Taking Back: Constructive Reclaiming

Call for submissions

There have been far too many perspectives and reflections about what cultural appropriation is, what it means for people of color and women of color, particularly in the food sphere. The discussion is rampant – in places that are not visible to all – in private conversations, in chats, in hidden groups, because there is fear that there may be a backlash. The ills of cultural appropriation are discussed at an academic level, because academicians seldom condone cultural appropriation (CA). Yet the average diner or enthusiast cannot fully understand it, because they have not been in the company of those academicians.


The call:

Taking Back: Constructive Reclaiming is intended to be a collection of essays that will offer space to voices that were shushed in the past, misunderstood, those conversations that were only whispered, or feared retaliation.


Turmeric Press is inviting WOC's in the food sphere to contribute a short essay about their experience with cultural appropriation, why they are calling for a change. Why do some pieces in the media cause debate and others don’t? What kinds of CA exists in the food sphere? How do social constructs of race, privilege, class and gender (gender bias) affect cultural appropriation? As a WOC – what are you tired of reading?

We want these voices to be accessible to all – and will explore zero cost, at cost and low-cost distribution. We will also explore how to make this collection accessible in its true sense. But we need content first.



  • Your most heart-felt short essay, 300-600 words.

  • Deadline: April 30, 2019

  • A brief 100-word bio.


The essay can be a personal piece about your experience with a particular form of CA, or an observation of some else’s culture. It can be a commentary about a political action that has permitted irresponsible behavior, or a civil action that has caused a systemic issue. Make it about why this story is important and should be told. Make it personal. It must be about food – and the essayists’ connection to that food / cuisine – either in the personal, mass commercial space, in media, in coverage, etc.


The essay must respond to the cue: What would you like to take back?


Unfortunately, previously published pieces are not suited for this, even if they were on the blog. Essayists are also welcome to include a note about a cause or an organization that they would like their reader to support- so as to shine light on a community effort that may be going unnoticed. However, please do not submit a piece dedicated to that organization.

Who are we to tell anyone that their voice is not enough? We would love to include as many diverse and varied voices as possible. But we have to keep a clean and heartfelt copy. Please stay to the core message and intent of this collection – and it will easily become part of it. Please refrain from using crude or derogatory terms in your piece, profanity or language that would keep it from being readable in a larger audience, say, a high-school classroom for instance.


If for any reason, the piece would be suitable elsewhere, we will let you know, and may even have suggestions of such outlets. If you have questions, please ask. You don't have to send in anything, if you are uncertain.


If we receive collection of essays greater than 100, we will approach a few publishers larger than me, and retain the role of being the editor. Then they hold the rights etc. It will be a reputable organization, we don’t want to approach them without some form of a manuscript.

Suppose we don’t hit 100 submissions -

  • The eBook will be published under Turmeric Press / Curry Cravings™ LLC.

  • Essayists retain all rights to their work and are free to submit it where ever they like.

  • We hope they include a link to the collection on a digital platform or include a mention of this collection as part of their work.

Format / Visibility

If a publisher / larger press is willing to take this project on, we won’t have to worry about printing costs – they will cover it – design, printing, marketing, press, etc. etc. In that case, there will likely be royalties.

If we don’t find a publisher, here are the formats, in order of priority:

  • Ebook format: The present idea is to keep this collection as a free eBook on platforms like Kindle, iTunes, Kobo, GooglePlay and (even) Nook.

    • Turmeric Press will provide an ISBN (which costs money), and offer up design expertise to assemble and create an eBook.

  • Print format:

    • If we are on our own without a large publisher, Turmeric Press will also offer up design expertise and a second ISBN for the print book to make it all happen! But there are costs associated with a print book that Turmeric Press cannot take on at this time – see the ‘Costs’ section below

  • There may be an opportunity to create an audio book, we shall see how it works out.

Costs / Profits / Royalties

This project is a ‘labor of love’ for Turmeric Press. Ebooks are easier to create compared to print books and there are smaller costs attached to it nonetheless. Turmeric Press is absorbing the making costs for an eBook – detailed below.

  • In the absence of a large publisher, there are costs, many of which are being absorbed by Turmeric Press (editing, design -of both eBook & print book, 1-2 ISBNs, distribution and marketing know-how.)

  • Turmeric Press is a two-person operation. It is not a large enough publisher to offer royalties, or payment for essays contributed to this collection. If we were in a position to pay for your work, we would then, also hold rights to it.

  • There is a cost to making print books – one paid to a US based printer, the owners incidentally happen to be immigrants themselves. Essayists are welcome to work with us, to procure small sets of books for themselves (25 copies min. either to gift or sell). There is a small cost associated with small batch printing, and shipping that the essayist bears.

  • Once an essayist purchases their own set of books, . We can guide you through logistics, and help you identify how to make that book available for direct sale via speaking engagements and whatnot, where the proceeds benefit you, the essayist directly.

  • If Turmeric Press stays on as a distributor, we have one other avenue to distribute the finished print book to interested readers across the world. If we go that route, there will be royalties for sure.

Other Compensation?

  • There is no fee to submit, and no compensation – as this is a not for profit publication.

  • Essayists are welcome include their personal website details in the eBook, or we can host a ‘donate’ button linked to your essayist profile via the Turmeric Press website that connects to your PayPal account directly via your email, for any readers wishing to make a contribution to individual essayists. Turmeric Press would have no access to any other information except your email address, for any readers wishing to make a contribution to individual essayists. Turmeric Press cannot be responsible for any transaction errors. Ask us if you have questions. (The process is fairly simple, this site would host a page for the book, with essayist bios and a 'donate/contribute' button that requires only the essayists email address. You share nothing more with us.)


No money will be exchanged between the essayist and Turmeric Press, except when printing books and shipping them to the essayist, if they so desire. The purpose is to collect these voices and make them known and heard. Turmeric Press is not profiting from this in any way.


Strength in numbers.


If you have questions, please ask.

If you are ready to submit, please send an email to: currycravings@gmail.com, with ‘Taking Back’ in the subject line, requesting access to a GoogleDrive folder where you can upload your content.

We look forward to hearing your voices and sharing them.

All content © Nandita Godbole, 2010-2025, dba Curry Cravings (TM) LLC.

© 2016 by Nandita Godbole. All content on this website is copyrighted to Nandita Godbole. Turmeric Press is a sister concern of Curry Cravings (TM) LLC, and Curry Cravings Kitchen. 



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