8 Books Published by Midnight & Indigo Publishing on AALBC — Book Cover Collage

Click for more detail about midnight & indigo - Celebrating Black women writers (Issue 8) by Ianna A. Small midnight & indigo - Celebrating Black women writers (Issue 8)

by Ianna A. Small
Midnight & Indigo (Dec 13, 2022)
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midnight & indigo is a literary journal dedicated to short stories and narrative essays by Black women writers.

Featuring 10 new short stories and essays by emerging and established Black women writers from the U.S., Caribbean, and Africa, our eighth issue introduces characters fighting themselves and others to get what they deserve, accepting love and life in different ways, and understanding the power of choice. Contributors include: Muli Amaye, Caitlyn Hunter, Courtney Johnson, Leandra Marshall, Kendra Y. Mims-Applewhite, Valerie Morales, Justin Teopista Nagundi, Hannah Onoguwe, Crystal S. Rudds, and Lesley Younge.

Black Girl, Coping by Caitlyn Hunter is a narrative essay about how a tiny Yorkie was passed down through three generations of Black women in her family over a four-year span. She wrote this piece because she believes the dog was a coping mechanism for women, in the same way they were for him.

In "Blue and White" by Valerie Morales, Mia and her daughter, Cleopatra, are all that is left of a four-person family. Daddy Henry is in jail. First born Josh is dead. How do they go on? First: they paint Josh’s room.

In "The Other Side" by Kendra Y. Mims-Applewhite, two strangers and their husbands check in to the Paradise Resort for a much-needed break. A problem with a room reservation sets off an expected chain series of events.

Twins Gina and Reggie disagree on how to make peace with being abandoned by their parents in "My S or His" by Crystal S. Rudds.
Twelve years after the dissolution of their relationship, Winifred reconnects with her high school best friend, in "Forsythia" by Leandra Marshall. Their reunion unearths memories of their bond and a fondness that Winifred often mistook for typical adolescent idolization.
In "A Threadbare Throne" by Justin Teopista Nagundi, Ndagaano Esther, flees the village of Mukeeka and her mother’s resentment for Kampala city. Returning home in disgrace to confront the ghosts of her past, she realizes that womanhood carries obligations both in town and country.

Josephine was a servant for many years, and on his death bed, the master promised her his bed and her freedom in "In Josephine’s Bed" by Muli Amaye.

In "Men Will Not Surprise You" by Hannah Onoguwe, Nimma has hard evidence that her husband is cheating. She is consumed with what the other woman might look like and has fantasies of confronting him with that knowledge. She is determined to shake things up-even if it destroys a friendship he values.

It’s summer in the 1970s. Ten-year-old Katherine spends weekends with her grandmother, working in her hair salon, in "Free" by Courtney Johnson. On a particular weekend, a turn of events teaches Katherine a beautiful life lesson.

In "Patching Leaks" by Lesley Younge, a married couple takes their family out for an adventurous outing. Damon and Nicole have secrets they are keeping from one another and struggle to reveal them as they navigate what should be smooth waters.

Click for more detail about midnight & indigo Issue 7: celebrating black women writers by Ianna A. Small midnight & indigo Issue 7: celebrating black women writers

by Ianna A. Small
Midnight & Indigo (May 03, 2022)
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midnight & indigo is a literary journal dedicated to short fiction and narrative essays by Black women writers.

Featuring 8 new short stories by emerging and established Black women storytellers, our seventh issue introduces characters discovering self and defining relationships, negotiating with the past, and celebrating the things no one else understands. Contributors include: Herina Ayot, angelia carey, Abigail Jordon, Quintessa Knight, Valerie Morales, Chinwe I. Ndubuka, Hannah Onoguwe, and Ifediba Zube.

“Life in Pixels” by Chinwe I. Ndubuka is the story of a couple’s balancing act between the marriage they present to the world and the marriage they live after suffering a miscarriage. The truth is harder to hide when a wedding requires them to travel from the United States to Nigeria for an extended visit with relatives.

“The Lucky Ones” by Herina Ayot was inspired by the 1958 stabbing of MLK.

In “Laundering” by Abigail Jordon, Wesley works in her father’s laundromat as punishment for a scheme that takes place before the story’s opening. On a dreary night, a problem from the past walks back into her life.

What if the people who are supposed to care for you can’t see you? Your therapist thinks you only know how to be angry. Your doctor thinks you’re crazy. Your significant other thinks you’re not so significant. “tongue: tied and twisted” by angelia carey explores a key question: is there anything you can do?

“A Woman’s Place” by Ifediba Zube explores the impact of gender roles in a contemporary African home.

In “The Roots That Held Us” by Quintessa Knight, Evie returns home for her family reunion for the first time since her brother’s death and finds that everything is not as she left it.

Outwardly Sarauniya has nothing to complain about, in “Life is Like A Weave” by Hannah Onoguwe. She has her own business and lives a life of apparent leisure. Underneath it all is a desire to be accepted, as she struggles to catch a younger man’s eye and tries to fit into her daughter’s life.

In “The Secret” by Valerie Morales, Lucy Alain Carruth does the unthinkable. She pays for a white soldier to be buried in the local Black cemetery. No one can ever find out, especially her three brothers.

Click for more detail about midnight & indigo Vol II (6): Nineteen Speculative Stories by Black Women Writers by Ianna A. Small midnight & indigo Vol II (6): Nineteen Speculative Stories by Black Women Writers

by Ianna A. Small
Midnight & Indigo (Jan 31, 2022)
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A Black woman performs a strange ritual in a public space. A house has protected its beloved owner for decades. It knows better than most, that things that die don’t necessarily stay dead. A young man enters a small, mysterious Black town in 1955 Florida. A shape-shifting being experiences decades of American history. The proprietress of a spiritual supply store receives a visitor. Immortal custodians circle Earth on a spaceship, in which a singer prepares for her longest tour yet. A man wakes to find the world caught in an eternal slumber. Is he its only conscious survivor?

A woman connects with her ancestors during a storm. After the aunt who raised her disappears, a girl builds a person from river mud to cut through her loneliness. A homeowner hosts a repast for her husband. A woman has a strange condition-whenever she’s near a dead body, she coughs up a red flower. Another buys the home of her childhood dreams and realizes it has dreams of its own. A neighborhood family gives birth to girl butterflies.

…and many more stories.

midnight & indigo celebrates Black women writers with the second Speculative fiction issue of their literary journal. From haunted houses to spaceships, old worlds to new phenomena, nineteen emerging and established Black storytellers share tales of fear and discovery, redemption, and resistance.

Contributors include: Ugochi Agoawike, Leah Andelsmith, Tara Baldridge, Erin Brown, Lynn Brown, Ozzie M. Gartrell, Wednesday Herron, Davida Kilgore, Juliana Lamy, Jesica Lovelace, Ellen McBarnette, Mary McLaughlin Slechta, Chantel Melendez, Frances Ogamba, Jasmyne K. Rogers, Wendy Shaia, Sama Sherman, Bria Strothers, and Desir e Winns.

Click for more detail about midnight & indigo Issue 5: Celebrating Black Women Writers by Ianna A. Small midnight & indigo Issue 5: Celebrating Black Women Writers

by Ianna A. Small
Midnight & Indigo (Aug 10, 2021)
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Featuring 15 Black women writers, the fifth issue includes contributions by Stephanie Avery, rebekah blake, Danielle Buckingham, Emily Capers, Melie Ekunno, Martins Favour, Wandeka Gayle, Ashanti Hardy, Adrian Joseph, Amani-Nzinga Jabbar, Desi Lenc, Melissa A. Matthews, Adaora Raji, Leslie D. Rose, and Theresa Sylvester.

In this issue, we meet characters across continents in various stages of becoming. From women redefining their definitions of love, and Black girls finding their place in world and family, to narrators discovering self… and sometimes sacrifice - midnight & indigo is proud to present new short stories.⁠

In "The Last Time" by Wandeka Gayle, a Jamaican woman returns home for a visit from graduate school in Louisiana. She has a chance encounter with a recent ex, with whom she has had a decade-long affair.

When Chiwetalu leaves Nigeria to live the American Dream, in "Limbo" by Adaora Raji, he thrusts his wife into uncertainty that stretches the boundaries of her love and loyalty.

In "The Tractor" by Theresa Sylvester, a single woman in Lusaka discovers a secret involving her pretty, married, younger sister and their vocal mother. "Phantom Itch" by Melie Ekunno tells of the sexual struggles of a ’Chibok Girl’ in America.

"The Orphan’s Daughter" by Leslie D. Rose is a retelling of stories told to her by her mother, who was orphaned as a young girl in 1950s Spanish Harlem. Colorism in the Caribbean is examined through the lens and family history of a young Trinidadian woman and her complicated relationship with her grandmother, in "Bittersweet" by Melissa A. Matthews.

In "Things I Can’t Outrun" by Amani-Nzinga Jabbar, Nakisha is a former track star, who stopped running after dropping out of a mostly white college. She tries to return to her passion by registering for a charity race, an experience tainted by microaggressions. She later learns of the shooting death of a young Black jogger and realizes there are some things you just can’t run from, no matter how fast you are.

In "Barricade" by Desi Lenc, Flint, Amara, and their neighbor, Ebony, spend their time with adventure and imagination, as only children can. One day, Ebony and Amara create a new game.

Mel’s therapist seeks to save her from the despair a name brings, in "Mel needs a new name" by Martins Favour. After Sadie loses her daddy one year, her mama has to go away for a while too, in "Too Much of Anything Can Kill You" by Ashanti Hardy. That year, Sadie learns that too much of anything can kill you.

Middle school is tough. In "Spirit Week" by Emily Capers, follow the narrator through her first taste of middle school Spirit Week, where she learns about spooky school rumors.

In "Free Falling" by Adrian Joseph, Nia journeys through the darkness of her psyche as she uses everything she has within to overcome her fears and release her sinister past. Will she make it out alive?

A girl lives with the psychological trauma she received during a religious experience, in "Salvation" by Stephanie Avery. Lee is thrust into a caregiver role for her two younger sisters following her father’s death, in "Water Bearers" by Danielle Buckingham. As her mother’s grief consumes her, Lee is troubled with strange dreams.

"She (A retelling of The Giving Tree)" by rebekah blake is a retelling, but also a story about a Black mother. She gives until she has nothing left.

Click for more detail about midnight & indigo Issue 3: Celebrating Black women writers by Ianna A. Small midnight & indigo Issue 3: Celebrating Black women writers

by Ianna A. Small
Midnight & Indigo (Dec 01, 2020)
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midnight & indigo is a literary journal dedicated to short fiction and narrative essays by Black women writers.

Featuring 19 Black women writers, the third issue includes contributions by Vanessa Anyanso, Itoro Bassey, Jennifer Celestin, Stefani Cox, Elizabeth Crowder, Christine Hill, Nikki Igbo, Lori D. Johnson, Michelle Johnson, Taylor Jordan, Ambata Kazi-Nance, Jesica Lovelace, Shanda McManus, Ava Ming, María Elena Montero, Noro Otitigbe, Jasmyne K. Rogers, Ethel Smith and Sekai K. Ward.

In “The Outing” by Itoro Bassey, a Nigerian-American woman navigates family, sexuality, trauma, and her need for independence. “Makers of Men” by Christine Hill explores the Black woman’s burden in ensuring the well-being of Black men. In a community where boys are born and girls are created, two Sisters learn what it means to be part of their community.

A little boy is guided by his grandmother’s love in “The Easter Speech” by Lori D. Johnson. “The Prell Sisters of Alabama” by Ethel Smith is about three sisters who taught in the Black Belt of Alabama during the 1950s.

Two lovers return to New Orleans to stoke the flames of their love affair, in “The House on Dante and Belfast” by Nikki Igbo. But all is not well.

Set in 18th century West Africa, “Alero” by Noro Otitigbe is the story of a beautiful girl who marries the man of her dreams, only to be persecuted for her infertility. After many years of turmoil, she seeks salvation in the only haven she has ever known.

Tavia is reminded of her spiritual strength after learning a painful lesson in “Everybody Can’t Come to Your House” by Jasmyne K. Rogers. “Rooster” by Michelle Johnson is based on the true story of the Kentucky Raid in Cass County, MI in 1847. The Black women who fought back against enslavers aren’t typically spoken about.

A Nigerian-American college student struggles with her identity in “Coming Home” by Vanessa Anyanso. Still coping with a recent breakup, Zuri has locked herself in the bedroom she shared with her ex-lover. When she receives a call from his wife, she learns that he has been dead for ten years, in “How to Find a Husband” by Jesica Lovelace.

In “Heart Conjure” by Stefani Cox, Sade and Delario share a love for the Black spiritual tradition of hoodoo and ancestral/spirit-oriented practices. Eventually, however, they start to grow apart, and Sade has to find herself again.

After a series of disastrous relationships, Precious finds herself poor, alone, and suffering through the unrelenting misery of the bleakest winter ever in “Roses On The Wallpaper” by Ava Ming. In “Yo—Excuse Me, Miss,” by Jennifer Celestin, Altagracia and Manny have a brief but powerful interaction on a city street.

Big Sister takes Little Sister from Englewood in “A Day N the Life” by Taylor Jordan. A young man must decide what he is willing to risk to feel fulfilled in “Donte’s Choice” by Shanda McManus. In “Congratulations, It’s a Girl” by Ambata Kazi-Nance, a young Black Muslim woman, estranged from her family, attends her older brother’s wedding.

After a 20-year estrangement, a daughter and her elderly father meet at a guest house in Zimbabwe in The Postmortem by Sekai K. Ward.

Impossible by Elizabeth Crowder explores memories of growing up with an anxiety disorder with a bipolar mother.

Looking for Papi by María Elena Montero is about the space found to find and forgive a father for the ways he was absent.

Click for more detail about midnight & indigo Issue 4: Twenty-two Speculative Stories by Black Women Writers by Ianna A. Small midnight & indigo Issue 4: Twenty-two Speculative Stories by Black Women Writers

by Ianna A. Small
Midnight & Indigo (Oct 03, 2020)
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midnight & indigo celebrates Black women writers with this Speculative fiction special issue of their literary journal. From basements to highways, small towns to new worlds, emerging and established storytellers share tales of fear and discovery, redemption, and resistance.

Black girls are disappearing in broad daylight in the woods of Kent County. A new tea shoppe in a gentrifying neighborhood sells a mysterious concoction. French tourists, seeking to get out of New Orleans during a hurricane, encounter a stultified writer. A woman befriends a strange creature in a wishing well off Fordham Road. Consumed by guilt for his war crimes, a soldier volunteers to rebuild an orphanage. A babysitter learns that a father keeps monsters in the basement. What could be scarier than monsters in the basement? A zombie fighter runs into the worst creature imaginable: a teenage boy. Terror ensues as villagers hunt for a witch on the run. A niece makes dresses for her aunt, a singer accused of cannibalism by their church. As a Zambian girl’s supernatural powers grow, so do complications with the organization that can help her control them. Radiation levels spike on a dying Earth, and it’s only a matter of time until life dies along with it. On Millennium, everything will be okay-right?

…and many more stories.

Contributors include: Kylah Balthazar, Kalynn Bayron, Michele Tracy Berger, Tara Betts, Changu Chiimbwe, Addie Citchens, Jennifer Coley, Tracy Cross, Lyndsey Ellis, Nicole Givens Kurtz, Taliyah Jarrett, Silk Jazmyne, Michelle Renee Lane, Candice Lola, Joy Mona , Cheree’ Noel, Endria Richardson, Ravynn K. Stringfield, Malissa White, Kanyla Wilson, Jade T. Woodridge, and Nicole Young.

Click for more detail about midnight & indigo Issue 2: celebrating black women writers by Ianna A. Small midnight & indigo Issue 2: celebrating black women writers

by Ianna A. Small
Midnight & Indigo (Oct 07, 2019)
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midnight & indigo is a literary journal dedicated to short fiction and narrative essays by Black women writers.

Featuring 14 Black women writers, the second issue includes contributions by Khaholi Bailey, Zakiah Baker, rebekah blake, K.B. Carle, Jeannine A. Cook, Cassandra Eddington, Johannah Fienburgh, Janyce Denise Glasper, Marissa Joy Leotaud, devorah major, Zuri H. Scrivens, Vanessa Taylor, Janelle M. Williams, and Akilah Wise.

In "Wick" by K.B. Carle, the windows of the Big House separate Sylke from the house slave she visits at night. She can’t help but wonder what this woman feels while she tends to the Master’s family, and why she allows the drippings of candle wax to seep into the palm of her hand.

A young woman hides her love for her best friend who is currently dating someone else, in "Crazy" by Marissa Joy Leotaud. An old woman, who appears to be homeless, encounters a couple on a train and tells them the story of her searching in "Sunday," by Cassandra Eddington.

In "Kelsey Monahan Stole Your Goddamn Jacket" by Vanessa Taylor, a narrator returns to a shelter to find their roommate has stolen their jacket. In this story that touches on homelessness, shelter life, queerness, and Islam, what is otherwise a mundane event leads to an explosive reaction.

"The Goodbye Sister" by Janyce Denise Glasper introduces an Ohioan woman coming to terms with the absence of her younger sister. A Black woman is annoyed by the poor customer service at her local Harlem post office, in "In c/o Chidi Onyeachu" by Janelle M. Williams. In line, she obsesses over her ex-boyfriend, to whom she is sending a package. Upon revealing that the package contains her heart, everyone has an opinion.

In "Sitting Spells" by devorah major, Meecha makes a real love potion. She sends every young woman who seeks her help, to her sister Rhea for her cautionary tale about the truth of these potions. Are they worth it? "Up North" by Zakiah Baker follows a young girl through her 1950s summer journey of moving from a poverty-stricken South Carolina town to a wealthy city in Pennsylvania. When she meets free-spirited Cindy, she wonders whether she could be more than what she’s been taught.

A mother and daughter come to terms with their mortality at different points in their lives in "Mary, Mara, and Death" by rebekah blake. Jamie recalls the night his little sister was born, in "Pomegranate" by Johannah Fienburgh. It was a night of fairy tales, power outages, and strange fruits fed to him by his mother. Jamie wonders what is memory and what is story.

In "Mr. Landry" by Akilah Wise, Mr. Landry spends his days watching the world from his porch in rural Louisiana. As the day turns to night on one particular day, he encounters a wide-eyed local who sparks a peculiar kind of fire.

Black Barbie, a personal essay by Khaholi Bailey, recounts her experience at the slumber party of a fellow fourth-grader, and the regift of one of her unopened toys: a Black Barbie doll. Latent racism, inferiority, and white guilt are revealed.

Little Brother by Zuri H. Scrivens was written following the news that one of her maternal uncles had died. The essay draws on her memories of the first time she heard her mother grieve, and how it shifted the concept of her familial role.

We Are The Champions by Jeannine A. Cook, describes a trip to an abortion clinic, taking the reader on the mental journey to an internal war. On the other side, we recognize how many other women warriors are fighting beside us to overcome similar battles.

Click for more detail about midnight & indigo Issue 1: Celebrating Black female writers by Ianna A. Small midnight & indigo Issue 1: Celebrating Black female writers

by Ianna A. Small
Midnight & Indigo (Nov 22, 2018)
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midnight & indigo is a literary journal dedicated to short fiction and narrative essays celebrating the Black female experience.

Featuring stories by 13 Black female writers, the inaugural issue introduces characters that navigate between self-love and loss, new beginnings and inevitable endings, and a few things in between. Contributors include: Christian Loriel, Desiree Evans, Avi-Yona Israel, Wandeka Gayle, L.M. Bennett, DiAnne Malone, Muli Amaye, Tatiana Taylor, Kourtnie Rodney, Jacquese Armstrong, Candice Lola, Preslaysa Williams, and Ilisha Nicole.

In "Let It Be Me," a woman falls in love with her childhood friend, carrying his tragedies and weaknesses on her shoulders. But if she breaks, who will be there to carry her? We witness remnants of the often complicated relationship between mothers and daughters in "Holding Pattern". Lenaya must learn to move forward even as she carries the weight of her history into her present day.

"Fear of Fear" places us in a car with a woman headed to her ex-boyfriend’s wedding - with her current boyfriend as her date. What could possibly go wrong? "Finding Joy" chronicles the experiences of a Black Jamaican immigrant who, as a freshman at a university in Louisiana, grapples with her religious upbringing, homesickness, and the decision to make when a white graduate student impregnates her. A fortune teller sets up shop in a laundromat in "Burn the Witch" because…these sweaters won’t dry themselves.

In "On the Occasion of A Pending Departure" a mother reckons with her son’s pending departure to college in Baton Rouge and whether she’s taught him enough. "Stripped" tells the story of Kaya, who is at a crossroads in her life and is traveling through rural France looking for something to help her piece her life together. After spending fourteen years in prison, another mother is finally heading home in "The Dearest Ones".

"Babe?" is a story about a couple affected by a miscarriage, and how they each bring their personal traumas into the relationship. In the 1950s, a girl and her siblings listen to Miss Daisy recount the story of her childhood friend’s rape and eventual murder in "tea at miss daisy’s". Are those on the top lucky or are they trapped? "Golden Girl" examines the underbelly of fame and celebrity. Single mother Rayna escapes from her abusive boyfriend in "Finding My Way Home". When she arrives at her grandmother’s home with her young daughter, she must rethink how to live. Lastly, "This Is How You Deal with Grief" is a reminiscent exploration of how grief is handled by those who can and cannot cry. Teri Wright just lost her father-in-law, who was more affectionate with her than he was with his own son. She should be mourning, but she can’t conjure up the pain.