BWRC began in 2000 as a gathering for members of the African American Online Writers Guild, an Internet-based association of aspiring and published creative writers founded in 1998, to facilitate our coming together to network in person and share knowledge and information on the craft and business of writing for publication.
BWRC 2000 Atlanta
The inaugural event, held August 2000 in Atlanta, was co-chaired by Charene Thornton, Nicki Hand, and Tia Ross. Charene planned the reunion, Nicki and Tia coordinated the Gold Pen Awards, and Tia organized and directed the conference. Highlights included the keynote speech by Evelyn Palfrey, the Inspirational Sunday Brunch speech by Dr. Arlene Churn, and the first Gold Pen Awards ceremony with award presentations punctuated by dramatic performances from acclaimed stage director Terrence Spivey. Speakers included Rochelle Alers, Vincent Alexandria, TaShia Asanti, Angela Benson, Monica Blache, A’Lelia Bundles, K. Campbell, Evelyn Coleman, Gwynne Forster, Daryl Green, Donna Hill, Caron Knauer, Timmothy McCann, Deirdre Savoy, Tia Ross, Mack Smith, Terrence Spivey, Margie Walker, Saleem Abdal-Khaaliq, Padmore Agbemabiese, Monica Jackson, Francis Ray, Tracy Price-Thompson, Marrissa Dick, and Jacquelin Thomas. Staff members included Monica Blache and Tonya King.
BWRC 2001 Dallas
The 2001 conference was held in North Dallas, Texas, August 4-6, at the elegant Renaissance Dallas North Hotel (now a Doubletree). The keynote speech was given by Robert Fleming and the Inspirational Sunday Brunch by Nathasha Brooks-Harris. Gold Pen Awards Ceremony boasted performances again directed by Terrence Spivey and written by Ta’Shia Asanti followed by a soiree.
Presenters included Deatema Abdul-Latif, Rochelle Alers, Vincent Alexandria, Ta’Shia Asanti, Steven Barnes, Nathasha Brooks-Harris, Keino Campbell, Evelyn Coleman, Tananarive Due, Brian Egeston, Tonya Marie Evans Esq., Robert Fleming, Gwynne Forster, Sharon Ewell Foster, Tracy Grant, Daryl Green, Donna Hill, Althea Hughes, Brenda Jackson, Norma Jarrett, Sandra Kitt, Francis Ray, Jewell Parker Rhodes, Deirdre Savoy, Tia Ross, Sara Freeman Smith, Terrence Spivey, Carol Taylor, Maxine Thompson, Margie Walker, Pat G’Orge Walker, Pam Walker-Williams, Donna Marie Williams, and Nancy Flowers Wilson. Staff members included Monica Blache, Adrienne Starkey, Kimberly Hines, and Tonya (Journey) King.
BWRC 2006 Dallas
After a five-year ‘hiatus,’ the BWRC returned by continuing popular demand. The 2006 conference was held in Dallas, Texas, at the Radisson Hotel. Speakers included Vincent Alexandria, Dr. Venise Berry, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Nathasha Brooks-Harris, Anita Bunkley, Tonya Marie Evans Esq., Gwynne Forster, Marilynn Griffith, Chris Howell, Deatri King-Bey, Gail Johnson, Mondella Jones, Shana Murph, Evelyn Palfrey, Eric Pete, Deirdre Savoy, Kat Smith, Mack and Sara Smith, Stormy Steele, and Pam Walker-Williams.
BWRC 2008 Tampa
The 2008 conference was held in the heart of downtown Tampa, Florida, at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel on June 19-21.
Presenters and staff included (top row from left): Daryl Green, Vincent Alexandria, N. Kali Mincy, Gwynne Forster, Michelle Chester, G. Francis Johnson, Anita Heiss, Jacqualyn Green, Mack Smith, Patricia Haley. Second row: Mr. Matthew, Michelle Gipson, Kimberly Yancy, William R. Patterson, Monica Blache, Arthuretta Martin, Neecha Turner. Seated: Tonya Evans-Walls, Esq., Jewell Parker Rhodes, Tia Ross, Sara Freeman-Smith, Mondella Jones. Not shown: Yasmin Coleman, Bryan-Keyth Wilson, Mike Matteo, and Barbara Joe-Williams.
Workshops were offered on Writing Effective Dialogue: The Key to Great Fiction, The Writer’s Journey: From Idea to Finished Draft to Publication, Research Methods & Techniques for Fiction and Nonfiction, Work Smarter, Not Harder: Save Time & Add Value to Fiction Through Character Development, Page By Page: Using Scene and Sequel to Plot Your Novel, So You Want to Write for Children, Creating The Poet: Exploring the Craft and Business of Poetry, Writing a Play: The Art of Telling Our Stories, Writing Christian Fiction: Ministry vs. Entertainment, Writing a Nonfiction Book That Sells, Spiritual Resilience for Writers, Word Tricks for Word Artists, From Self-Published to Published with a Major House, Nine Things Every Writer Should Know About the Law, Working With Literary Agents, Four P’s of Self-Publishing, CyberSpace Book Promotions and Publicity…Making it Work for You!, Mistakes First-Time Authors Make (How to Avoid Them), Pens Down: Time to Market Your Book, Expanding Your Book Market, Secrets of Successful Query Letter Writing, Beyond the Box: Writing the Great Screenplay, Writing Effective Promotional Copy for Your Business, From Hobby to Career: Crafting an Exit Strategy to Write Full Time, Proposal Writing, S.P.E.A.K.: Sensational, Powerful, Engaging, Authoritative Keys to Public Presentation, Start Your Own Business, Technical Writing, and From Writer to Editor: Copyediting Principles That Work.
BWRC 2009 Vegas
In June 2009, Black writers converged upon Las Vegas, meeting at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino. Speakers included Vincent Alexandria, Dr. Venise Berry, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Janice Cassel, Michelle Chester, Teowonna Clifton, Antonio L. Crawford, Donna Deloney, Diane Dorce, Tonya Marie Evans, Esq., Renee Flagler, Gwynne Forster, Rekaya Gibson, Dr. Jacqualyn F. Green, Patricia Haley, Dr. Anita Heiss, C.F. Jackson, Mondella Jones, Marc Lacy, Lutishia Lovely, N. Kali Mincy, Marguerite Benjamin Parker, William R. Patterson, Mack Smith, Sara Freeman Smith, and Bryan-Keyth Wilson.
Workshops were offered on Getting the Creative Juices Flowing, Fundamentals of Writing Fiction, Writing Christian Fiction, Romance Writing, Powerful Plots, Writing a Nonfiction Book That Sells, Maximize Your Writing Through Enhanced Spirituality, Writing for Young Readers, Writing Your Memoirs, Writing a Book Proposal, Superior Book Marketing Strategies for Big Profits, Making the First Sale (to Agents & Editors), From Self-Published to Mainstream Bestseller, How to Self-Publish & Market Your Own Book, What You Need to Know About Literary Law, Media, Book Club and Public Relations for Authors, Editing Essentials for the Self-Published Writer, Get Published Through e-Publishing or Print on Demand, S.P.E.A.K – Sensational, Powerful, Engaging, Authoritative Keys to Public Presentation, The Play’s the Thing, Getting Started Screenwriting, Technical Writing, Grant Writing as a Career, How to Make & Market Greeting Cards, Website Makeover Workshop, Careers in the Written World, Essence of Spoken Word, and Blogging the Write Way.
BWRC 2010 Atlanta
In celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the first BWRC, the group returned to Atlanta, Georgia. Held at the W Atlanta Perimeter Hotel, June 23-26, speakers included Dwan Abrams, Stacy Hawkins Adams, Dr. Linda Beed, Dr. Angela Benson, Dr. Venise Berry, Chiquita Board, Michelle Chester, Tonya Marie Evans, Esq., Renee Flagler, Sharon Ewell Foster, Gwynne Forster, Dr. Jacqualyn F. Green, Patricia Haley, Dr. Anita Heiss, Marc Lacy, Nakia Laushaul, Cheryl Pullins, Mack Smith, Sara Freeman Smith, Melanie Trausch, and Bryan-Keyth Wilson
Workshops included Turning Ideas Into Stories; Authors as Activists; Creating Strong Characters; Powerful Plots; Scene & Setting; Dialogue & Style; Learning to Layer; Developing Emotion in Fiction; Point of View; Writing Your Memoirs – Dr. Anita Heiss; Secrets of Group Writing & Collaboration Success; Creating Your “Write” Space; Self-Editing Techniques & Tricks; Writing Christian Fiction; The Elements of Romance; Self-Publishing; Marketing the Write Way; ImPRESS the Press; Write Some Cents Into It; Quit Your Day Job & Write; Travel Writing; Playwriting 101; Getting Started in Screenwriting; From Book to Film; Speak Easy; Legal Matters That Matter to Writers; How to Profit From Poetry; open reading critique sessions moderated by Dr. Linda Beed & Stacy Hawkins Adams plus an extended workshop on Writing the Novel – Story and Structure presented by Dr. Berry.