Introducing Bookable-Space African American Lit Literary Salon

Updated: Dec 12, 2020

I love to talk. I always have. As a kid, before I wanted to be a writer, psychologist, or french fry, I wanted to have a talk show. It wasn’t so much about being on TV—I still wasn’t convinced that being “on” TV didn’t mean being in TV. It was about the actual talking. About anything, to anyone, anywhere. The building of relationships with words. There’s something magical about it.

I’m not completely sure but I feel like I can remember people saying you talk so much you should have a talk show or you should be on the news or you should be a reporter. I’m almost sure it all was code for hush.

I’ve never been fluent in subtleties or silences.

Recently, I was awarded funding from the British Association for American Studies and the US Embassy for Bookable-Space African American Lit Literary Salon, an online monthly literary salon celebrating African American writers. Can you imagine? I get to read books, have authors read to me, and then talk to them about writing, the books, their stories.

Don’t worry, it won’t just be me talking. You can join in too. The salons are free. We’ll meet on the first Friday of each month from 7-8 PM (London). The project launches in December. The first event will be Friday, February 5. You can join in Zoom or watch on Facebook Live. You’re welcome to join whether you’ve read the book or haven’t read it yet. The writers will be reading to us, and I’ll ask questions about their writing practice, the themes and characters, their publishing paths. You can ask questions too. I’m aiming for the salons to be warm and engaging, a night full of good stories with good people.

I’m launching the website and Facebook page in the next few weeks and releasing the names of the authors and their books as I have them.

Would you like to be a guest? If you’re an African American author (living anywhere in the world) and your book is available in hardback, paperback, and/or as an e-book, and available in UK bookstores and libraries, and you’d like to be a guest at the salon, please get in touch.

What sort of books am I looking for? There’s no easy answer to this question so really, pitch your book if you’re interested. I love a good story.

What am I asking you to do? Give engaging readings (2-3 five-minute extracts) and have a lively chat.

Honorarium: I’m able to offer a £200 honorarium.

I can’t wait for Bookable-Space African American Lit Literary Salons. I love books and want these events to be inviting and warm. I have funding for ten months. The funding lets me pay for the authors, market, and build a community. I’m hoping this is just the beginning. If you’d like to sponsor season II, get in touch.

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