Qlovi’s Million Reader Event Today!

For all my teachers and parents, edtech company Qlovi is hosting a 12-hour read-a-thon  and Q&A session to 1 million students across the country TODAY. Qlovi teamed up with 12 diverse and interesting YA authors for this project, including Dianne de las Casas, George Takoudes, Lisa Yee and Andrea Pinky. Qlovi is a literacy platform that is dedicated to using technology to make reading and writing for younger folks accessible. You can watch the live stream here. Check it out, and learn more about the program!



Thank You (#WINWOC Recap + Writing Elsewhere)

Hey y’all,

Hope you had a beautiful, restorative Thanksgiving holiday. I’ve was busy with a number of projects in November, here are my updates:

Thank you to Christina and Loryn from the Women’s Information Network, who invited me to speak on their panel two weeks ago about about how social media elevates the voices of women of color. You can find a recap of the Twitter discussion Storified here, or just search the #WINWOC hashtag on Twitter. Special shout out to Cashawn Thompson, aka @thepbg, for stopping by and supporting! She is an amazing WOC in the digital space and it was a pleasure to see her in the audience :)

I’ve also been doing a bit of writing over at PostBourgie as of late, you should check it out here if you have some time. Topics include: HBCU Homecoming, being a bald-head scallywag, and NaNoWriMo. Fun times.

Other than that, I’m cooking up some holiday activities for the month of December, stay tuned for more info!


Malcolm X’s Diary + Ninjas Be Reading TONIGHT

Just a couple updates today:

1. Malcolm X’s personal diary from the last year of his life is being published THIS WEEK. Y’all, this is major. Malcolm underwent a transformation in the last part of his life. Caveat: it’s some mess because even though his daughter Ilyasah Shabazz is backing the release of the diary, other family members don’t want it published.  Peep the trailer below:

h/t ColorLines

2. DopeReads is facilitating the final book club discussion of Kiese Laymon’s book of essays, “How To Slowly Kill Yourself and Others In America”. Tonight on Twitter 9PM EST, use the hashtag #NBR. We gets jiggy with this reading sh*t.

Other Gigs.

So again HuffPost Books hits us off with a listicle of what famous authors were doing before they were writing. Well, that’s well and dandy, except for all of the list was all white, and there was only one woman (Harper Lee). And to be quite honest, who really cares that Daniel Defoe was extracting smells out of civet cat booties? Yuck!

Anyway, noting the lack of…flavor, shall we say, DopeReads put together its own list of what famous authors were doing before they were writing! Peep game.

Toni Morrison – Editor

The “Beloved”, “Bluest Eye” and “Song of Solomon” author and Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison was editing black luminaries at Random House before she became a household name herself.

Junot Diaz – Pool table delivery dude.

According to this New York Mag article his spinal stenosis was a result of the wear and tear of pool table delivery he did before his writing.

Maya Angelou – Dancer, Activist and Mother

If you’ve read any of her autobiographies, you’ll come to know that Maya Angelou was a hustler before and during her writing career. Can we also acknowledge the flyness she’s giving with this thigh? You can read more about her life here.

Haruki Murakami – Jazz Club Owner

Before he was authoring novel gold, he was a jazzman. Peep this personal essay from the writer about his club Peter Cat and what drew him to pick up the pen.

Arundhati Roy – trained architect, aerobics instructor, screenwriter

“From the time I was a very young child, I knew in my heart that I wanted to be a writer. I never thought I would be able to become one — I didn’t have the financial opportunities to be a writer.” So, Roy decided to hustle – she taught aerobics and was a screenwriter before becoming a novelist. Read more about her life path in this 1997 Salon interview.

Langston Hughes – Busboy

The “Negro Speaks of Rivers” writer Langston Hughes was famously known to have been a busboy at the Wardman Park Hotel in Washington DC. Now there is a well-known resturaunt in DC named for Hughes’ side job!

Sandra Cisneros – teacher and counselor

Sandra Cisneros wrote “The House on Mango Street”, but she also served as a teacher and counselor to high school droputs, according to her website.

So, what other authors can you think of that had fly side- and pre- writerly hustles? Who are we leaving out?

Morning Inspiration: Ava Duvernay Gets Your Mind Right (@avaetc)

Filmmaker Ava Duvernay keeps it trill about what new filmmakers (and artists) need to do to make it: stop being thirsty and get PASSIONATE.

This is just in time for NaNoWrimo. Who else is participating this year??? Ava gathered me like whoa with this vid.


H/T to Film School Rejectsfor the vid.