Hello, my name is Christine Sloan Stoddard and I’m a Salvadoran-American writer, artist, and filmmaker originally from Arlington, Virginia outside of Washington, D.C. I’ve written books, directed films, had a few art shows, and also founded Quail Bell Magazine. I’m the first woman in my family to earn a four-year degree and go to graduate school. I live in Brooklyn, NY with my husband. Right now I’m on scholarship for my MFA at The City College of New York. City College is a Hispanic-Serving Institution known for its large population of immigrants and children of immigrants. For me, it was the perfect place to go to grad school. I feel supported at City College.
I wanted to create an imaginative space for marginalized writers, especially women, immigrants, and people of color, to tell their stories in innovative ways. I started Quail Bell in undergrad when I was just learning about electronic literature and so much was happening in the world of digital publishing. Quail Bell was a place to experiment and it’s where I continue to experiment with writers, artists, filmmakers, musicians, and other creatives. There are so many ways to tell a story, especially now that digital media applications are becoming more accessible. I mean, in the New York Public Library system, you can use video editing software for free! All you need is a library card.
Quail Bell Magazine is a feminist publication and community for real and unreal stories from around the world. We have a special love for the imaginary, nostalgic, and otherworldly. Our go-to spell? Art + Ideas = Magic. We are interested in stories from all kinds of women, so please consider submitting yours today. You don’t have to be previously published or have any special credentials. Many of our writers publish their work for the first time ever with us. You can find submission guidelines here.
I’m inspired by folklore, history, women’s narratives, and otherworldly possibilities.
My books Water for the Cactus Woman and Belladonna Magic: Spells In The Form Of Poetry and Photography tell women’s stories, especially stories passed down from mother to daughter. I want women reading my books to feel the power and joy of being a woman, but also validation for their pain and suffering. Not every moment in life is happy. Our difficult situations are very real and society should recognize our hardships. But even when society at large isn’t on our side, we have the strength to overcome a lot. Generations of women have proven this.
I love going to a casual, non-competitive yoga studio with my friends and trying new restaurants with my husband. I could read, watch movies, and listen to music all day. Chillhop and chocolate are my go-tos when I need to relax. When my husband and I have a little more time, we like taking day-trips to beautiful historic sites. Often these sites are free or low-cost. One of my favorite sites in New York City is the Met Cloisters in Washington Heights. It’s pay-what-you-wish with a student ID!
I’m very inspired by the women in my family, all of whom have overcome hardships. There are many examples, but I will just mention two: On my father’s side, my great-grandmother became a mother at a young age, but went on to write plays, exhibit paintings, and become a college professor. Meanwhile, my mother left El Salvador during the civil war and started a whole new life in the United States. She always encouraged my sisters and me to pursue the opportunities she did not have. Earning scholarships, going to college, graduating, and finishing graduate school debt-free have been goals of mine from a young age—in large part because my mother believed in my education so much. She laid the foundation for the life I have today. I love you, Mama!
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