Athenian Press & Workshops
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Our resistance. Our voice. 


Athenian aims to cultivate a creative, inclusive space for marginalized voices, to provide tools and resources for women and femme-identified writers, and to transform the world of publishing by disrupting oppressive constructs of femininity, sexuality, and race.


    We envision an anti-racist, feminist, creative organization that . . .

    • adopts language as a vehicle for social change;
    • employs writing as a way to resist, express oneself, promote creativity, encourage collaboration, find healing, and award power;
    • promotes marginalized voices and unrepresented writers in publishing, especially writers of color and queer/trans-feminine voices;
    • creates a community in which we decide what being a woman means to us;
    • uses inclusive language that values all femininities, gender identities, sexualities, races, (dis)abilities, and nationalities.

    Core Values

    Social justice




    Artistic excellence

    Creativity and imagination

    Community building

    Sustainability and independence


    Our Team


    Lori Wilson

    Executive Director

    After learning about the VIDA count, our executive director immediately started making plans to start an organization that would provide resources and community to women/femme writers in the South. She has previously worked for publishers such as Oxford University Press and Lookout Books. When she's not editing, writing, or reading about writing and editing, she can be found spending time with her kitten, 75-pound pit bull, or miniature pot belly pig. 

    She can be reached at 


    Daisuke Shen

    Program Coordinator 

    Daisuke Shen is an Asian-American nonbinary femme originally from Greenville, SC. They are a current MFA candidate in creative nonfiction and GTA at the Univeristy of North Carolina Wilmington. A writer of nonfiction, poetry, and prose, their work has been previously published in literary journals and magazines such as Entropy Mag, VISIONS magazine, Outsider magazine, and Oni magazine. 

    They can be reached at



    Kelly Rae Williams

    Creative Director

    Kelly Rae is a published author, feminist speaker, performance artist, and educator. She is a recent graduate of Queens University's MFA low-residency program in Charlotte, NC. She is an active member in the North Carolina poetry slam community and has traveled the country competing in national and world poetry slams. Kelly Rae published her first book in 2012, Real Girls Have Real Problems. Her recent work can be seen in Requiem Magazine, Dirty Chai, Tishman Review, and Obsidian Magazine; in addition, she is a finalist in the Furious Flower Gwendolyn Brooks Prize, she was recently selected as a winner of the Fem Lit Magazine Contest, and she was a winner of the online Voicemail Poetry contest.

    Her mission is to empower women and girls and encourage healthy self-esteem and body positivity. Her full-length poetry book and master's thesis, entitled Outside the Canon: Poetry as Protest is scheduled for publication in the fall of 2017. 

    She can be reached at