Discoursing Diaspora

FullSizeRender1-1Verity La presents Discoursing Diaspora, an editing collaboration between Ramon Loyola and Michele Seminara. The Discoursing Diaspora writing and arts project strives to provide a portal for writing which engages with the diasporic experience and that highlights the struggles, challenges and rewards of displacement. We wish to support writers and artists resisting exclusion by the dominant discourse by providing a space for their narrative and a platform for works addressing issues of social justice.

For this project, we welcome submissions of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, essay, multimedia – and anything in between. We expect that many of the works will come from people whose English language skills are developing, and as such, full editorial support will be given to successful submissions by the project’s editors. Works by English speakers who aren’t necessarily writing from an experience of diaspora may be considered, as long as their work explores themes of social justice, cultural diversity and inclusion. However, priority will be given to works arising from a lived experience of diaspora, rather than to works which are simply about it.

We welcome previously unpublished writing and original works by emerging and experienced artists and writers from anywhere in the world.

What we’re looking for:

  • Essays or non-fiction: Raise or debate an issue and engage us and our audience with succinct arguments on how the issue impacts and influences our understanding of diaspora. We are also interested in personal accounts and interviews in any form.
  • Short fiction
  • Poetry
  • Visual and/or multimedia: We accept visual art and other media format submissions, including audio recordings.

Submissions via our Submittable. We accept submissions during the months of February, May and August. For examples of work published in Discoursing Diaspora, visit our Vault.


Ramon Loyola Author pic (1)Ramon Loyola is a writer, editor, legal author and lawyer. Born and raised in the Philippines, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Pharmacy from the University of the Philippines, a Master of Law and Legal Practice and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). After working in a variety of roles — including as a clinical pharmacist, public and media relations specialist, television scriptwriter, magazine editor and medical writer — Ramon came to Australia in 1995 and worked as a court clerk, court registrar and manager, before becoming a lawyer in 2005 and working full-time in various government legal agencies while also writing for legal professional publications.

In between his demanding legal practice, he has published two collections of poetry in 2014, not poems, just words and I Look For You in Other Truths. not poems, just words was a Finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards (USA) for Poetry in 2014. Ramon also served as the poetry judge in the 2015 Blue Fringe Literature Awards, a community-based competition in Sydney’s Blue Mountains region. His views on writing from a diverse background have been aired on SBS Radio, which paved the way for a renewed focus towards diasporic writing, particularly on themes of race, gender and sexuality, and evaluations and explorations of identity.

Ramon’s poetry, fiction, non-fiction and legal and medical writing have appeared in various publications, including Asian Medical News, Medical Observer, The Laws of Australia, The Law Handbook NSW, The Law Society Journal, narratorAustralia, narratorInternational, tablet, STU, the Australian Latino Press, Paper Lens, Indolent Books’ HIV Here & Now Project, VerseWrights and BluePepper Press. There are also forthcoming works in the PostMistress Press Anthology, Escape Artists, and Verity La, among others. New Melbourne-based small press In Short Publishing Company has also published one of Ramon’s short stories, Words That Don’t Mean Anything, as part of a series of stand-alone pocketbooks in 2015. His latest book is The Heaving Pavement (2015), an experimental memoir in poetic, prose and illustrated forms about his struggle with anxiety. He lives in inner-Sydney’s Newtown.

author3photo (1)Michele Seminara is a poet, editor and critic whose work has been widely published in journals such as Tincture, Seizure, Cordite, Mascara Review and Transnational Literature. Her first poetry collection, Engraft, was released by Island Press in 2016. Michele is an active member of the Australian literary community, reviewing poetry collections and interviewing authors for journals such as Mascara, Plumwood Mountain and Verity La. Michele is also the managing editor of Verity La. You can find her on heblog  and on Twitter @SeminaraMichele.