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News for Writers & Readers


Build Your Skills & Meet Other Writers

November is a great month for writers and readers! Check out some of your choices:

NaNoWriMo is a national Internet-based writing project held every November. Participants attempt to write a 50,000-word fiction manuscript Nov. 1–30. Writers can track progress online, get support, and meet other writers. Sign up and see details at https://nanowrimo.org/

The Writer’s Block Festival, presented by Louisville Literary Arts, will be held Nov. 16 at Spalding University in Louisville. Featured guest writers will teach workshops, read from their work, and serve on panels. The keynote reader is novelist Garth Greenwell (What Belongs to You). Featured writers/faculty include young adult fiction writer Olivia Cole, playwright Idris Goodwin, poet Derek Mong, novelist Joe Sacksteder, and creative nonfiction writer Amy Wright. The festival also offers agent and editor pitch sessions for a fee. See details at https://www.louisvilleliteraryarts.org/writers-block-festival

The week-long Kentucky Book Festival, Nov. 10–16, includes a kickoff event, a literary luncheon, Cocktails & Conversation, Books & Brews, and more. The festival culminates in the Kentucky Book Fair, on Saturday, Nov. 16, at Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. See details online at https://www.kyhumanities.org/programs/kentucky-book-festival

See more under “Events.”

News for Writers & Readers

It's Official: I Have a Publisher

After almost six years of research and writing, I am thrilled to announce that University Press of Kentucky will be publishing my historical nonfiction book. The publisher has changed my working title and the book will be published as Liberty Brought Us Here: The True Story of American Slaves Who Migrated to Liberia.

Sixteen thousand black people—freeborn or freed from slavery—left the United States in the 1800s and sailed for Liberia, Africa. They were escaping America’s oppression and bigotry and seeking freedom, peace, and security in a new land. It was the largest out-migration in American history. The so-called colonization movement was highly controversial. Some black people supported it; others vehemently opposed it. Some white people, including slave owners, supported it; others opposed it. The land where these colonists settled was home to numerous indigenous groups, some of whom welcomed the newcomers and others who battled with them.

On the day after Independence Day 1836, two families from Kentucky, the Majors and Harlans, set sail aboard the Luna. They landed in Bassa Cove, Liberia, several weeks later. Though of African descent, they were not African and were ill-prepared for the disease, dangers, and disasters that awaited them. Their former owner had taught them to read and write, and for fifteen years, they maintained a correspondence with him. Their surviving letters form the heart of my book.

The book will be in the University Press of Kentucky spring 2020 catalog.