We’re prCamellia Phillips (1)oud to exhibit our first audio piece, written and recorded by Camellia Phillips. Camellia’s piece appears in Volume 27:3 of CALYX Journal.

Camellia Phillips is a longtime grant writer with nonprofit organizations focused on social justice and civic engagement. In addition to CALYX Journal, her fiction has appeared in cream city review and her nonfiction in Voices of a New Generation: A Feminist Anthology. She holds an MFA from the New School. Born and raised in Washington State, she resides in Brooklyn, NY.

What piece/pieces are you working on now?

I’m currently working on my first novel, which is a young adult feminist western set on the Oregon Trail in 1848. There’s so much that’s been misrepresented in history and popular culture about the west in that era, particularly about women’s roles and relations between emigrants and American Indians, and there’s been important work over the last three-plus decades to uncover those untold stories. My aim is to draw on that historical work while also using the opportunity to subvert contemporary expectations that all young adult fiction featuring strong female leads must necessarily contain a romance. Girls can have adventures without pining over a boy.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I love writing at home — and reclined, either in bed or on the couch with my feet up on the coffee table.

Who are you currently reading (and/or) which author has inspired your writing the most?

Toni Morrison and Octavia Butler are my all time favorite authors and perpetual inspiration.