The Black Authors and Readers Rock Weekend 2013

On Saturday, October 19th, I had the pleasure to attend the 14th Annual Black Authors and Readers Rock Weekend presented by the readingdiva2013Reading Divas Book Club of Bowie, Maryland.  It was an amazing experience that I would recommend to readers and authors. While I can’t attest to what the panels will be next year, rest assured that if it’s a topic your interested in learning more about then you want to be there. Unlike much larger book conferences this event provides an intimate opportunity for leisurely networking while learning about books and the publishing industry with book lovers, readers, authors, editors, and publishers.

Overall, Saturday was a great experience that I am so happy that I took the chance on. I found the event through Eventbrite with just a regular search for reading. It sounded interesting but more importantly it was an event close to my home that would be attended by people like me, readers! I didn’t attend the Friday evening event, but if it was anything like Saturday a good time was had by all. I didn’t attend the morning Zumba or meditation session because well it was just way too early for me, 7:30am, but I heard everyone enjoyed it.  Saturday consisted of two sets of two panels in the morning and a full lunch with keynote speakers in the afternoon.

The panelists were extremely knowledgeable, open to sharing, and entertaining.  I attended two panels “So you want to be a published writer” and “The art of writing a good book review.” The later was the 9:30am discussion with two blogger, author, and reviewers Norwood Holland and Jacki Lawson of Street Soul Sister Book Club. They had some great information to impart on everything from structuring a review to where you should reshondaandvictoriapost and contacting authors.  The lessons I took home were to publish to Amazon and Goodreads, don’t be afraid to contact an author, and be kind. The second panel I attended on being a published writer provided a wealth of knowledge about marketing. The panel consisted of author B. Swangin Webster published by Intrigue Publications, Monica Mathis-Stowe a self-publisher, and Tamika Newhouse, CEO of Delphine Publications. The most important take away for me was once you put your name on that book you are a small business owner. This isn’t “Field of Dreams” where if you built it they will come. This is real life publish it then hustle to make sales.

The afternoon festivities were entertaining. Book groups from around the region strutted their stuff in their best group uniform to music for the honor of the “Best Dressed Club.”  The keynote speakers were Reshonda Tate Billingsley and Victoria Christopher-Murray authors of Sinners and Saints. The ladies are hilarious. I have rarely had so much fun listening to two authors talk about their book, working together, and their personal relationship. I had never heard of either lady but now I’m curious to learn more about what they write and to see if that wit and charm radiates from the page. Luckily for me I was able to snag a free copy of Sinner and Saints from the table giveaway.

The Black Authors and Readers Rock Weekend started in 2008 as a celebration for the RReadingdivaseading Divas’ Book Club 10th Anniversary. The Divas gather once a month at a member’s house to discuss that month’s book selection. They like to encourage emerging and established authors and will sometimes invite them to discussions. The Divas are open to all genres. When they are not meeting locally you can find them traveling to meet other book clubs, publishing, and literary events in the region.


One Trackback to “The Black Authors and Readers Rock Weekend 2013”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: