Fall Writing Contest 

The VSZ Team invites school-aged African American girls to submit an essay following the writing prompt “A Letter To My Future Self.” Participants are encouraged to write how they feel in the form of a diary entry, a persuasive essay, a poem or prose. The best entry will be selected by zine collaborators, awarded $200 in a Visa Gift Card. 3+ runner-up essays will receive back to school themed prizes from Fashion and Beauty Sponsors!
— Team VSZ
Name *
Phone Number *
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  • Must be 13-19 years of age
  • Enrolled in school
  • Participants under 16 years of age must have permission from a parent or guardian. 
  • Must enter before September 5, 2018 12:59PM EST.
  • For more information or to submit your essay via email contact: Melissa Henderson melissa@melwrites.com 

A Note To The Future—

By Malea Thomas ( Zine Collaborator) 

Hearing my name called, walking across the stage, flipping my tassel right to left, I am proud to say I am a recent graduate and the feeling is so surreal. 

I remember just yesterday when I transferred from Penn State in central Pennsylvania to American University in Washington, DC. I remember just yesterday when I switched my major from journalism to literature with a concentration in creative writing. Making that switch to a new major was scary, but at the time I was ready. My advice to everyone, entering college, graduate school, or entering a new career opportunity or the job force: Do what you love and what you are truly passionate about. If you are passionate about your major, career/job, work will never feel like work—not only are you are staying true to yourself, but you are doing what you love. That is key!

These past four years in college flew by and I thought they were going to honestly drag by. My story, my truth is still in the process of being created. It is never finished and it never has an expiration date. My spirit and hopefully the impact I will make will live on forever. Another piece of advice: If you living in your truth, thrive to make a positive impact on others so they can find their truth as well. Share your knowledge! These past four years are simply just chapters in a bigger book. The work is never done.

College helped me to define who I am as a thinker, as a student, and as a person. I always tried to stay true to who I am as a woman. My major literature with a concentration in creative writing fit me perfectly. My literature classes taught me to think beyond myself, but think about the world at hand.

My classes challenged me to look at all systems— economies, governments, oppressions, and societies. Having the privilege to read literature from all over the world, the knowledge I have gained from college has truly made me become a better thinker.

Moving on from undergrad, I am turning to the next chapter in my life. Graduate School! Waving good-bye to Washington, DC, and I am saying hello to a new city that I will call my new home. Chicago! I have never lived there before and it is going to be an adventure. I am excited to tackle Graduate School with an open mind and open arms. My last piece of advice: Have fun, every day is a new adventure, a new start, and a new you! Always follow your heart, and most importantly take your brain with you!  


- xoxo

This was originally published in Issue 4 of Violet Summer Zine