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Writer Of The Week: Bellamy Shoffner

‘I am more confident when I’m surrounded by other writers who are pushing boundaries.’

When we asked Bellamy to summarize writing in a series of GIFs, the last one she chose was the classic meme of Obama kissing his fingers before dropping the mic.

It was an apt choice — as this is, in fact, exactly what reading a Bellamy piece is like.

When exploring fraught issues surrounding racial justice, Bellamy writes with so much piercing clarity and brazen honesty that when her stories are complete, you can’t help but feel the urge to applaud —as one is wont to do when the mic has been dropped.

At the same time, Bellamy writes with extraordinary nuance and thoughtfulness, meaning her words don’t just create an immediate impact; they stay with you, sometimes days or even weeks later.

Take “Why I Didn’t Call The Cops When I Saw A Teen With A Gun,” a piece that details not wanting to involve law enforcement in a potentially dangerous situation, due to the looming threat of police brutality against black bodies. It’s an essay that demands your attention, then your deepest consideration and thought.

Why I Didn’t Call The Cops When I Saw A Teen With A Gun

Or “When My Cute Black Kid Becomes What You Fear Most,” an essay in which readers are asked to contend with their basest prejudices, turned against the innocent children of loving mothers.

When My Cute Black Kid Becomes What You Fear Most

In these and other pieces, Bellamy drops the mic — but, more importantly, she also asks that you pick the mic back up, and continue the conversation. And that’s the mark of a very worthy Writer of the Week.

Below, read Bellamy’s thoughts on predatory publishers, Charlottesville, and the enduring wonders of pie.

I think “paying writers in exposure” is mostly predatory bullshit, particularly in the case of publications run by large, wealthy corporations.

The coolest thing I’ve bought from money made writing is probably food for my babies’ bellies, because not starving is always in style.

My most listened to song of all time is “I Don’t Want to Be” by Gavin DeGraw.

I like writing for The Establishment because I feel like my stories are understood and valued, not brushed off because an editor can’t relate. Also, I am more confident when I’m surrounded by other writers who are pushing boundaries and when I don’t have to contend with a comments section.

If I could only have one type of food for the rest of my life it would be pie. I’m pretty sure it covers most food groups.

If I could give the amazing people who sponsor stories anything in the world to express my gratitude, it would be a personalized poem…and maybe some pie.

The story I’m working on now is about the role parents play in securing a diverse and harmonious future for their children.

The story I want to write next is about what we can learn about ongoing activism from the organizers here in Charlottesville and avoiding complacency.

If I could summarize writing in a series of three GIFs, it would be:



(Oh So Humble) End:

Read about all our amazing Writers of the Week here!