Monday, November 30, 2009

Latina/o Writers Today Are Sharing Their Talents Through Their Websites, Blogs, or e-Zines...Check Them Out!

The more I educate myself about Latina/o writers in the United States today, the more I realize that most of them are making their voices heard in the most accessible medium in the world: the internet. Famous American Hispanic authors as well as up-and-coming writers have established websites, write regular blogs, or contribute to the regular blogs of others. Included in the mix are Latina/o writers of the journalistic mold who write about other writers.

I'm an example of three of these categories: (1) Though I've recently published a book (The Heavens Weep for Us and Other Stories), I'm an emerging author (I first published in the 1970's and 1980's then stopped publishing until recently while I worked on my career). (2) I contribute to the Powerful Latinas blog, which I'll tell more about in just a minute. (3) In this blog, American Latina/o Writers Today, I take the pleasure of writing about other writers.

This use of the internet as a publishing outlet is an exciting scene and offers the general public many avenues for enjoying the thoughts and creativities of Latina/o writers. It also gives exposure to the authors, which is often hard to obtain in today's competitive society. Here are some of the websites and blogs you should check out.

Author's Websites

A prime example is that of famed author, Sandra Cisneros. Go to learn about where she gets her inspirations for her writing. It's fascinating. You can also learn about her works and any upcoming book readings. Sandra is one of the most highly-honored Latina authors in America today, starting with her novel, House on Mango Street. She was born in Chicago and presently teaches in San Antonio, Texas.

Another author with a fascinating website is Patricia Mora at She's an award-winning author of children's books and of poetry. In 1995, she published the poetry book, Agua Santa Holy Water.

A third example of a good author website to visit is Gary Soto was born in Fresno, California, and has written 11 books of poems, as well as the acclaimed novel, Jesse. In 1993, Gary edited the outstanding collection of other Latinos' short stories called Pieces of the Heart.

Some Outstanding Blogs

I'll talk about two of them today: Powerful Latinas and La Bloga. Their links, respectively, are

Powerful Latinas was started by an attorney, Aurelia E. Flores, in 2007 to compile and publish stories about prominent Latinas and how they overcame obstacles in order to succeed. Aurelia invites a number of bloggers to contribute articles on diverse topics to her blog and also interviews high profile Latinas. This blog is lively, fresh, and up-to-date with advice, book recommendations, and introspective writings on selected topics. Check it out!

La Bloga includes reviews of books written by Hispanic authors today. One of the reviewers is the well-known author previously profiled in this blog, American Latina/o Writers Today, Daniel Olivas. La Bloga is considered one of the top Hispanic blogs in America today.

Internet Magazines (e-Zines) Are Also Making Their Mark!

One of the most helpful to Latina/o writers is Latinidad: Latino Writers by Marcela Landres, an editor who wrote the e-book, How Editors Think: The Real Reason They Rejected You, which is available through her website, Marcela has been consulting privately with authors for many years, providing editing assistance and advice, and has helped them get published. She especially focuses on Latina/o authors, which is the mission of Latinidad. The prominent magazine, Writer's Digest, named Marcela's site "one of the best 101 websites for writers."

A relatively new e-zine is Latin Connection, created and edited by Wayne Zamora, working out of South Carolina. He first started out with a bilingual Hispanic outreach newsletter for the community but went to the digital format in recent years. It's a fulltime, family-run enterprise, with his daughter playing a prominent editorial/photographer role as well. Wayne describes Latin Connection as an "educational entertainment family magazine" that spotlights the various realms of Chicano culture and achievements, such as in music, modeling, acting, and writing. He also gives recognition to military heroes, currently serving and veterans ("We have over 1 million Hispanics in the military," he says). His e-zine is chock-full of photos, and he covers people  and events from throughout the nation. He has contacts in the Midwest and the West as well as on the East Coast. His e-zine is growing.

One writer he has recently profiled is Edna Campos Graven-Horst, an award-winning author of 6 children's books who recently moved back to her native San Antonio, Texas. Edna's biographical profiles of prominent Latinas/os have been published in Latin Connections. In addition, the early-Texas historical accounts of historian Dan Arellano have also been published in Wayne's e-zine. Learn more about these acclaimed Texas authors at their websites. Edna's is Dan's website is Wayne, like Marcela, is helping give recognition to Latina/o writers and to foster their recognition in today's literary scene.

Looking to the Future...

May our American Hispanic writers continue showcasing their writing talents on the internet in these various venues! All the recognition they can get is necessary and helpful. We as a collective group, however, need to support these writers and their continuing efforts by doing more than reading their websites, blogs, and e-zines. We also need to purchase their books, attend their public readings/signings whenever we can, subscribe to their e-zines, and, most important of all, spread the word about them!

We care about the role of Latina/o writers in the tapestry of American literature. Our caring must always be translated into direct action to help them become fully integrated into the fabric of our nation's literary heritage.

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My new book, The Heavens Weep for Us and Other Stories, is available through your favorite bookstore, at, or Also, you can read the full text of my book's title story on my blog,