A writer since she won a crisp dollar bill in an elementary school essay contest, Janelle Harris uses her platform as a storyteller to explore the diasporic experiences, challenges and diversities of Black people, particularly Black women, whom she loves fiercely. As a journalist and blogger, her work has appeared in more than 40 publications, including Essence, Ebony, Vibe, Uptown, Clutch, The Root, The Grio, Yahoo, Jezebel and The Huffington Post. As an editor and communications consultant, she has shaped content that reframes played out narratives and equitably discusses communities underrepresented in mainstream media.
Harris is owner and wordsmithing mastermind of The Write or Die Chick, a boutique editorial services agency based in Washington, DC, where she stands in the creative gap for clients to develop copy that celebrates, engages and speaks to women. She posts weekly about Black women’s issues on her blog of the same name at Essence.com and has appeared as a speaker and subject matter expert on radio shows, Twitter chats, discussion panels and other platforms. In 2013, Harris founded SheScribes, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Black women and girls embrace the healing, restorative power of writing and storytelling. She leads day-long workshops and weekly sessions on journaling, poetry, creative fiction, journalism and vision writing. She’s also an instructor, both online and in classrooms, who has helped aspiring writers better understand the fine art of freelancing. Harris is the mother of a dynamic 16-year-old daughter, Skylar, a proud alumna of Lincoln University in Pennsylvaniaand is finishing her master’s degree in African-American studies at Temple University. A perfect day in her world include: 75 degree weather, Frankie Beverly on repeat, a used book sale and a meal at Panda Express.