Celebrating the Written Word
Literary events bring book clubs, authors and avid readers together to show support for the often underrated AA author and to help narrow the gap left by the closing of many of our AA book stores.
In 2008, to celebrate their 10th anniversary, The Reading Divas Book Club of Bowie, MD, hosted a one day literary brunch. Author Mary Monroe was the keynote speaker. Following the success of that event, the club went on to host four more such events - other keynote speakers included Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant, Daniel Black, Bernice McFadden and Pamela Samuels Young.
In 2012, after authors and readers began clamoring for more, the one day brunch was abandoned and The Black Authors & Readers Rock Weekend - a two day literary and networking conference - was born.
That October, Karen Quinones Miller spoke at the first Friday evening reception and NAACP Image Award Winner Pamela Samuels Young and Mary Monroe were the keynote speakers. In 2013 Naleighna Kai rocked The Rock Weekend's first book club meeting when she led the discussion of her book "Open Door Marriage".
Keynote speakers have included best selling and award winning authors ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Victoria Christopher Murray, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Dwayne Alexander Smith and in 2016, Lisa Renee Johnson, author and book club president whose book club was put off a California Wine Train for "laughing too loud".
The featured authors who have graced this event over the years are all outstanding in their own right ~ authors like Donna Hill, Rochelle Alers, Pat G'eorge Walker, Cerece Rennie Murphy, Sadeqa Johnson, KL Brady, Nina Foxx, Renee Daniel Flagler, Lutishia Lovely, Evelyn Palfrey, Nigeria Lockley, and LaQuette.
Twice, the Friday Night Reception has "Rained Men" with a panel discussion featuring outstanding male authors including Brian Smith, Dwayne Alexander Smith, Curtis Bunn, Pulitzer Prize Winner Leonard Pitts, Jr., Harold Fisher, R.M. Johnson, and Austin Camacho.
Authors and readers have traveled from California, Florida, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan and the Carolinas to be part of this conference, that is described by many as one of their favorite literary events.
Stay tuned for news about 2018!