The Music Issue

Did the sounds of women’s music at your local coffeehouse or a house party encourage you to come out? Did you break up with a lover to the sound of women’s voices? Were you raised listening to women’s music or attending women’s music events? Did you wonder why Aretha, Gladys, and Chaka weren’t considered women’s music? Do you understand women’s music as pedestrian, thrilling, conservative and/or a site for resistance?

This upcoming issue of Sinister Wisdom will be a holistic retrospective on the women’s music cultural movement. We invite contributions that both reflect and shed new light on the complex herstories of the women’s music movement—joys, sorrows, triumphs, challenges, and lessons. This is an explicitly transinclusive issue that welcomes submissions from people of all genders and walks of life who have experiences with the women’s music movement.

Some topics of interest for this issue include:
Women’s festivals and other sites of performance
(e.g., festivals in the Southern states, coffeehouses, bookstores, restaurants)
The women’s music industry
(e.g., technicians, producers, record labels, and record distribution systems)
Experiences hearing women’s music outside of traditional performance venues/spaces
(e.g., first encounters with women’s music in a friend’s living room)
BIPOC experiences in the women’s music movement
Disabled experiences in the women’s music movement
(e.g., Deaf and HoH experiences with ASL interpreting at concerts, lived experience with DART, OASIS, and similar programs throughout the years)
Trans experiences in the women’s music movement
(e.g., trans men and women at festivals and in women’s musical community, transmasculine performers with histories in the women’s music movement, experiences of genderqueer teens)

Publishing since 1976, Sinister Wisdom works to create a multicultural, multi-class lesbian space. Sinister Wisdom seeks to open, consider, and advance the exploration of lesbian community issues.

The deadline to submit is August 15. Please send submissions in one document (up to 10 pages, double-spaced) to Submittable. Include a brief bio in the body of the email, along with any social media links. For questions please email

"Empowerment comes from ideas."

Gloria Anzaldúa

“And the metaphorical lenses we choose are crucial, having the power to magnify, create better focus, and correct our vision.”
― Charlene Carruthers

"Your silence will not protect you."

Audre Lorde

“It’s revolutionary to connect with love”
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― Leslie Feinberg

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— Leila Raven