The State of Black SF 2012: Author Events



My daughter Gabrielle (on right) and I at OnyxCon

Author events are crucial to our success as writers. These events do more than generate sales. They give us a chance to network with our readers and other writers. And to showcase our work to audiences that might never have known we exist. Recently, interested folks have begun to organize events specifically designed for African Americans — although anyone can participate. Some of these events are free. With others, authors have to pay to reserve tables. But the potential benefits are priceless.

One of the best events I’ve had pleasure of attending is OnyxCon an event organized by Joseph R. Wheeler III. OnyxCon is held every year in Atlanta GA, usually during the summer months and brings together African artists and authors. There is music, food and sometimes even an impromptu breakdance. Last year, Onyx Con was graced by Tananarive Due and her husband and fellow SF author, Steven Barnes, Milton Davis, Alicia McCalla and so many more. This event is, quite simply, a celebration of Black speculative fiction and art.
For updates on OnyxCon’s coming schedules check: http://www.thenao.typepad.com/

Another event, which I had the pleasure of attending last summer as a guest speaker along with Milton Davis: is the Experimental Writer’s Asylum. The EWA is also organized by JR Wheeler along with Ed Hall. And as a panel author I was given the chance to respond to questions about the development of Black SF, as well as to showcase my novels.


Experimental Writers Asylum: Joseph Wheeler III, organizer of Onyxcon and creative force behind The NAO (which cosponsored his event), moderates a panel on African-American writers and the fantastique (middle). Ed Hall was also the co-sponsor and moderator (standing next to JR) Also participating are Valjeanne Jeffers (end far right) author of Immortal, and Milton Davis (beside Valjeanne) author of Meji. Also pictured are Stafford (another SF writer) and Diane Battle (creator of 22nd Century Press and Black Author Showcase)

But before I go, I must say a words about events which can’t classified as African American. Recently, I was invited and had the pleasure of attending The Southern Writers’ Festival at the Summit Barnes and Noble (Birmingham, Al).

The staff was very gracious and it gave me a chance to dialogue about Black speculative fiction with new writers and readers. Now, my autographied books are sitting on the shelves of a Barnes and Noble store. I believe that as writers we owe it to our audience and ourselves to take advantage of every opportunity we can to showcase our work and let folks know Black SF is in the house 🙂

Author Valjeanne Jeffers and Kyle Hannah at the Southern Writers’ Festival at The Summit Barnes and Noble Birminhma Alabama.

Check out what my fellow bloggers have to say on the subject!
Their links are also listed on my blogroll. And Please continue to follow us. There are more discussion in store and you might just be the winner of our second giveaway. I’ll post the rules for the next giveaway on Monday 🙂

Winston Blakely, Artist/Writer– is a Fine Arts/Comic Book artist, having a career spanning 20 years, whose achievements have included working for Valiant Comics and Rich Buckler’s Visage Studios. He is also the creator of Little Miss Strange, the world’s first black alien sorceress and the all- genre anthology entitled – Immortal Fantasy. Both graphic albums are available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and other online book store outlets. Visit him: http://blakelyworks.blogspot.com/ or http://blakelyworkstudio.weebly.com/

L. M. Davis, Author–began her love affair with fantasy in the second grade. Her first novel, Interlopers: A Shifters Novel, was released in 2010, and the follow-up Posers: A Shifters Novel will be released this spring. For more information visit her blog http://shiftersseries.wordpress.com/ or her website http://www.shiftersnovelseries.com.

Milton Davis, Author– Milton Davis is owner/publisher of MVmedia, LLC . As an author he specializes in science fiction and fantasy and is the author of Meji Book One, Meji Book Two and Changa’s Safari. Visit him: http://www.mvmediaatl.com/Wagadu/ and http://www.wagadu.ning.com.

Ja Ja (DjaDja) N Medjay , Author—DjaDja Medjay is the author of The Renpet Sci-Fi Series. Shiatsu Practitioner. Holistic AfroFuturistic Rising in Excellence. Transmissions from The Future Earth can be found at: http://authordjadja.wordpress.com/ , http://www.renpetscifi.com or on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/RenpetSciFiNovel or on Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/Khonsugo .

Margaret Fieland, Author– lives and writes in the suburbs west of Boston, MA with her partner and five dogs. She is one of the Poetic Muselings. Their poetry anthology, Lifelines http://tinyurl.com/LifelinesPoetry/ is available from Amazon.com Her book, “Relocated,” will be available from MuseItUp Publishing in July, 2012. The Angry Little Boy,” will be published by 4RV publishing in early 2013. You may visit her website, http://www.margaretfieland.com.

Valjeanne Jeffers, Author — is an editor and the author of the SF/fantasy novels: Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend and Immortal III: Stealer of Souls. Her fourth and fifth novels: Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds and The Switch: Clockwork will be released this spring. Visit her at: https://valjeanne.wordpress.com , http://wwwsistermoon.blogspot.com/ and http://qandvaffordableediting.blogspot.com/

Thaddeus Howze, Author – is a veteran of the IT and Communications industry with over 26 years of experience retooling computers to best serve human needs. Unknown to humanity, our computers have another agenda. Thaddeus recently released his first collection of short stories, Hayward Reach. In a coded format, he has secretly informed Humanity of the impending computerized apocalypse. You can read parts of the code here: http://ebonstorm.wordpress.com or http://ebonstorm.weebly.com

Alicia McCalla, Author—writes for both young adults and adults with her brand of multicultural science fiction, urban fantasy, and futurism. Her debut novel, Breaking Free is available in print or immediate download on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and other booksellers. The Breaking Free theme song created by Asante McCalla is available for immediate download on iTunes and Amazon. Visit her at: http://www.aliciamccalla.com

Carole McDonnell, Author–She writes Christian, speculative fiction, and multicultural stories. Her first novel is Wind Follower. Her short fiction has appeared in many anthologies and have been collected in an ebook, Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction. Visit Carole: http://carolemcdonnell.blogspot.com/ or http://writersofcolorblogtour.blogspot.com/

Balogun Ojetade, Author—of the bestselling “Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within” (non-fiction), “Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman” (Steampunk) and the feature film, “A Single Link”. Visit him: http://chroniclesofharriet.wordpress.com/

Rasheedah Phillips, Author–is the creator of The AfroFuturist Affair in Philly. She plans to debut her first spec/sci-fic novel Recurrence Plot in Spring 2012. You may catch her ruminating from time to time on her blog, AstroMythoLosophy.com.

Nicole Sconiers, Author-is also a screenwriter living in the sunny jungle of L.A. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and she recently published Escape from Beckyville: Tales of Race, Hair and Rage. Visit her: http://nicolesconiers.com/index.html

Jarvis Sheffield, M.Ed. is owner & operator of TheDigitalBrothers.com, BlackScienceFictionSociety.com & BlackCommunityEntertainment.com. Visit him: http://www.blacksciencefictionsociety.com/profiles/blog/list?user=2stjwb1h216fd

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11 thoughts on “The State of Black SF 2012: Author Events

    • Hey Brother Milton: I was upset too that I couldn’t be there. I’ll try to make it this year. And yes, I think it would be so cool if you bring some of that ATL flavor to B-ham — B-ham will never be the same 🙂

  1. Very informative post, Valjeanne! Thats great advice about networking and checking out events not necessarily Black. I sometimes need to remind myself to step out of that sort of cultural comfort zone.
    I would love to attend something like the EWA, sounds right up my alley. I also think that its so awesome that many of the authors on this blog hop have had the opportunity to meet and serve on panels together, etc. *tear of joy* I really admire all of the work that you all put into this field.

  2. Blaxcellent post, Sister Valjeanne! I – too – love OnyxCon.
    Hey, y’all, I see the Birmingham Black Authors’ Festival in our future.
    Let’s ALL go to B’ham and show out!! 🙂

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