Elevating the voices of system-impacted creative writers.

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Web DesignFrontend Development
Responsive Web Design, GSAP Animations, Static/Jamstack Development, Frontend Development, Sanity CMS Integration
Figma logo. Astro logo. Sanity logo. GSAP logo.


Haymarket Books is a radical, independent publisher based in Chicago that features the work of socially- and politically-engaged writers such as Howard Zinn, Angela Y. Davis, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor.

The Writing Freedom Fellowship is a new Haymarket initiative (in partnership with the Mellon Foundation and the Arts for Justice Fund) that highlights poets, fiction writers, and non-fiction writers impacted by carceral systems. I was honored to design and build the accompanying standalone website for this important program.

Web page design for individual fellows, featuring a biography section and purple box with links and actions to share the page.

Centering the Fellows

The most important objective of this site was to showcase the 20 individuals awarded the fellowship each year. To encourage exploration of the fellows’ stories and facilitate sharing them across platforms, the site’s user navigation path was designed to end up on individual fellow pages, where users can read fellow biographies and hear audio clips of fellows reading from their works.

A simple UI component, utilizing native operating system functionality, enables easy, platform-agnostic sharing.

A screen from the Sanity Studio backend showing editable fields for fellows, and which element on the frontend of the website these fields correspond to.

On the content management backend in a fully customized Sanity Studio, organizing and editing fellow data is as easy as working with documents in a file system. Importantly, I developed flexible schemas that will help retain the same ease of management as the program continues to grow with more fellows each year.

The live site not only makes it easy to discover and share fellow profiles, but it also delivers a seamless editing experience for site editors.
A laptop and mobile phone showing the Writing Freedom Fellowship website design on each of these screen sizes.
Web page design for the page titled 'About the Program', shown on a laptop screen.

Aligning Form & Function

With the art direction of the site, I sought to capture something of the vibrancy, depth, and hopefulness of the program’s activist and social justice influences. The bold Termina typeface lends a sense of significance and excitement to the message, while the pastel colors and winged imagery evoke the possibility of transformation.

The site was built with the Astro framework to deliver a minimal, lightweight end product, with just a dash of animation added in to make for a more pleasant user experience. Prioritizing simplicity means virtually no maintenance or time spent fixing plugins or bugs, just a focus on the site’s message itself.

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