Rooted is a free, online magazine dedicated to telling stories of Place from the people who call Mississippi Home.

Plenty of attention is given to Mississippi’s problem of out-migration, also known as “brain drain.” Here, we explore the counter-narrative of what it means to make a home in a complicated place, a place that alternately nourishes, frustrates, fascinates, endears, disappoints, and amazes us. Living in Mississippi has shaped the way we see the world, the way we understand ourselves. In turn, Mississippi—its history, reputation, and legacy—shapes the way the world sees us.

Rooted features the unfiltered stories of those who have chosen to grow their roots in Mississippi, or who still feel rooted here despite having moved away.

We aim to complicate the notion of who Mississippians are, to explore the authentic reasons why we choose to live here and why we leave, and to discover how our outsider-ness is a strength. We aim to reclaim Mississippi’s narrative from the knee jerk red state haters and the if you don’t like it then leave crowd. We aim to connect Mississippians with our allies in progress, to remind ourselves of what we love about this weird and wonderful state, and to reinvigorate our commitment to making Mississippi a better, more equitable place to call Home.

Why Subscribe?

Our mission is to keep Rooted Magazine free from paywalls. In order to do this, we need your support. If you aren’t already, consider becoming a paid subscriber. Paid subscribers allow us to pay our contributors, to reach more readers, and to broaden the scope of this publication.

Rooted will appear in your inbox at least once a week, and often more! Each newsletter features an inspiring and interesting Mississippian, and their answers to the Rooted questionnaire. We also publish original poetry, prose, photography, editorials, essays, link round-ups, and discussion threads. Subscribe to get full access to the newsletter and never miss an update.

Our Team

Lauren Rhoades, founder and editor-in-chief, is a Mississippi transplant who is originally from Denver, Colorado. Since moving to Jackson in 2013, she has served with AmeriCorps, started Mississippi’s first fermentation company, and helmed the Eudora Welty House & Garden. She is now director of grants at the Mississippi Arts Commission and a host of MPB’s The Mississippi Arts Hour. Lauren’s essays have been published in Southwest Review, Phoebe, Salvation South, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the Mississippi University for Women. Her debut memoir, Split the Baby, is forthcoming March 2025 with Belle Point Press.

Shira Muroff, community editor, is a Mississippi transplant from Los Angeles and a graduate of the University of California, Davis. A Jacksonian since 2016, she has worked developing curriculum and programs for Southern Jewish communities as well as Mississippi history materials for students across the state. For several years, she also supported small Jackson organizations as a program manager with Citizenville/JXN Gumbo. You can often catch her documenting the books, podcasts, and TV she consumes.

The Rooted logo and design elements are by Lisa McMurtray. A native of Mississippi, Lisa holds an MFA from Florida State University and an MA in English from Mississippi State University. Her poetry has appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Ninth Letter, West Branch, and The Journal.

Want to write for Rooted?

Send your pitch to wearerootedmag [at] We pay $50 for essays, fiction, and poetry and $25 for questionnaires. At this time, we are only accepting submissions from Mississippi transplants, natives, or those with an important connection to the state.

Know someone who should take the Rooted questionnaire?

Is there someone you think we should feature in a future Rooted questionnaire? We'd love to make their acquaintance. Just fill out this form so one of our editors can reach out. And while you're at it, send them a link to Rooted Magazine!

Rooted Book Recommendations

We ask Rooted contributors to tell us who their favorite Mississippi writers, musicians, and artists are. To check out an ever-growing list of contributors’ and editors’ favorite books, visit the Rooted Magazine Bookshop page. (Please note that this is an affiliate link and any purchases support Mississippi authors and this magazine.)

Stay up to date.

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Stories of place from the people who call Mississippi home.


Mississippi transplant. Pro-choice mom. Jewish. Writer. Eudora Welty fangirl. (she/her)