Dragonfly Arts & Transformative Justice Magazine

Only one thing is more frightening

than speaking your truth,

And that is not speaking.

-Audre Lorde

It is not by chance that our arts magazine is entitled Dragonfly. The dragonfly has been a centuries old symbol for change, a special type of transformation, one wrought from crisis but ending in self-realization and a deeper understanding of the meaning of life. This experience is often reflected in the lives of the people we serve at HopeWorks and you’ll hear it in some of the voices on the pages to follow. This transformation is rarely an easy one and as humans, we sometimes feel so very limited in how to bare the intensity of our thoughts and feelings. This struggle to create something beautiful and inspirational from the dark places is somehow mystical and pedestrian at the same time – something that is hard to fathom, yet a common daily occurrence.

Congratulations to each of our contributing artists who were brave enough to articulate their own deep emotions and unique perspectives on life.

Self-expression through art gives wind to the wings of the dragonfly and we thank these artists who were generous enough to give us a window into their transformational journeys.

Vanita Leatherwood, M.A., TLA 

Director of Community Engagement

Dragonfly founder and editor

The 2024 Dragonfly submission season will be open soon!


Dragonfly arts & transformative justice magazine is a publication of HopeWorks of Howard County Maryland. Themes for submitted work (visual, literary, and musical) should focus on reflections about activism, oppression, love, advocacy, hope, transformative justice, trauma, racial and gender equity, intersectionality, relationships, healing, or self-care. Writers/Musicians/Artists do not have to be survivors.


2024 Submission Season: September 1, 2023 to January 31, 2024


Submitting early in the submission season is encouraged. Acceptance notifications will be emailed in May 2024.


To submit to Dragonfly, please follow all of our guidelines and email your submission(s) to dragonfly@hopeworksofhc.org.

Literary Arts Submissions

Poetry: submissions are limited to 3 poems, with a word limit of 500 words per poem

Prose/Fiction: should be double spaced and not exceed 1,000 words

Literary arts submissions must be submitted as a WORD document (one document per piece), without your name (no bylines or copyright should be in the submissions).

Visual Arts Submissions

Artists must ensure high quality of images. You may submit a portfolio of one to four images as a PNG or JPEG files ONLY.

NEW! Music Submissions

Submissions are limited to 2 songs. All songs must be submitted as YouTube or Vimeo videos.

All Submissions

Submit each submission in a single email. For each submission, regardless of genre, write the title of the piece as the name of the document. In the email itself, clearly list the genre and titles of the work(s), your name and pseudonym (if any), the word count (literary arts only), your complete mailing address, phone number and email address. For music submissions, if a band or a group submits, please include the names of each member and who plays what instrument/sings, as well as the musical genre (folk, blues, rock, etc.). Please also include an artist’s bio, which should be in the third person (no “I” or “Me” statements) and should not exceed 75 words.


Please note that we DO NOT take AI submissions in any of our categories.


Submissions that do not follow our guidelines WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR PUBLICATION.

 Below is an example of a submission email:


Dragonfly arts magazine reserves the right to use images of the artwork on its website and social media. The artist submitting their work understands that inclusion is not guaranteed as this is a juried opportunity. Artist retains full copyright of the work. Images will not be used by Dragonfly arts magazine aside from the print issue, interviews, social media posts. You will be notified if a submission will be published. Contributors will receive two free copies of the magazine. Financial compensation is not available. By submitting artwork via this process, the artist agrees to the terms outlined above.


Save the Date

Look for upcoming details about The Eleventh Annual Dragonfly The Poetry Reading & Gallery Walk that will be held on June 20, 2024. The event features the work of Dragonfly published literary, musical, and visual artists. Time permitting there will be an open mic as well.

A PDF version of Dragonfly 2023 is available for viewing at the link below:

2023 Edition of Dragonfly

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