Black Writers Weekend is the largest gathering of Black literary creatives and filmmakers in the nation. Last week, the Black Writers Weekend was held virtually from August 27 to August 29. Tamika Newhouse’s (the founder of Black Writers Weekend) mission consists of providing black creatives the education, support, and visibility needed within the black writing community. The Black Writers Weekend panelist and attendees include journalists, authors, screenwriters, and film and TV stars of color. The attendees can attend creative clinics, workshops, masterclasses, pitching sessions, and more.
There were several amazing sessions held over Black Writers Weekend; a few are highlighted below:
Session: Create + Master a Writing Career with Wattpad
This session was about “Create + Master a Writing Career with Wattpad.” The panel included creatives, Daven McQueen, Angel @ AngeltheAuthor_360, Ashley Marie, Paula Gill, and moderated by Tamika Newhouse. These ladies went into an in-depth discussion on the benefits of writing on the Wattpad writing platform. Wattpad is a website and application used to publish stories by amateur and established writers. Readers can read, review, and comment on the writing pieces that are posted by the authors. In addition to publishing their writing projects, Wattpad connects authors with other writing opportunities and writing contests.
Session: Conversation w/Tamika Newhouse, Black Writers Weekend Founder
Tamika Newhouse wrote her first book at 12 years old, entitled Nothing to Lose. As a young girl, she dreamt about sitting in a coffee shop writing a book; she later told her mother she would become an author. At 20 years old, Tamika started African Americans on the Move Book Club (AAMBC), and a few years later, she created Delphine Publishing. African Americans on the Move Book Club (AAMBC) was a book club by Tamika to help her meet new people and read books in a new city. As time when on, she was approached by several people asking her to read their books. Ms. Newhouse eventually stumbled on the word “self-publish.” She began to do her research and investigated self-publishing for her book. Once she went through the process, she decided to help other black authors get published, learn marketing techniques, and promotional tour ideas. Her publishing company is called Delphine Publications, which has published over 250 titles written by Black writers. It eventually became one of the biggest publishing companies in the African American community.
Session: His Story | Moderated by Darius Hicks of While Black Podcast
During this session, Black creatives spoke out about the importance of their stories and the Black male perspective. These gentlemen discussed mental health, self-care, police brutality, showing emotions, and how their various experiences influence their creative expressions. This discussion was very thought-provoking and insightful. Many of them have been writing for years and noted how the current climate of racial injustice had affected them personally and their creative works.
Session: Black Librarians Speak Out
During this session, Shannon Bland, founder of The Black Librarians’ collective, moderated the black librarians’ panel. The Black Librarian collective is an online community, highlighting the work and achievements of Black librarians. The panel discussed their journeys into the librarian profession, how to amplify black stories, and the importance of supporting your local library. They discussed how important representation is and how powerful this impression can be on young black and brown people. Most panelists work in libraries and their local school districts while working specifically with children and teens. In addition to being Black librarians, they are also authors, storytellers, book reviewers, literary advocates.
Additional sessions on Movie Screenings, Book Battles, Pitch Fests, and Author sessions with Zane and ReShonda Tate Billingsley. In summary, the Black Writers Weekend is vital amidst the continuous disparities that African Americans face, especially in the literary space. Black Writers Weekend scheduled for June 2021 in Atlanta, GA.
For more information, please check out www.blackwritersweekend.com or @tamikanewhouse on Instagram.