The BackList

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Call for Submissions


As part of our ongoing commitment to celebrate the literary arts and
promote literacy in Prince George's County and the National Capital
Area, each year Capital BookFest (www.capitalbookfes publishes
a new book, gives away over 500 complimentary copies to festival
attendees, and offers remaining copies for sale. In previous years,
we have given away over 1500 copies of a collection of young adult
short stories and poems, and a beautifully- illustrated children's
book. In 2007, we are publishing a coffee-table book featuring
original photography and poetry.

Capital BookFest '07 seeks poems related to the theme of family.
Specifically, we are looking for poems that explore the rituals and
relationships of familial life; the personal and political of "you
and yours;" the soulful love of mothers and sons, fathers and
sisters, grandparents and grandkids. Whether it's a haiku, free
verse, or prose poem, as long as your pen paints sketches of family—
yours, extended, or otherwise—we will consider it (Think Robert
Hayden's "Those Winter Sundays," Nikki Giovanni's "Nikki-Rosa, " Walt
Whitman's "Come up from the Fields, Father," or Lucille
Clifton's "Good Times.")

Authors will receive two copies of book, publishing credit and retain
copyright to their work, in exchange for the right to include their
poem in the Capital BookFest '07 coffee-table book. Space is limited
to 100 poems. A committee of poets and writers representing the
literary community will select final poems for consideration.
Photographs will be presented throughout the anthology and paired
with the various poems.

The anthology will be edited by Kwame Alexander, and released at the
third annual Capital BookFest on October 6, 2007, in Largo, MD.

Submission Requirements:
-Individuals may submit up to two poems
-Poems may be any length
-Poets must have rights to the poem
-Poems that have already appeared in print publications are
as long as
the poet has copyright/permissio n
-Submissions must be emailed. No exceptions. Submit poems in the body
of an email (no attachments) to blackwords@juno. com (Subject line
should say "CBF Poems"). Please include full contact information
(snail mail address, phone, email) and a four-line bio

Incomplete entries will not be considered. All entries must be
received by May 15, 2007.

www.capitalbookfest .com

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Calabash is Coming


An International Lineup of Writers, Musicians and Poets Assemble in Jamaica
KINGSTON, JAMAICA - March 27, 2007 - Those wishing to reach literary nirvana shall look no further than to The Calabash International Literary Festival, the most anticipated literary event in the Caribbean. This year’s festival highlights include a reading from former M*A*S*H* actor turned activist Mike Farrell, anniversaries of important musical and literary works from the Caribbean, and the announcement of the prestigious 2007 Commonwealth Writers Prize.
Returning to Jake’s Resort in Treasure Beach, Jamaica, May 25-27, Calabash has consistently delivered inspirational performances for the past six years from some of the most renowned authors, poets and musicians. This year, twenty-nine diverse and uniquely gifted artists will combine their talents into several themed programs. Free to the public, this festival offers three days and nights of spoken poetry, excerpts from novels, thought-provoking discussion and music - not only from Jamaica, but also around the world.
An Inspiring Program of International Artists
Friday, May 25
Calabash will kick off on Friday night, May 25 with a Jamaican style dinner at Jack Sprat seaside restaurant, followed by a one-man performance piece by renowned stage, TV and film actor Roger Guenveur Smith titled Who Killed Bob Marley? Edgy Indie, Brooklyn publisher Akashic Books, will host an exciting mix of genre and voice featuring Felicia Luna Lemus, Joe Meno, and Aaron Petrovich.
Saturday, May 26
Among the offerings on Saturday, former M*A*S*H* actor turned progressive activist, Mike Farrell will read from his memoirs, Just Call me Mike, and be interviewed by Colin Channer during Chatterbox. America the Beautiful gives the stage to three African American Women poets, Elizabeth Alexander, Linda Susan Jackson, and Patricia Smith followed by readings from nominees of the Commonwealth Writers Prize.
Sunday, May 27
Calabash devotes most of its last day to pay homage to important literary and musical works of the Caribbean such as the 50th Anniversary of The Mystic Masseur by V.S. Naipaul (Trinidad) and the 30th Anniversary of Bob Marley’s Exodus and Third World’s 96 Degrees in the Shade. Wayne Armond, Stevie Golding, Billy Mystic, Seretse Small, musicians from Jamaica will perform a tribute with voice and guitar. New this year is the announcement of the prestigious 2007 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, one of the most significant literary prizes in the world.
A Literary Endeavor
The mission of the Calabash International Literary Festival Trust is to transform the literary arts in the Caribbean by being the region’s best-managed producer of workshops, seminars and performances. The organization is able to do this through strategic partnerships, media relationships and government support. However, perhaps the single most important reason is because Calabash is a magnet for some of the world’s most gifted authors. For more information, visit:

How to Promote Books

What happens when you bring together Tamia & Mint Condition to promote a novel?

I blogged about this over at AOL Black Voices, but had to blog about this over here too. Check out what JCM Books, an independent publishing house founded by author Edwardo Jackson, is doing to combine books and music and create a very effective medium for promotion.

Launch of powerHouse magazine Issue 2

powerHouse Magazine Issue 2
That 70s Show

Thursday, April 5, 2007, 6:00-9:00 pm
The powerHouse Arena
37 Main Street, Brooklyn, New York
For more information, please call 212-604-9074 x100

Drinks courtesy of Rogue Ales

Please RSVP to

“The 70s smell like fruit punch and Nilla Wafers, wet cardboard on a hazy summer day, fresh dirt under my feet.… At least that’s how I remember the earliest years of my childhood, a couple of which were spent in 70s New York City, the legacy of which has all but disappeared. I have only a vague sense of the 70s, having been too young to watch the flames of political rebellion die down into a smoldering pile of soot from which a great blaze of pop culture arose like the proverbial phoenix. How is it possible that one city, in the course of one decade, could bring forth hip hop, disco, and punk—possibly the most influential movements in music, fashion, and lifestyle of the late twentieth century—during a time of disaster, destitution, and decadence?”

—Miss Rosen

Small Press Writers' Conference


Don't miss this unique opportunity to meet with top publishing professionals and get all your publishing questions answered! On April 13th and 14th, the Third Annual Round Table Writers' Conference, which takes place in Manhattan, will continue its tradition of helping writers get published!

With agents and editors from Random House, Vintage, Knopf, Simon and Schuster, Crown, Harvey Klinger and Sterling Lord Literistic, this year's Writers' Conference is bound to be an exciting and eye-opening look into the world of publishing!

Meet keynote speakers Richard Ford, Colson Whitehead, and Tom McCormack, panelists Lynne Tillman, Natalie Danford, Ben Greenman, Mark McNay, Evan Mandery and many more!

The New York Round Table Writers' Conference is the only conference that covers all aspects of the publishing industry, from self-publishing to independent and small press publishing to publishing with major houses. This is your opportunity to learn the A to Z's of the publishing industry from seasoned experts!!!

Time is drawing near, so register now to reserve your spot. To register, visit , or call the Small Press Center, The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen at 212.764.7021.

Many thanks to our partner, Gotham Writers' Workshop. Additional thanks to our sponsors: Tekserve, Poets & Writers, ForeWord Magazine, Bomb Magazine, Mobile Libris, Paragraph, The Poetry Society of America, Copyright Clearance Center and

The Small Press Center is an educational program of the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Warner Books Changes Name

Well this was bound to happen. After being brought by Hachette Livre, Warner Books has finally changed its name. Are you ready for this one? They are now called Grand Central Publishing. According to Publishers Lunch, the new name reflects their new address north of the station. Publisher Jamie Raab says, "It also reflects the publisher's renewed commitment to publishing a diverse range of books..."

Is it just me or does Grand Central have a New York-centric feel to it, which kind of goes against the whole "publishing a diverse range of books" idea?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Second Part of Agenting Process Explained

From one of my fav book blogs, Big Bad Book Blog, here's the second part of an article that breaks down the agenting process.

Call for Women Writers

The African American Museum in Philadelphia

is seeking 5-10 women from the African diaspora (America, Africa, Caribbean Islands, South America) for its upcoming event:

A Conversation with Black Women Writers

This event will be held on Saturday, March 24 ~ 3 to 5 p.m.

This will not only be an opportunity to gain exposure for yourself or your authors and to sell books but this will also be a chance for the museum attendees to engage with a range of black women writers from throughout the African Diaspora.

To be considered for this event, please send your bio to

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Review of Other People's Property by Jason Tanz

Check out my review of Other People's Property by Jason Tanz in the Baltimore City Paper. I recommend this book for all hip-hop fans.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Submission Call

a. Magazine *Submission Call*

Submission Call to All Writers: Seeking Nonfiction Narratives Framed in Africa

a: Nonfiction Narratives of Africa—due to launch in 2007is the first exclusively nonfiction literary magazine dedicated to publishing Africa’s stories written by writers from across the globe, and, most importantly, emerging and established writers who call the continent of Africa their home. a. is published quarterly, available in U.S. bookstores and to subscribers worldwide.

a. invites submissions of creative nonfiction, including narrative reportage, essays, and memoirs, as well as critical essays that examine the genre and that explore the impact of nonfiction narrative on the lives of its writers, subjects, and readers (specifically narrative nonfiction framed within developing countries and the continent of Africa).

a. is also interested in publishing:

PHOTO ESSAYS with accompanying explicative text.

PROFILES of artists, musicians, NGO managers—anyone with an interesting story or doing interesting, Africa-based work.

ART WORK of all kinds. Painting, Drawing, Collage, etc.

Portraits of the African family. These may be as informal as you would like, in any medium.

Multimedia compositions —audio or visual files that would be appropriate for inclusion on a CD, to accompany our print issue. Audio documentaries, sound portraits, original music, and interactive visual components encouraged.

All submissions must be somehow framed within the continent.

Writer's Guidelines

1. Please submit one work of nonfiction at a time. We accept submissions via e-mail or snail mail.

E-mail Submissions: (Your subject line must read: Submission-YOUR NAME-Title of Submission).

Snail Mail Submissions: Manuscripts must be printed on standard white paper, one side only. Enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope (remember we are located in South Africa so postage must be international) if you would like your work to be returned. Individuals whose works are accepted for publication must supply a final copy in electronic form (RTF, Microsoft Word). Send submissions to the attention of the Submission Team at the following address: a. Magazine—Submissions, PO Box 1128, Hoedspruit 1380, South Africa.

All Submissions: Submit a clearly typed manuscript with a cover letter and a four-to-eight sentence personal bio. All submissions must be double-spaced with one-inch margins and twelve-point font size. All pages should be numbered.

Your submission cover letter must contain your name, postal address, e-mail address, a telephone number where you can be reached, the title of your submission, and a final word count. All submissions should be clean copy compliant with the Chicago Manual of Style (15ed.), ( Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but please let us know in your cover letter. It may take up to sixteen weeks to respond to submissions. We do not accept submissions via fax.

2. We ONLY publish creative nonfiction. We will, on occasion, print work that has been published previously. Our word-length limit is roughly 10,000, though we will consider publishing longer work in serial form. If you think you have a piece that lends itself to serialization, please contact us in advance of submission.

3. We buy First Serial Rights; nonexclusive, one-time anthology rights; and the right to run a portion of the story on our Web sites (; Authors proof their galleys. Authors receive two copies of the issue in which their work appears and a pdf of the issue. Limited compensation upon printing.

4. We encourage you to contact our editors with any question(s) regarding submissions. This may help you clarify exactly what we are looking for and whether or not your work fits within the vision of our publication.

5. All manuscripts are carefully considered. Due to the large number of submissions, we regret that we cannot provide editorial feedback on every manuscript.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Why we don't know book sales

I think it's horrible how book publishers are so reluctant to release sales information. If authors really knew how books sold, I think they would have much more realistic expectations. The LA Times recently published an article about why the publishing industry doesn't want to release sales figures using the excuse that the information is proprietary--only for authors and agents, although both parties will tell you it's like pulling teeth to find out about book sales.

The Agenting Process

One of my favorite blogs, Big Bad Book Blog, has an article about landing an agent. Well it's part one and discusses the first steps of finding and contacting an agent.

I still maintain that one of the best ways to land an agent is through networking. Less and less agents these days are accepting unsolicited manuscripts. It really is about who you know, or who knows you.

So for those of you looking for an agent, you got to get out there, make yourself known and get to know as many people as possible.

And I'm not talking about emailing someone you don't know and asking them to connect you with an agent. I get a few too many of those emails. Networking is about building relationships.

New Content on BackList

Just in case, you didn't know. I've posted new content on BackList. Check it out.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


This is a MUST-READ book. I really, really enjoyed it. Cora isn't playing it safe and you may not agree with everything she is saying. But she's saying it and hopefully making us think about our own "ghettoness," which isn't determined by who we are or where we live, but rather, how we think and act.

Black Diamonds Signature Group
invites you
to celebrate the Doubleday release of


by Cora Daniels
author of Black Power, Inc.

Wednesday, March 21
"The Rhum Lounge" downstairs at Negril Village
70 West 3rd Street (between Thompson & LaGuardia)
6PM - 8PM

For more information visit:

Click here to buy the book from Random House.
Click here to buy the book from another online retailer.