The 2016 Black Authors & Readers Rock Weekend (BARR) was a fantastic event that I am glad I attended. I was invited by the founder, Mrs. Sharon Lucas, who conducts book events throughout the Washington, DC area. She has a passion for readers and authors since she is both of those!
“A few short years ago, if readers wanted to catch up with their favorite author, get a book signed, attend a book launch or simply pick up the most recent book release, all were as close as the nearest bookstore.” An excerpt from “Plan it! The Complete Resource Guide for Authors, Book Clubs & Literary Event Planners” by Sharon Lucas
This event was especially spectacular for me because I was finally able to give Victoria Christopher Murray a copy of my book. She wrote a brief review for it and it was an honor to put it in her hands. I also was asked to teach a session on authors and the importance of social media to connecting with our readers. The other authors, Nigeria and Necole, also dropped some serious knowledge on the use of social media.
I was also in awe of how many Black Book clubs there were. Each book club had on matching outfits and were just a pleasure to meet. One book club just celebrated their 50th YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!!! I had no clue that book clubs were around that long or traveled far to events like these. I thought it was awesome that Sharon brought both authors and readers together for an entire weekend of fun, food and education. I don’t know about anyone else, but I bought more books than I sold this weekend. It’s cool though because love to read and so does my 16 year old daughter. She now has 5 new books to read.
- Book discussion with Sadeqa Johnson discussing her book “Second House From the Corner”
- A yummy Mexican inspired dinner and the freshest cake pops and cupcakes by CC’s Cakes & Candies
- Then we were blessed with wisdom by none other than, Victoria Christopher Murray, NAACP Image Award Winner in Fiction for her novel Stand Your Ground. Her presentation was powerful and informative.
- We then were educated by The Three Scribes Share & Teach Brian W. Smith, Pamela Samuels Young & Dwayne Alexander Smith
- Music and lots of networking
- Author’s Expo was all day
- Early morning Zumba Gold led by Debra Hobb and Meditation with Certified Instructor Sadeqa Johnson
- Breakout Sessions
- What Makes “Romance” Sizzle & Pop with Dee Lawrence, LaQuette, Donneil Johnson
- Shake Your Beauty with Tia Williams
- Rock Your Kinky Coily Hair with Pamela Samuels Young
- Smart Social Media Management with Nigeria Lockley, Necole Ryse & Tanya Barnett
- When Your Book Club Selection Flops! with Lisa Renee Johnson & Sharon Lucas
- Your Book…From Your Head to a Bestseller! with Brian W Smith
- Diversity in Children’s Literature with Cerece Rennie Murphy, Natasha & Jabara Khalfani, Michelle Spady and Monica Mathis-Stowe
- Lunch was buffet style and delicious
- During lunch we heard a powerful spoken word presentation by brother Jabari Khalfani
- The Speaker for the luncheon was Lisa Renee Johnson, of The Sistahs on the Reading Edge book club. She and other members were kicked off the Napa Valley Wine train. While she was sharing their experience, I cried at her pain. Her story was then followed by a Q&A and how we can all combat racial bias.
This event was inspiring and motivated me to begin working on my next book. I made some new Author-sister-friends and was finally able to give Victoria Christopher Murray a hug. I can’t wait to attend next years event.
If you are an author and would like to participate in this event or others like it, please contact Sharon Lucas at http://www.realdivasread.com.