14th National Black Writers Conference: “Gathering at the Waters: Healing, Legacy, and Activism in Black Literature”

14th National Black Writers Conference: “Gathering at the Waters: Healing, Legacy, and Activism in Black Literature”

2018 NBWC Honorary Co-Chair Dr. Myrlie Evers-Williams

Honorees: Steven Barnes, Kwame Dawes, Tananarive Due, David Levering Lewis, Eugene B. Redmond, Susan L. Taylor, and Colson Whitehead

Thursday, March 22 – Sunday, March 25, 2018; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Medgar Evers College, CUNY, Founders Auditorium
1650 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11225

Registration information

Conference Description:

The 14th National Black Writers Conference (NBWC), a major program hosted by the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY, will be held at Medgar Evers College, from Thursday, March 22, to Sunday, March 25, 2018. Dr. Myrlie Evers-Williams is the Honorary Chair. Award-winning writers Colson Whitehead, Kwame Dawes, David Levering Lewis, Susan L. Taylor, speculative fiction writers Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due, and cultural historian Eugene B. Redmond are 2018 National Black Writers Conference Honorees. Through invigorating panel discussions and roundtable conversations, author readings, film screenings, workshops, and performances, writers, scholars, literary professionals, students and the general public will convene over four days to discuss issues related to the conference theme, to examine the state of literature produced by Black writers, to listen to writers read from their work and to attend writers’ workshops.

The theme of the 14th National Black Writers (NBWC) “Gathering at the Waters: Healing, Legacy, and Activism in Black Literature” acknowledges our concern about the recent, and still continued, issues of social inequality and injustices that challenge us and builds on the legacy of healing through activism. This timely theme centers on the ways in which Black writers use their writing to explore and convey messages that heal and restore our individual selves and collective community. The Conference will also examine the instrumental role that Black writers have played in building our cultural history; the imprint that this has left in Black literature; and how the literature of Black writers has impacted present-day and future generations. And lastly, we will also look at the significance of activism in writers’ works, that is how a writer’s beliefs and personal vigorous action are used to support the political and social change they want to see take place in today’s society and in the world. A major strand of the Conference will be a series of panels focused on “Community Conversations on Race, Resistance, & Activism.”

14th National Black Writers Conference Program

*Program schedule subject to change.              

Day 1 — Thursday, March 22: Community Day

This day of events is Free and Open to the public. Call for Papers Presentations; Youth Day Literacy; Elders Writing Workshop; and Poetry Café (this event is off-site).
RSVP for selected events.

  • Youth Day Literacy Programs
  • Conference Presentation of Scholarly Papers
  • Tales of Our Times/Elders Writing Workshop
  • “Eighth Annual Poetry Café”:

Brooklyn Public Library

10 Grand Army Plaza

Brooklyn, NY 11238

Day 2 — Friday, March 23, 2018


10 am – 11:45 am: Fiction workshop
10 am – 11:45 am: Poetry workshop

Film Screening:

10:00 am – Noon: BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez
Noon – 12:30 pm: Film Talkback
Sabrina Schmidt Gordon and Janet Goldwater, Moderated by Dr. Brenda Greene
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm:  BREAK
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm: Roundtable Conversation: “Literary Activism in the Post-Obama Era”
3:15 pm –4:45 pm: “The Black Arts Movement: A Foundation for a Literature of Resistance and Activism”
5:00 pm – 5:30 pm: Author Reading with Sonia Sanchez
6 pm: Welcome Reception
Akwaaba Mansion
347 MacDonough St.
Brooklyn, NY 11233
7 pm — 9 pm: Open Mic – Coordinated by MEC Office of Student Life

Day Three — Saturday, March 24, 2018


10 am – 11:45 am: Fiction
10 am – 11:45 am: Book Proposals; One-on-One Meetings
10:00 am – 1 pm: One-on-One Meetings
10:00 am – noon: Film Screening
Noon – 12:30 pm: Film Talkback
 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm: BREAK
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm: Panel Discussion: “Gathering at the Waters: A Call for Healing”
3:00 pm 4:00 pm: Author Readings
4:00 pm –5:00 pm: Featured Author Conversation
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm: 2018 NBWC Awards Program
7:15 pm – 9:15 pm:  2018 NBWC Benefit Reception

Day Four — Sunday, March 25, 2018


10 am – 11:45 am: Creative Nonfiction/Memoir
10 am – 11:45 am: Book Proposals
10 am – 11:45 am:  Poetry
10 am – 1 pm: One-on-One Meetings
1 pm – 2:30 pm: Panel Discussion: “The Influence of Race and Politics on Literary Narratives”
3:00 pm 4:30 pm: Panel Discussion: “The State of Publishing for Black Writers”

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