The BackList

This is a retired blog. For the new and improved BackList blog, please visit!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

AOL Black Voices

Beginning Monday, January 29th, I will be blogging on AOL Black Voices' More than Words book blog. It will be all about my favorite subject: books.

I'll continue to blog here at BackList (of course). But be sure to check me out there!

BackList is looking for Essays

Attention Writers!!

BackList is looking for personal essays about the writing process, publishing, and being a writer (the challenges and joys) to publish on This is a great way to promote yourself and connect with an audience of readers. This opportunity is open to both published and unpublished writers.

If you're interested send an essay idea or theme to for consideration. Essays will range in word count from 500-700 words.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Literary Festival in PG County, MD

Contact: Ms. Judine B.Slaughter
The Black Writers’ Guild, MD – PG Chapter
PO Box 83
Mt. Rainier, MD
301-703-9849 and

2007 Afrocentric Book Expo presented by The Black Writers’ Guild, MD – PG Chapter

In celebration of Black History Month, the Black Writers' Guild, presents 2007 Afrocentric Book Expo in the Mall at Prince Georges located at 3500 East West Highway, (Route 410) Hyattsville, MD 20782 on February 24, 2007 from 10am-5pm.

Now in its fourth year, the Black Writers' Guild, MD -- Prince George 's Chapter will showcase African-American literary talent.

Activities throughout the day:
Writing activities for all ages
Meet Black Writers, Editors and Publishers
Entertainment and Workshops
Poets from DC Creative Writing Workshop

Some of its exhibitors participating in the 2007 Afrocentric Book Expo include

 Monique Douglass
 Teressa Leath
 Ambrose Lane , Sr
 La Shawn Samuel
 Robyn Ringgold
 Anita Lambert
 T.S. Grant
 Jude Andreasen
 Darrell Cador
 Delois Jackson
 Yvonne Cooper
 Jessica Tilles
 Bobby Morrison
 Jesse Sharp
 J.R. Fenwick
 Lisa Shepard Stewart
 Sheila Riley
 Alexis Dobbins
 Ella Curry
 Leslie Allen
 George Wilson

For more information about the 2007 Afrocentric Book Expo, please visit

Take the Oprah Quiz

Think you're book is worthy to be on Oprah (and what author doesn't)? Take the quiz here.


Tell me what you scored. I got an 8.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Kevin Young

The Washington Post profiled Kevin Young to discuss his new collection of poetry, For the Confederate Dead. Crazy enough, what I found most interesting is that he's married to Kate Tuttle, a former editor at I just remember that Kate was very nice to me a few years ago when I was living in Boston and emailed her blindly about something (maybe trying to get a job, or freelance work, or networking, can't remember). I heard she was spearheading some African American database project.

Anywho, back to Kevin. The new collection sounds engaging and a little intense. Adding it to the list.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

New Caribbean fiction journal accepting submissions, a new online literary journal publishing Caribbean fiction, is now accepting submissions. For more information, go to

Submission GuidelinesLabrish publishes literary fiction that reflects the Caribbean experience. Fiction submitted to Labrish does not have to be set in the Caribbean. However, we are not interested in fiction that simply plays with old stereotypes about the Caribbean. At this time we do not publish poetry, essays (scholarly or personal), book reviews, or any material that does not lend itself to the story format.How to SubmitSubmit your stories electronically to submit [at] We accept submissions year round and aim to respond to your submissions within 6 weeks.

Labrish publishes Caribbean fiction in electronic and print formats. In its electronic form, Labrish publishes one story a month on the Web site Labrish also publishes anthologies of Caribbean writing, which may include fiction that first appeared online. At this time, we do not publish essays (scholarly or personal), poetry, book reviews, or any material that does not lend itself to the story format. Labrish aims to publish quality fiction-whether traditional or experimental, in standard or Caribbean English-by established and emerging writers.Labrish is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions in behalf of Labrish may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

For more information go to or to make a donation on our behalf go to

Advisory/Editorial Board
Merle Collins
Sha-Shana Crichton
Renee Shea
Jacqueline Brice-Finch

Donna Hemans

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Apparently Racial Equality happened and I just didn't know about it.

As we just celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day we should all be happy to know that racial equality has been achieved! Well, that is according to the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE). The watchdog has complained that the Decibel Penguin Prize (awarded by the Arts Council England) discriminates against white writers because the award is only open to British writers of Asian, African, or Caribbean background. Check out Galleycat's entry.

The whole point of the award was to level the arts playing field for minority writers. But apparently that field is already leveled (where exactly?). The Arts Council of England entered into discussions with the CRE and has made the second Decibel prize open to all writers on the theme of immigration.

Read more.

Monday, January 15, 2007

MLK's Dream

I'm spending the majority of the Martin Luther King's day writing which I've justified by saying thanks in part to the work of MLK, I have the opportunity to pursue my own dreams. But I am still taking the time to reflect on his legacy.

Right now I'm in a fancy coffee shop (free wi-fi and good apple cider) in a gentrified section of Harlem where black people and white people and asian people and latino people are sitting together.

But there is a noticeable awkwardness. We seem to be suspicious of one other. We're sitting together, but we're not speaking. But we're trying jive hard to be PC about it.

Progress? For sure. Is there still work to be done? Indeed.

In the meantime read an article from Richard Prince called "What would Martin read?" Maybe one of my books will be on such a list one day. That would be a dream fulfilled.

Friday, January 12, 2007

It's a Mess

I'm late discussing this but you may have already heard that AMS, a distributor responsible for getting books into places like Costco has filed for bankruptcy. AMS also owned PGW, a distributor for many independent publishers.

Why you should care: if you are an author signed to an independent press distributed by PGW your publishing house will be affected.

Check out to see if your publisher is a client of PGW.

So Perseus Books Group is trying to swoop in like Superman and help rescue PGW clients after announcing an intent to buy Avalon Publishing Group (the founder also founded PGW. Perseus wants to offer PGW clients an opportunity to be distributed by them. Perseus acquired CDS and recently acquired Consortium, two distributors for independente presses.

PW had a good article recaping things as did Publishers Lunch.

But it's a mess. I'm feeling it for all of PGW clients. I hope that they will be able to work out something quickly that works to everyone's benefit.

Friday, January 05, 2007

50's Launch at Borders

PW covered 50's launch at Borders.

Here are interesting points about the article if you want to skip reading it:

1) His memoir, which was released in August 2005, 73,000 copies in hardcover and 6,000 in paperback. (according to Bookscan)

2) He's cowriting a book with Robert Greene, the author of The 50 Laws of Power which will be a hip hop updated edition. I think this is very smart and was wondering when a rapper would jump on the opportunity.

3) According to the MTV Books publishing director, 50 Cent takes his publishing responsibilities seriously, coming to marketing meetings with ideas and opinions and only a very small entourage. "He's not a diva, he has no diva qualities," says Hoye.

4) He explained that he got interested in books by having to occupy his time on long airplane rides.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

50 Cent launches his book imprint

I thought it was already launched, but apparently not. Tomorrow in NYC at the Borders in Time Warner Center (which isn't that big, so it's a weird spot to have the signing) will launch G-Unit books. His imprint on MTV/Pocket. Authors Nikki Turner (who I like) and K. Elliott will also be there for to sign their novels from the imprint.

To all those 50 Cent fans out there, please note:

There is a limit of up to five autographed copies of any G-Unit Books per
wristband. No memorabilia, CDs, periodicals, or books about or by 50 Cent,
with the exception of G-Unit Books, will be signed by the rapper.

Leave The Massacre at home.