wrap ... [Continue Reading]


The Fire Rises

My father was an Eagle Scout when being an Eagle Scout meant something. When I was young, he taught me the proper way to build a campfire, and also about Houdini, and the way Houdini died. My father told me that if I fell asleep near running water dragonflies would come and sew my eyelids shut. For nightmares, he once offered ibuprofen. I am sitting on the floor of my ... [Continue Reading]

Women We Read This Week

Women We Read This Week

Julia Baird's "The Writing is on the Wall" in The New York Times In this article, Baird explores issues of graffiti, gender, and public space. Female graffiti artists, who in the past represented .01% of the graffiti community, have now climbed to .1%, a figure that still strikes me as impossibly low and speaks to how safe women feel in public space. When I was ... [Continue Reading]


Of Bikes and Men

I’ve just completed my first year as a full-time lecturer teaching writing at a state university, and this is, undoubtedly, the most anticipated summer vacation of my life. After nine months of being tied to my desk, of prepping, teaching, reading, and evaluating, of being saturated with fluorescent light and numbed by the institutional gray of my cement surroundings, ... [Continue Reading]

Vela's Nonfiction Contest

Vela’s First Nonfiction Contest: Results

Vela's first Nonfiction Contest received over 500 submissions. We were humbled to read the stories women writers shared with us and impressed by their breadth of experience, style, and voice. We are thrilled to announce the following winner and two finalists. The winning essay is currently featured on Vela, and the two finalists will be published in the coming ... [Continue Reading]