Raising Mothers is an online literary magazine created by and for femme-identifying, women, and nonbinary POC writers who parent. We exist at the intersection of art, scholarship, and community. We elevate our voices, share our stories, examine our issues, represent our expansive culture, cultivate community, preserve our history, and celebrate our joy.

Our mission is simple: create a community in our own image. 

Raising Mothers publishes creative nonfiction, graphic narrative, poetry, in-depth interviews and fiction, honoring both parenting and personhood.

We actively seek out and support work by and about those often marginalized in the literary conversation, including people of color and gender non-conformists, and members of the LGBTQIA+ and disabled communities. We continually aim to represent all walks of life and every stage of parenting.

Who we are 

Sherisa de Groot | Founding Editor

Sherisa de Groot (she/her) is a writer, community builder, and founder of Raising Mothers and RM Society. Originally from Brooklyn New York, she is a first-generation American turned immigrant living in Amsterdam, NL with her husband, two young children, and cat.

Julia Mallory | Senior Editor, Poetry

Julia Mallory (she/her) is a poet, children’s book author, and founder of the creative literary arts brand, Black Mermaids. Her latest book, Survivor’s Guilt, takes an unflinching look at grief. She is the mother of three children: Julian (deceased), Jaya, and Kareem. She lives in Central Pennsylvania. Most recently, her work was featured in the special Barrelhouse Magazine edition, I’ve Got Love On My Mind: Black Womxn On Love.

Tanya Manning-Yarde, Ph.D. | Senior Editor, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction – Issues

Tanya Manning-Yarde, Ph.D., (she/her) is a writer from New York City. A graduate of Rutgers University and University at Albany, she has worked as an editor, contributing writer, and blogger.  Prior to pursuing a career as a writer, she was a high school English/Language Arts teacher, assistant professor, instructional coach, and educational consultant. Her writings have been published by the Huffington Post, Calmgrove, Literary Mama, Memoryhouse, Neworld Review, and Random Sample Review. She published her first book, Every Watering Word, through Wasteland Press (2017).  She has also recently completed several manuscripts of children’s stories and poems.

Nia Norris | Senior Editor, Columns

Nia Norris (she/her) is a journalist in Chicago, IL. Her work can be found in Kirkus Reviews, Next City, Parents.com, Catapult, and Anti-Racism Daily. Nia is also mother of three and a full-time MA student in the Department of Communication Studies at Northern Illinois University where she teaches public speaking.

Mali Collins, Ph.D. | Programs Director

Mali Collins, Ph.D., (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of African American Literature at Howard University, doula, childbirth educator, and mother. Her creative and popular culture writing has been featured in Truthout, Rewire News, The Root, and Bitch Magazine and her academic work has been featured in several journals and anthologies. Her first book, “Scrap Theory: Reproductive Injustice in the Contemporary Black Feminist Imagination” from Ohio State University Press will be published in 2025.

Starr Davis | Editor, Mama’s Writing

Starr Davis (she/her) is a poet and essayist whose work has been featured in multiple literary venues such as The Kenyon Review, Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, the Rumpus, and Catapult. She is a 2021–2022 PEN America Writing for Justice Fellow and the creative nonfiction editor for TriQuarterly. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the City College of New York and a BA in journalism and creative writing from the University of Akron. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in poetry and creative nonfiction, Best of the Net, and Best American Essays.

DW McKinney | Editor-At-Large

DW McKinney (she/her) is a Black American essayist and interviewer living in Nevada. She writes about life and graphic novels for CNMN Mag and is an avid book reviewer. Her creative nonfiction and fiction have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best Microfiction. And DW’s work has been featured in Los Angeles Review of Books, Narratively, JMWW Journal, wigleaf, [PANK] Magazine, The New Southern Fugitives, Raising Mothers, and elsewhere. She’s always interested in meeting new people.



Crucial to building our brand image, good Graphic Designers and Illustrators are always in high demand at Raising Mothers! Team members in this role cover the artistic need of our many departments. Please submit a portfolio link along with your introduction.


Extended Family

Over the years our staff may have to move on for various reasons. We are still extremely thankful for their time and energy they devoted to our mission. They will always be considered part of the Raising Mothers family.

Addie Tsai | Associate Editor

Addie Tsai is a queer, non-binary writer and artist who teaches courses in literature, creative writing, humanities, and dance at Houston Community College. She collaborated with Dominic Walsh Dance Theater on Victor Frankenstein and Camille Claudel, among others. Addie holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and a doctorate in Dance from Texas Woman’s University. Her queer Asian young adult novel, _Dear Twin_, is forthcoming from Metonymy Press this fall. Her writing has been published in Banango Street, The Offing, The Collagist, The Feminist Wire, Nat. Brut., and elsewhere. She is the Nonfiction Editor at The Grief Diaries, Senior Associate Editor in Poetry at The Flexible Persona, and Assistant Fiction Editor at Anomaly.

Raina León | Senior Editor, Poetry

Raina J. León, PhD, CantoMundo fellow, Cave Canem graduate fellow (2006) and member of the Carolina African American Writers Collective, has been published in numerous journals as a writer of poetry, fiction and nonfiction.  She is the author of three collections of poetry, Canticle of Idols, Boogeyman Dawn, sombra: (dis)locate (2016) and the chapbook, profeta without refuge (2016).  She has received fellowships and residencies with Macondo, Cave Canem, CantoMundo, Montana Artists Refuge, the Macdowell Colony, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, among others.

She is a founding editor of The Acentos Review, an online quarterly, international journal devoted to the promotion and publication of Latinx arts.  She is an associate professor of education at Saint Mary’s College of California; she is on sabbatical until January 2020 writing about revolutionary mothering in poetry and essays.  She is currently curating the spring poetry and workshop series for the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and the summer Community Voices Series at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco.

Kim-Ling Sun | Senior Editor, Fiction – Columns

Kim-Ling Sun was raised in Singapore before immigrating to the States.  She earned her B.A. and M.A. in English at the University of Houston where she studied under the award-winning writer Allen R. Gee.  As a mixed race Chinese American writer, her life experiences living in the margins inform her work.  Her most recent poem “Dirt Spawn” was published in the chapbook “Faceless Brown Masses: A Blackout Response to Flatiron Books”.

In addition to her writing life, Kim-Ling Sun has been an educator for the past seventeen years.  She is currently a Dual Credit English professor at a local Houston high school.  In 2018, she was the recipient of the Outstanding Teacher of the Humanities Award for the state of Texas. As part of the local writing community, Kim-Ling Sun also teaches creative writing camps for WITS (Writers In The Schools) inspiring young adults to find their voice.

Elisabet Velasquez | Senior Editor, Creative Nonfiction and Columns

Elisabet Velasquez is a Boricua Writer from Bushwick, Brooklyn. Her work has been featured in Muzzle Magazine, Winter Tangerine, Centro Voces, Latina Magazine, We Are Mitu, Tidal and more. She is a 2017 Poets Video Poets House Fellow and the 2017 winner of Button Poetry Video Poetry Contest. Her work is forthcoming in Martin Espadas Anthology What Saves Us: Poems Of Empathy and Outrage In The Age Of Trump.

Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton | Senior Editor

Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton is a mother, wife, educator, and the current, and first Black, Poet Laureate of Houston, Texas. This seven-time National Poetry Slam Competitor, and Head Coach of the Houston VIP Poetry Slam Team, has been ranked the #2 Best Female Performance Poet in the World. Her work has appeared in Black Girl Magic (Haymarket Books) Houston Noir (Akashic Books), and I AM STRENGTH (Blind Faith Books) to name a few. Her work has also been highlighted on such platforms as BBC, Houston Public Media, ABC, PBS, Blavity, Tedx, and Upworthy. Her next collection, Newsworthy, is set for release Spring of 2019 by Bloomsday Literary.

Her collaborations with The Houston Ballet, The Houston Rockets, and the Houston Grand Opera have opened new doors for performance poetry. Her work has been highlighted and studied in . She had the pleasure of performing and leading a workshop at the Leipzig in Autumn literary festival in 2018, where she bridged the gap between the slam and formal publishing communities.

As the Executive Director of VIP Arts Houston, she seeks to build more bridges that amplify the voices of artists in and around the nation. Her love for community transcends the classroom and the stage making her a mentor to many and a notable force to be felt.

Leslie Contreras Schwartz | Senior Editor

Leslie Contreras Schwartz is a multi-genre writer from Houston. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Missouri Review, The Collagist, [PANK], Verse Daily, The Texas Review, Catapult, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal, among others. Her new collection of poems, Nightbloom & Cenote (St. Julian Press, May 2018), was a semi-finalist for the 2017 Tupelo Press Dorset Prize, judged by Ilya Kaminsky. In 2018, she was a featured poet for the Houston Poetry Fest. She is the author of Fuego, and was a finalist for the 2018 Houston Poet Laureate. Her fiction will be included in Houston Noir, edited by Gwendolyn Zepeda (Akashic Press, May 2019). She is a graduate of The Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and earned a bachelor’s at Rice University. She lives in Houston with her husband and three school-aged children. View her work at lesliecschwartz.com or follow her on Facebook or Instagram.

Angelique Rodriguez | Senior Editor, Fiction

Angelique Imani Rodriguez is a Bronx born and bred Boricua writer and bibliophile with a passion for representing voices that are too often overlooked. She is a three-time VONA fellow and a two-time participant of Vanessa Martir’s Writing Our Lives workshop. Her work has been featured in The James Franco Review and is forthcoming in the anthology, Choice Words: Writers on Abortion. Currently, she is developing and editing Fried Eggs and Rice: An Anthology by Writers of Color on Food as well as running The Boricongo Book Gang, an online book club that focuses on the works of writers of color.

Deesha Philyaw | Editor, Mama’s Writing

Deesha Philyaw’s (she/her) debut short story collection, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, won the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the 2020/2021 Story Prize, and the 2020 LA Times Book Prize: The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction. The Secret Lives of Church Ladies focuses on Black women, sex, and the Black church, and is being adapted for television by HBO Max with Tessa Thompson executive producing. Deesha is also a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow.