2023 National Black Writers Conference Biennial Symposium | Center4BlackLit

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2023 National Black Writers Conference Biennial Symposium | Center4BlackLit

Join Us for DIASPORIC VISIONS: A CELEBRATION OF BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION with NBWC2023 Honorees Sheree Renée Thomas + Jewell Parker Rhodes

By Center for Black Literature | Medgar Evers College

When and where

Date and time

March 31 · 11am - April 1 · 7pm EDT


Medgar Evers College, CUNY - Edison O. Jackson Auditorium 1638 Bedford Avenue New York, NY 11225

Refund Policy

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About this event

  • 1 day 8 hours
  • Mobile eTicket

ABOUT BLACK SPECULATIVE FICTION and the NATIONAL BLACK WRITERS CONFERENCE presented by the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY (Brooklyn, NY).

Black speculative fiction encompasses and blurs the genres of magical realism, futurism, horror, fantasy, paranormal, and mythology. These imaginative stories enable writers to create alternative and futuristic worlds, narratives rooted in traditional beliefs and spirituality, and stories that center the Black experience. These stories also raise questions about colonialism, racism, identity, and gender.

At the 2023 National Black Writers Conference Biennial Symposium (Diasporic Visions: A Celebration of Black Speculative Fiction), writers and scholars will discuss the genre’s history and themes, as well as emerging scholarship on the genre. The public gathering will feature interactive roundtable discussions, conversations, and opportunities for attendees to engage with fellow writers, readers, and fans of the genre.

Annually, the annual award presentation at the National Black Writers Conference honors distinguished internationally acclaimed writers. This year, award-winning authors Sheree Renée Thomas and Jewell Parker Rhodes will receive the Octavia E. Butler Award.

Other confirmed writers are Dr. Reynaldo Anderson, Tananarive Due, Jewelle Gomez, Deirdre Hollman, Wayétu Moore, L. Penelope, and Tim Fielder, among others.

The core program will be in-person at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. Presentations on the scholarship in the genre will be offered virtually. Symposium highlights include a free Youth Day program, pre-symposium thematic events, interactive discussions, online and on-location Black booksellers, and more.

The program is subject to change. If you require any accessibility, please contact us at nbwc@centerforblackliterature.org. Sign language interpreters will be available at the symposium.

⭐ PLEASE NOTE: Registering for NBWC2023 via Eventbrite enrolls you in the email list for the Center for Black Literature. The list promotes the literary programs of the Center and special events of our strategic partners. You can unsubscribe at any time via the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every email we send.

View NBWC2023 Program At-A-Glance


Sheree Renée Thomas

Sheree Renée Thomas is a New York Times bestselling, two-time World Fantasy Award-winning author and editor. A 2022 Hugo Award Finalist, she is the author of Nine Bar Blues: Stories from an Ancient Future, a Locus, Ignyte, and World Fantasy Finalist, Marvel’s Black Panther: Panther’s Rage novel, an adaptation of the legendary comics, and she collaborated with Janelle Monáe on the story, “Timebox Altar(ed)” in The Memory Librarian and Other Stories of Dirty Computer. She co-edited Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction, a NAACP Image Award nominee, and is the Editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, founded in 1949. Sheree lives in her hometown, Memphis, Tennessee, near a mighty river and a pyramid.


Jewell Parker Rhodes

Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes is the author of six adult novels: Voodoo Dreams; Magic City; Douglass’ Women; Season; Moon; and Hurricane, as well as the memoir Porch Stories: A Grandmother’s Guide to Happiness, and two writing guides: Free Within Ourselves: Fiction Lessons for Black Authors and The African American Guide to Writing and Publishing Non-Fiction. Jewell is also the author of seven books for youth including the New York Times bestsellers Ghost Boys and Black Brother, Black Brother. She has won the American Book Award, the Black Caucus of the American Library Award for Literary Excellence, and the Jane Addams Peace Association Book Award.

Jewell is the Founding Artistic Director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and Narrative Studies Professor and Virginia G. Piper Endowed Chair at Arizona State University. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Carnegie-Mellon University. She enjoys teaching, walking her Toy Aussie Sheepdogs, theater, dancing, and music. Born in Pittsburgh, she now lives in Seattle.


⭐ NOTE TO MEMEBERS OF THE WORKING PRESS: Most confirmed speakers listed above are available for interviews! Please direct media inquiries to APRIL R. SILVER, director of communications and marketing. Click HERE for contact information.

About the organizer

Founded in 2002, the mission of the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY (CBL) is to expand, broaden, and enrich the public’s knowledge and aesthetic appreciation of Black literature. The Center is a nationally respected resource for Black writers and the general public to study the literature of people from the African diaspora. The Center was also established to institutionalize the National Black Writers Conference (NBWC), founded by John Oliver Killens in 1986 at Medgar Evers College.

To achieve its core mission, CBL partners with local high schools, Medgar Evers College, as well as with literary, community, and cultural arts organizations nationwide. With our partners, we present public and academic programs to youth, high school students, college students, and the public. Our offerings include author readings, literary workshops, writer retreats, conferences, symposia, and a biennial journal.

Dr. Brenda M. Greene is the founder and executive director of the Center for Black Literature.

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