DAY 4 – TALKSHOPS, PANELS, & CLOSING – Sun., April 3 – NBWC 2016


SPECIAL! Register for two (2) Talkshops and receive %15 off ticketed price!

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 Session I
Talkshops: 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.:

  1. Book Proposals: Regina Brooks – Room B2008- Norma B. Johnson Lecture Hall

Regina BooksIf you have an idea for a book or have already written one but now you have to find an agent or editor, you’ll need a book proposal. This workshop is designed to walk you step by step through the book proposal development process. It is designed to help you understand each section of the proposal and why it’s meaningful to the publishers and the people that will ultimately bring you book to life.

  1. Poetry: Keisha-Gaye Anderson – Room 1023

Keisha-Gaye Anderson jpegThis talkshop will explore how memory—actual, imagined and re-imagined—is used in African American poetics to witness, communicate and construct collective realities, while also serving as a call to activism and social change. Through close examination of language, structure, form and other devices used within selected poems from the African American literary tradition, workshop participants will become familiar with approaches to this craft that focus on powerfully commemorating, documenting, and witnessing subjective and collective struggle endemic to the black experience. Participants will employ this understanding in creating their own poems for sharing with other workshop participants.


3. 10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.- Fiction: Victor LaValle  –     Room B1025   **Time changed from noon.

Victor LaValle photo_w-name
You want to write a novel, but as you’ve learned easier said than done. While inspiration and enthusiasm are great they don’t help you figure out how to organize all those pages you’ve written. We’ll discuss basic questions about how novels are structured, how to map out the motivations of your characters, how to identify (or create) a good antagonist, how to create a dramatically interesting narrative for the reader to follow and more. This is going to be a talk about the mechanics of a novel, nuts-and-bolts stuff.

Session II

4. 12:00 p.m.––2:30 p.m. – AALBC Publishing Workshop – Room: B2008- Norma B. Johnson Lecture Hall

Troy Johnson jpegWorkshop on fundamentals dealing with  various aspects of the publishing process, focusing on practical elements such as editing, promotion, book production, distribution presented by AABLC (African American Literature Book Club) with Troy Johnson, Carol Taylor, and Earl Cox. Visit them at


Location: Founders Auditorium
12:00 –1:15 p.m.

  1. “Creative Writing Programs and Writers of Color: Current and Future Trends”

This roundtable on creative writing programs and workshops is an outgrowth of the essays, conversations, and concerns of writers of color in MFA programs and writing workshops.

Very few writing workshops focus on writers of color and both Junot Diaz and Honoree Fannone Jeffers have recently written essays on the lack of diversity in these programs and workshops. Students and workshops participants in creative writing programs make up a part of our audience. The discussion will focus on topics such as: Do MFA programs and writing workshops offer safe spaces for writers of color and are writers of color marginalized in these programs and workshops?; and how can we address these concerns in MFA programs and writing workshops?

Moderator: Donna Hill

Panelists: Meena Alexander, Victor LaValle, and Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie

1:30 p.m.–2:45 p.m.

  1. “Black Writers in the Digital Age”

African-American writers have faced many hurdles in getting their works published. While the Digital Age, or New Media Age, has presented new outlets to submit works, what rewards and risks do the Digital Age offer Black writers? Has the Digital Age broadened the readership of works by Black writers? What are some challenges Black writers face in the new information age? Panelists will explore and examine these questions.

Moderator: Akiba Solomon
Panelists: Paul Miller a.k.a. *DJ Spooky, *Farai Chideya, *ReShonda Tate Billingsley, *Johnny Temple

3 p.m.–4:15 p.m.

  1. “Shaping Memories: The Odyssey to Adulthood”

This panel will address the various themes and moral values captured at historical moments of time in the journey from youth to adulthood. The novels and memoirs by these authors cross several genres and attract a cross-generation of readers.

Moderator:  Cathie Wright-Lewis
Panelists: Coe Booth, *Breena Clarke, *D. Watkins, and *Michael Datcher

4:30 p.m.–6 p.m.

  1. A Conversation with Michael Eric Dyson and Khalil Gibran Muhammad,

“Writing Race, Embracing Difference”

Michael Eric Dyson Photo Credit: Nina-Subin

In an essay titled “Writing Race in America,” which appeared in the “Chronicle of Higher Education,” on March 10, 2014, David Wright, a Black writer and associate professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois, Urbana, argues that creative writing teachers should not allow their students to avoid the difficult subject of race. Wright’s argument is based on the premise that race is socially constructed, is very much present in America, and that contrary to what people may assert about living in a postracial society, we live in a fully racial one.  This premise guides the conversation that will be held between Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad.

For more information about The Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, and the Center’s events and programs, please call 718-804-8883 or e-mail:

Search “Center for Black Literature” on

Major funding provided by the National endowment for the Arts, CUNY Office of Academic Affairs, and ConEdison.

13th National Black Writers Conference

Thursday, March 31 – Sunday, April 3, 2015

Note: Program participants and schedule are subject to change.

Register NOW!

 Key to Locations:

Bedford Building – 1650 Bedford Avenue
[B- Building on the map.]

  • Founders Auditorium -1st Floor
  • President’s Conference Center(Room B1008) -1st Floor
  • N. B. Johnson Lecture Hall (Room B2008) 2nd Floor
  • Rotunda / Ticket booth– 1st Floor in front of Founders Auditorium

Academic Complex Building – 1638 Bedford Avenue

[AB1- on the map.]Map_MEC

  • Edison O. Jackson Auditorium –1st Floor
  • Room L12, Art Gallery-1st Floor
  • Skylight Café– 2nd Floor (Cafeteria)

Student Services Building – 1637 Bedford Avenue

[S- on the map.]

  • Mary S. Pinkett Lecture Hall (Room S122) –1st Floor
  • Atrium – 3rd Floor
  • Conference Room –3rd Floor

Room numbers beginning with “CP” indicates the Carroll St. Portable Buildings-1150 Carroll St. [‘C’ on the map.]

Parking in any MEC, CUNY lots are allowed by “permit only” for Thursday and Friday.

Pre-Registration, On-Site Registration, and Check-In
Location: Rotunda, Medgar Evers College

  Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Opens *10 AM 10 AM 9:30 AM 9:30 AM
Closes 4:30 PM 8 PM 8 PM 4 PM

*Times subject to adjust based on need. Elementary schools should arrive between 9:00 – 9:30 AM to check in.


  • If you pre-registered on-line, please bring your barcoded confirmation (eventbrite ticket) with you to expedite your entry.
  • Students, Faculty, and Seniors are required to present identification upon check-in.
  • On-site Registration begins on the first day of the Conference.
  • Registration is required for ALL events, panels and workshops.

View full program.