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Kudos

“BWRC was so awesome! Again, I have met some amazing, motivated, and talented writers.The BWRC staff has this secret formula. Ingredients: great staff, great presenters and workshops, uninhibited atmosphere, smooth transportation to and from the airport, more food at a luncheon than you can eat in two days (OMG). I heard a lot of people who said all of this was great for the price. Tia and staff, you ROCK!!!” – BWRC Veteran Kimberly Bibbs, Houston, Texas

“If you did not attend the Black Writers Reunion & Conference, you missed out on an AWESOME thing! I want to thank everyone for taking time to share with me and Tia Ross for taking the time to put this together for us. See you all in 2012!” – First-time attendee Aynoit Ashor

“The BWRC conference in Atlanta was truly a blessing!!! I made new friends and connected with a few old friends. I networked with fellow wrters and received a wealth of knowledge to assist me on my journey as an author. Thank you Tia Ross & BWRC!” – BWRC Veteran Adriane Sheffield
“Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine that BWRC 09 could be topped. BWRC 2010 was crazy fantastic. Tia Ross and her AMAZING crew know how to throw a family…I mean Writers’ Reunion & Conference! 2012 it’s on… so start $aving! No more excuses, ya hear? ;-D” – BWRC Veteran Nakia Laushaul

“The 2010 Black Writers Reunion & Conference was life-changing for me. It refined my vision as an aspiring writer, it revealed my strengths & weaknesses, and placed me, an amateur, in the company of greats! I thank you for the opportunity and want the world to know that we need to be in the business of giving credit where credit is due, which we are not accustomed to but overdue for doing! Tia, your work is not in vain; you are moving people to the next level and building their writing confidence!” – First-time attendee Lyn Davis, Lithonia, Georgia

“I was blown away by all the information and resources made available. The 2010 BWRC was inspirational, motivational and educational. If I can’t get my book off the ground after this, well too bad for me! Special shout out to Tia Ross and staff – THANK YOU!” – First-time attendee Jackie Rogers

“Greetings, Tia, just wanted to say one more ‘Thank You!’ for the opportunity to be a part of this fabulous event. In addition to providing the Wellness Sessions, I also was inspired to renew my writing pursuits. Heard many wonderful stories of love and appreciation for you and I just wanted to add my own.” – First-time BWRC presenter Maggie Davenport

“This has been a fabulous experience. Thank you Tia and all who put in the time to bring such an excellent conference to the people.” – First-time BWRC speaker Dr. Linda Beed

“The Black Writers Reunion & Conference was wonderfull! Tia Ross and crew did a great job! If you are a Black writer, plan to go in 2012. Black Writers Reunion & Conference is the best ever.” – BWRC Veteran Sherrice Thomas

“I’m back from the BWRC in Atlanta, and it was everything that I expected . . . Amazing! The connections and networking opportunities made at the conference are invaluable. Thank you, Tia Ross and Family, for making it another incredible event to remember.” – Monique D. Mensah

“The Black Writers Reunion and Conference 2010 was an amazing experience. So many authors willing to share their knowledge and experiences. I learned a great deal; it was just what I needed. I appreciate the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people. Thanks to Tia Ross and everyone associated with BWRC.” – First-time attendee Marcella Sanders, Cleveland, Ohio

“Just wanted to say that I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED my first BWRC experience. I found myself sad that it was ending, but now look at my experience as a new beginning. I won’t be disappointed if “2012″ becomes “2011.” Either way, I’m there :) ” – First-time attendee Sheretta Edwards, Houston, Texas

“If I could only use ONE word to describe Black Writers Reunion & Conference that is what it would be. But thankfully I can use more than that one word.

I loved every single moment of the conference from the second I walked into the hotel lobby. WOW! “We” have a reputation of not sharing information with each other. Well, BWRC laid that stereotype to rest. I felt like I approached a spring after a long journey on a desert. I couldn’t drink in the information fast enough.

“Don’t buy everything at once.” This statement jumped up, stood in my face and wagged its finger at me while it came out of presenter Nakia Laushaul’s mouth during the “Write Some Cents into It” workshop.

“You are a brand.” Who me? Me, Aynoit Ashor. I am a brand?!? This statement still rings in my mind on a daily basis. Readers expect a certain story from the pages of my books. After I left Renee Flagler’s “Marketing the Write Way” workshop, I had so many ideas that I had to sit down and make a to-do list on where to begin!

“We are responsible for the seeds we plant on the earth.” ~Sharon Ewell Foster. This sister inspired me beyond belief in her “Christian Writing” workshop. She said so many things that honestly changed the way I think, not only about writing but about life. I now know my seeds will be roses and not weeds.

Stacy Hawkins Adams and Sharon shared information with me during the critique session that had me reevaluate the current story I am writing. Shoot, the entire conference made me take a step back and look at it all over again. I am going to spruce up my story and it’s going to be awesome because of you, the speakers at BWRC and the other authors in attendance.

I humbly thank you so much for this experience. If there is ANYTHING I can do for you, please let me know. And I mean that! I know people say that but are just saying it because they feel like they need to say it. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Reach out to me and I will do anything I can to help out.

May God continue to bless you for all you do.” – Aynoit Ashor, Author of the Family Secrets Series

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“This was my first time attending a BWRC conference and I really did not know what to expect. Let me just say I was simply blown away. To say it exceeded my expectations would not even begin to describe the experience for me. Spending two days among talented, intelligent, articulate women and men was in and of itself a delight. To have those individuals be Black and writers, well, it just does not get any better than that. Not only were all of the presenters encouraging and inspirational, they were without exception generous with their time and gave sound and practical advice. I believe I have made connections that will last a lifetime and I know the advice garnered will certainly add to my success as a writer. Thank you again for a job well done. Your efforts have touched so many lives. What a grand legacy to leave and what a fine example you and your team are for others. May God richly bless you and yours.” – Carol Meeks, California

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“The conference was awesome. This was my first one, but it won’t be the last one that I attend. I intend to bring a group with me for the next one. Just fabulous!!” – Kimberly Bibbs, Texas

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“In one word: FANVUCKINGTABULOUS!!! I cant begin to describe how inspired I am from all the information I soaked in. After taking in all the info & being ohhhh so inspired from all the Black authors & their accomplishments, I’ve decided its time for me to make some serious moves other than just writing and talking about it.” – Sharla Atkins, California

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“This was my third BWRC and it was fabulous! Old faces and new faces mix and mingle as we realize we’re all connected by one single thing — the love of writing! conversation about writing, editing and publishing. This is the reason that the BWRC is so special to me; being among writers who understand each other, no matter where you are on the writing journey. I’m exhausted as I always am after these conferences. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I look forward to 2011 — wherever BWRC winds up, I’ll be there.” – Donna Deloney, Illinois

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“Thanks for a great conference! I learned some valuable things while there. It was my first time attending, but it’s definitely not the last.” – Shatona Sumberlin, Texas

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The conference was awesome! I had my expectations, but I left Vegas on Sunday morning feeling more fulfilled and inspired than I had ever expected. I met a host of other wonderful writers who came with the hopes of spreading their God-given talent and making an impact on the world. I immediately felt like I was in my element, with people who understood me and my purpose. I learned so much. Plus it was in Vegas! I’m reading rumors about a 2010 conference?? Do it. I’m there!” – Monique Mensah, Michigan

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“The BWRC was the highlight of my professional career in the past decade! I left inspired and better skilled as a writer.” – Anita Heiss, Australia

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“Thanks Tia for the wonderful conference! I applaud you and your staff for operating in the spirit of excellence.” – Stacy Adams, Illinois

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“Tia, I just want to thank you for the opportunity to attend the Black Writers Reunion Conference in Las Vegas. The news that I won the scholarship could not have come at a better time. I had just lost my stepfather in March, and my biological father in February. These two men were my biggest fans and cheerleaders, and I felt so discouraged about a lot of things. When I submitted my short story God had given me the word that I needed to stop procrastinating and being scared and move forward with my dreams. It always pays to step out on faith. I obtained so much quality information on how to self-publish my book as well as find an editor and artist for my cover. Reshonda Tate Billingsley’s workshop was awesome and informative and she is such a down-to-earth and sincere woman. M. Kali Mincy’s workshop made me feel as if I was getting information that people would pay thousands of dollars to have, and I was blessed to receive it. She kept it real with us but encouraged us to continue to make our work our number one priority. A lot of times I think that we as writers allow life’s situations to take a front seat and our aspirations to write take a back seat.

This conference has shown me that not only do I have something to say in my poetry and my stories, but that I am doing myself and my readers a disservice when I do not put my thoughts to paper and get it out there to the public. I may have a good poem or story; however, it is not doing me any good if it is just in my head. The Christian writing workshop was also informative. As a Christian woman who writes I felt hindered and fearful of what I should or could write in my stories, and Mrs. Deloney helped clear it all up for me and showed me that I was on the right track. In the end I have to stay true to myself and my work. God will work out the rest. I look forward to coming to the event next year. God Bless, and Keep up the Awesome work.” – Tyrona Hill, Philadelphia PA

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“Phenomenal conference. You and the crew did a fabulous job. Tell the ladies I said hello and I love you all.
I want to be a part of anything you guys put together. You exuded excellence!” – Renee Flagler, New York

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“I can’t begin to thank you for all that I experienced at the conference. I’m just disappointed that I hadnt been a part of the previous one. You and your staff put together more than just a conference, but new friendships, information beyond what one could ever pay for, and memories to never be forgotten. I thank you for all your hard work in putting these together and I look forward to all the ones to come. Again, Thank you Tia. Love and Peace to you and your staff.” – Jonathan Gaines, Ohio

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“I want to say thank you again for allowing me to participate at this year’s Black Writers Reunion & Conference. Having the chance to meet fellow authors and writers who I’ve connected with online, finally we came face-to-face. The experience was nothing but positive, except there wasn’t enough time.” – C.F. Jackson, Georgia

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“I had some ambivalence about attending only because I have wanted to attend for soooo long, but as a wife and mother first and foremost, it seemed every year one of our daughters was graduating, had end-of-the-year programs, dance recitals and more. In 2008, we sent the last one off to college and I started looking forward to BWRC 2009 immediately. Then, the economic crisis hit us hard and money became an issue. My husband finally found a new job, but I did not want to ask him for any money, because he was holding down the fort on the homefront. The Census Bureau hired me part-time and temporary and I began saving for BWRC right away. Every time I asked my husband if he wanted me to pay a bill or two, he said, “Save for your writers’ conference. You’ve been wanting this so long.” I have attended other conferences years ago but never one run by US, for US and about US in this crazy writing/publishing business, not even one where we were even a half or a third of the participants.

As June ’09 got closer, I started wondering if there would be all these sharp, young sistahs there and I’d feel out of place. Yes, there were a lot of you, but I never felt out of place. I started wondering if everyone would be reuniting from past conferences and I’d feel alone. Yes, there was plenty of reuniting, but I didn’t feel alone. I thought I might be the only Muslim woman there and I was, but that was okay too. I realized at some point that satan was making me second-guess my plans and I had to stop and pull myself together. To get the least expensive flight, I flew from Atlantic City, New Jersey, to Fort Lauderdale and had a five-hour layover before my flight to Las Vegas. On the way back, I had a seven-hour layover, but that gave me time to see my grandson, who lives in Miami. In the end, I had such a wonderful time, was so inspired and met such beautiful women (and a few great brothas too). I have organized conferences before and I know how much hard work and commitment it takes to make everything run as smoothly as you and your team did. BIG CONGRATS!!! BWRC ’09 was well-organized, the presenters were excellent and the facilities were very nice. I am hopeful for a BWRC ’10 and hope you might consider my hometown of Atlantic City sometime in the future. Thanks again.” – Turiya S. Abdur-Raheem, New Jersey

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The Academy Awards of the African American Literary Community

I do not have words eloquent enough to describe my experience at the Black Writers Reunion Conference and Gold Pen Awards; however, I would be remiss if I didn’t try. As an event planner I know how much work goes into an event of this magnitude. So for everything to go seamlessly and be so well organized is no small feat. I applaud Tia and her hardworking staff and thank them for allowing me the opportunity to participate. I look forward to next year’s event and the continued sisterhood of the BWRC and the AABCS.” – Pam Walker-Williams, Chairperson, African American Book Club Summit; Founder & Webmaster, Pageturner.net

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“The best writer’s conference for me was Black Writers Reunion [& Conference] because I got so much out of the workshops I went to. It was great. I have two notebooks full of information that I’m still using today.” – Cyndi Louis

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“Congratulations on a job well done. I have never been to a more enjoyable and smoothly run conference in all my years in publishing and there’s been a lotta years lemmetellya. And I’m not the only person who thinks so. Thanks again for your careful attention to detail and comfort.” – Carol Taylor

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“BWRC 2001 was a spiritual journey as much as artistic for me. It’s an educational, informational, and entertaining foundation where novelists, poets, and playwrights mingle as one. It has all the elements of a one-two punch. The conference will continue to climb each summer to the most infinite powers in the literary and theatre world.” – Terrence Spivey

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“The Black Writers Reunion & Conference was nothing short of fertile soil upon which writers, aspiring and seasoned, came together to meet, network, and learn from and alongside some of the literary world’s best and brightest. The workshops were informative and extremely relevant and the instructors were well-prepared; the extracurricular events were inspiring; and the facilitators and organizers selflessly ensured a successful event. It was a lesson in craft, entrepreneurship, and commitment to elevating and guarding the standards in African American literature. Thanks to the BWRC, there is soil, fertile soil, upon which we can continue to gather as a family to learn, inspire, and grow.” – Jamellah Ellis

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“The BWRC can only be described as a total EXPERIENCE. I have been to a number of conferences, both black and white, and none came close to what I experienced in Dallas. I walked away feeling renewed, revived and rededicated to the craft of writing. There was something for everyone there (not to mention the extensive networking). I missed the 2000 conference, but after this year, I know I’ll never miss another one!” – ReShonda Tate Billingsley

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“Well, you’ve done it again. The conference was DA BOMB!!!! I’m still buzzing from the wealth of information, inspiration, and encouragement I received. I have so much respect and admiration for you and the rest of the BWA for being able to put together such a rich, positive, and thoroughly enjoyable event. What makes the BWRC so special is that it is not just about about writing and publishing; it’s also about friendship and family. I’m already counting the days to our next reunion!” – David McGoy

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“I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the conference and you are commended for a first-class affair. The authors and presenters provided me with ample information to use in my upcoming projects and the conference provided the ideal setting to renew old friendships and initiate new ones.” – Memphis Vaughan, Jr., Founder/Editor, TimBookTu.com

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“Let me say that you really outdid yourself with the conference. It was one of the best gatherings I’ve attended in a long time. Everything was handled very professionally. Thanks again for allowing me to participate in the event.” – Robert Fleming

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“I was so charged up from attending the conference. I am also so very pleased to see the kind of organization and nurturing available to African-American writers that has been available to white writers for years.” – Tananarive Due

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“When I joined Black Writers Alliance two years ago, I didn’t dream that it would emerge as such a potent institution in support of African American writers. The 2000 conference surprised and delighted me, for it was a first effort. However, the 2001 Black Writers Reunion and Conference bested it by far with its superior workshops, flawless organization and accommodations, and a magnificent company of authors–a soul enriching gathering of sisters and brothers. I hope to be there for the next.” – Gwynne Forster

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“[BWRC is] not just an event for budding authors to learn but an opportunity for established authors to hone their skills and to learn about different aspects of the industry.” – Troy Johnson, AALBC.com

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“I am so proud of the staff and members of Black Writers Alliance that I could scream. Yessssssssss! We showed up and showed out at this year’s Black Writers Reunion and Conference! I can’t stop talking about the professionalism of the BWRC staff and presenters. Each presenter promised and delivered a dynamite session on the do’s and don’ts of publishing. A wealth of information was exchanged, retained, and sustained by all. I walked away with renewed energy and a real commitment to completing my literary goals. Also, it was absolutely grand meeting and bonding with so many of my contemporaries. There is so much talent in our community and the spotlight was definitely shining on Dallas the weekend of August 3rd.” – Janette Owens

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“It is almost impossible to believe that this conference is only two years old. This conference was awesome! One hundred times more than I had expected!” – Jeanette Hill

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“I must commend you on the fine job you all did in organizing this invent. I walked away renewed inspiration and a more profound knowledge of the publishing industry.” – Sonia Jewell

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“Your wonderful efforts and those of your staff were a triumph. I have never enjoyed a conference more.” – Constance Lestrade

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“I think that this conference was excellent! Kudos to Tia and all involved for making the conference such a success. I can definitely see its future and continued progress. It was wonderful meeting and being in the midst of so many others who share my passion for writing. I wish you continued success in your writing endeavors and look forward to seeing you next year.” – T’wanna Birdine

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“I just wanted to express my gratitude to you and to those who helped you put the conference together- it was incredible! I also wanted to let you know that networking is happening because of this. Some of my fellow authors and I who met at the conference are now sharing information about bookstores and events so that we can each have it easier in terms of promoting our work. We all live within two hours of each other, which means we can also support each other’s signings and get together once in awhile.” – Maurice Gray

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“The Black Writer’s Reunion & Conference was an awesome, inspirational experience. Complete with seminars, expos, banquets and Soul Train lines, I came away with a renewed determination to pursue my dream of writing fiction as well as marketing myself as a business writer. Authors, play writes, and aspiring writers all shared stories of struggle, perseverance, and success. It was an open forum to discuss the many facets of the writing industry. The BWA assembled a group of authors and speakers who exuded warmth and charisma, who were inviting in their personalities and who helped to create an atmosphere of genuine sharing of knowledge and joy in others success. The volunteer staff was fantastic; the hotel staff was all professional. They helped to make the experience even more enjoyable.

The BWA has grown tremendously in all the right directions and this is no doubt attributable to the years of Tia’s hard work. She has stepped out on faith and followed her heart. Successes like the conference are her reward. I am so proud of Tia’s and the BWA’s success. For those of you who couldn’t make it, my advice would be for you to purchase the tapes or CDs because you missed some valuable knowledge and PLAN EARLY for next year.” – Shawn Harris

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“It took me a moment to calm down from the hot temperature outside and the HOT topics inside. I was absorbing every little bit of information. I relished all the well wishes; particularly the reunion of all my literary brothers and sisters and those I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time. I didn’t think BWA would be able to top their debut event. I was wrong a thousand times over. Once again, BWA set the bar! God bless and I hope to see you next year.” – Pat G’Orge Walker

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“I had a wonderful time at the BWRC 2001. First of all, it was an honor to meet and exchange information with so many people because each of us participate in similar functions as far as promoting writers and books. I felt a kinship that is immeasurable. Secondly, you get more than your money’s worth in regards to the workshops. Each one seemed designed to cover just about every aspect of the publishing industry and/or a writer’s concerns such as: generating book publicity, preparing a book proposal; pitching your story idea; the job of an editor and the various types of editing, etc. No matter which workshop you attended, you were going to come out of there knowing something you didn’t know before. The hotel accommodations were excellent. It was just a great atmosphere, lots of laughing, bonding, sharing, and getting that personal touch with people in a way you won’t get when you’re talking to them via e-mail and chat rooms. In summary, the BWRC is our opportunity to ask questions of those people whose books we’ve read. At first we may feel a little intimidated by these celebrated writers, however, we soon learn that they are people too, they’re passionate about their craft and the business, and they are there to share and to help others, and that’s what it’s all about. I had a great time and am definitely looking forward to 2002.” – Cydney Rax