National Black Writers Conference 2024 Mini Recap

NBWC 2024 Flyer

By Marc W. Polite

Greetings my readers. I hope you are all enjoying your Good Friday. Last Saturday, I attended the seventeenth National Black Writers Conference at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. I wanted to let my readers know a few things about it, and that’s the reason for this post. 

It was the last day of a four-day conference, and I took the opportunity to attend one of the major writer’s conferences in New York City. The day began with Talkshops for writers, according to your interests. Me being me, I decided to attend the Poetry Talkshop taught by Prof. Darrel Alejandro Holnes.

In this workshop, attendees learned about an ode, and how to write one. There was a discussion of the difference between an ode and an elegy. We even had the opportunity to write one with an in-class writing session. There wasn’t enough time for workshop attendees to share their creations, but it was an exciting exercise for those new to this form.

The first panel I attended was “The Power of Historical Narratives”- moderated by Diane Richards, featuring A.J. Verdelle, W.B. Garvey, and Maryemma Graham. The theme of this year’s conference was All That We Carry: Where do We Go From Here. Fitting in with the theme of the conference, this panel focused on the importance of preserving the often omitted social and political contributions of Black people in the United States. 

The importance of literacy was emphasized here. Listening in, it is good to know that “Get yourself a dictionary, and study the language,” said panelist A.J. Verdelle. In pointing out the necessity of preciseness, all of the panelists discussed how their work brought forth the history that is at times obscured. In talking about the importance of preserving history, attendees learned more about the available digital archives. Did you know there is a digital archive for the Center for Black Literature? 

This year’s book vendor was Cafe Con Libros, and walking around the building, there were many issues of the Daily Challenge available for pick up. I was glad to see that the paper is still in print form. 

Here are a few more resources and websites I learned of at this conference. 

Power of The Pen– A Creative writing program for middle school-aged children.

The History of Black Writing– A site dedicated to Black literature created by the English department at the University of Kansas. 

The Equity Directory– A site of BIPOC literary agents for those looking for agents of color to connect with. 

All in all, this year’s conference was highly informative, and I am glad I was able to go. To learn more about the Center for Black Literature, visit their official website

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.