Monday, January 26, 2009

Black History Month Writers' Contest

Susan, whom I had the privilege to meet through PaperbackSwap (great site; if you don't know about it yet I'll expound on it in much greater detail later), is hosting a contest for Black History Month. So that's throughout the month of February, if you weren't clear about it. I'm reposting this with her permission because I think it's an incredible contest that, in addition to raising important issues, will also be fun and relevant to what we bloggers do - which is review books! Please take a look and then spread the word.

In honor of Black History Month, Color Online is proud to honest a contest celebrating the contributions of black women writers. Submit a book review or biography sketch of a black woman writer you admire. We're looking for YA writers, adult fiction and nonfiction writers alike. Writers may be contemporary or historical figures.

Submissions must be a minimum of 300 words not to exceed 750. Send your work in the body of your email to Subject line should read: Black History Month Writers' Contest. Include your full name, and contact information above your review. Deadline for submissions is February 25th. Winners will be announced February 28th. If we choose to publish your entry, you will be contacted prior to publication. You can view our blog at

Selected submissions will be published throughout the month of February. Readers are encouraged to leave comments throughout the month. A panel of judges will select the final winners. First prize- $15 Amazon gift certificate and a free book from Color Online, Second prize- $10 gift card and book and third prize- book from Color Online.

To encourage participation and to give contributors an idea of those writers we enjoy, we are providing the following list of writers. You are not required to use the list. It is a recommended list only.

Jacqueline Woodson
Sharon Draper
Lori Aurelius Williams
Rita Williams-Garcia
Sharon G. Flake
Angela Johnson

Adult Fiction and Poetry
Audre Lorde
Sonia Sanchez
Gwendolyn Brooks
Camille Dungy
Tracy K. Smith
Jessica Care Moore
Elizabeth Alexander
Black Artemis
Toni Cade Bambara
Gloria Naylor
Octavia E. Butler

Bell Hooks
June Jordan
Pearl Cleage
Nancy Amanda Redd

I, for one, will definitely be entering this contest. I'd also suggest, as a YA author to look for, Dana Davidson (Jason & Kyra, Played). Her books, while they don't deal with "heavy" issues such as racial discrimination, feature sympathetic characters and their love stories, things that any reader, regardless of race or ethnicity. (Hmm. Maybe I'll post a review up sometime soon; after all, February is coming up, eh?)

Another author whose writing I enjoyed is Harriet Jacobs. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl was written over 100 years ago, but her writing is easy, normal, not preachy, and I found myself getting caught up in the immediacy and danger of her predicaments. (The book was also excerpted in a GEPA prep book when I tutored, so that's pretty cool as well!)

What black woman writers do you like, respect, and recommend?


  1. Himanshu? hmmm, can't say i recognize the name. so u and youda lived in the same dorm last year? lol cool. i havent seen him in a while actually since he hasn't come to visit xD


  2. Steph,

    Our connections keep going. I went to school with Dana. I had both of her books in our library. They both have grown legs and not returned. Will replace them. Would love to get your review. We also have Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. It's not YA, but if you enjoyed Incidents, I highly recommend Octavia E. Butler's, Kindred.

  3. Interesting! I recently read and reviewed Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith.


Hello! I'm so excited to read what you have to say. Due to high amounts of spam, I'm forced to disabled anonymous comments for the time being. Sorry for any inconvenience this causes, and I hope you can understand and still appreciate the content here!


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