When we started FIYAH back in 2016, I had no idea how big a part of my life FIYAH could become. We were, after all, only publishing quarterly. How labor-intensive could four issues a year possibly be? (nervous laughter). Like many of my other roles here, I’ve held onto my position as Art Director for five years now, not wanting to bring someone in to replace me without being able to pay them *something.* Now that we can—and five being a nice, round number—it’s time for me to clear this particular honor from my plate and open it up to new talents.

It has been a great privilege to work with so many fantastic Black artists and illustrators. The research I’ve done every summer to scout for cover artists has been some of the most rewarding research of my life. I’m thrilled to have been able to use our platform to work with creators whose art has spoken to me as a fan. I’m even more grateful to have been able to shine a spotlight on lesser known artists.

The cover artist is the gatekeeper in many ways. We can’t help sometimes but judge a book by its cover. The work of my incredibly talented artists has helped grow our social media following through our quarterly reveals to 16k through our quarterly reveals and interviews, and our readership to over 1,700 subscribers.

Working with FIYAH has opened a lot of doors for me, and I can’t wait to offer this opportunity to someone just as passionate about growing exposure to Black artists. I will remain with the magazine in my other capacities as store manager/composer of the issues/author of BlackSpecFic studies/general Fairy Godmother, and as Director of the convention, but I do look forward to passing on my torch as Art Director and continuing to broaden our team.

Thank you to my team for trusting me in this role to help mold the visual foundation of FIYAH, and to my incredible artists of the past five years:

Geneva Bowers, Trevor Fraley, Jessica McCottrell, Mariama Alizor, Ejiwa “Edge” Ebenebe, Dominique Ramsey, Steffi Walthall, Cyan Daly, Olivia Stephens, Nilah Magruder, Paul Kellam, Odera Igbokwe, Dustin Bolton, Sophia Zarders, Seth Brown, and Tajae Keith.

Applications for Art Director for 2022 and beyond are being accepted through the end of June. Visit our Join the Team page for more information.

Until next time,


L.D. Lewis is an award-winning SF/F writer and editor, and publisher at Fireside Magazine. She serves as a founding creator and Project Manager for the World Fantasy and Hugo Award-winning FIYAH Literary Magazine. She also serves as the founding Director of FIYAHCON, boardmember for Diverse Voices, Inc., Researcher for the LeVar Burton Reads podcast, and pays the bills as the Awards Manager for the Lambda Literary Foundation. She frequently authors studies about the treatment and experiences of racially/ethnically marginalized authors in speculative literature. She is the author of A Ruin of Shadows (Dancing Star Press, 2018) and her published short fiction and poetry includes appearances in FIYAH, PodCastle, Strange Horizons, Anathema: Spec from the Margins, Lightspeed, and Neon Hemlock, among others. She lives in Georgia, on perpetual deadline, with her coffee habit, two very photogenic kittens, and an impressive Funko Pop! collection. Tweet her @ellethevillain.

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