SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — This year, the Writers Grotto in San Francisco, Calif., will host Rooted and Writtenthe nation’s first fully funded, tuition-free professional writing conference for writers of color.
Forty-Eight Rooted and Written Fellows have been selected to attend the hybrid conference August 14-20, 2022. All scholarship recipients receive full scholarships for the entire conference and week-long workshops.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity for talented and emerging writers of color in the San Francisco Bay Area to access invaluable mentorship and professional development, and begin building their work in a supportive literary community,” said Susan Ito, co-founder of Rooted & Written. “The conference not only includes workshops for fellows in the art of writing, but also panel discussions of seasoned publishers and literary industry agents to help these emerging writers advance their careers. “
“Our mantra is ‘Your words matter,'” added Rooted and Written Director JD Beltran. “The literary landscape is a blanket of white. The 2020 New York Times study of the literary industry found that 95% of the most widely read English fiction books were written by white authors – not just the heads of the ‘Big Five’ publishers are white, as are 85% of the people who buy and publish books! Yet about 40% of Americans are people of color. How and when are our stories told?”
The 2022 Rooted & Written Keynotes will take place virtually during lunchtime (12:00-1:00 PM PDT) Monday through Thursday and will be open to the public. Keynotes will feature literary luminaries Hector Tobar, Pulitzer Prize Winner; Victoria Changaward-winning poet, writer, editor and critic and author of OBIT; Nathalie Baszile, award-winning author and filmmaker and creator of the novel Queen Sugar, which inspired the television series of the same name; and Ingrid Rojas Contreras, author of the memoir The Man Who Could Move Clouds which was just released in 2022, named “Most Anticipated Book of the Year” by Time, Today, Entertainment Weekly, Bustle, Ms. Magazine, the Seattle Times, Electric Literature, and Moreover. All are invited to join the Keynotes at https://zoom.us/my/rooted.written. Additionally, Monday through Friday, fellows will attend craft classes in fiction, poetry, memoir/essay/creative non-fiction, and screenwriting, as well as invaluable panels presented by agents and editors of color for professional development.
The week will end on Saturday, August 20 with the literary reading “Words of Color” featuring all 48 rooted and written members. The “Words of Color” event will be open to the public via Zoom https://zoom.us/my/rooted.written.
Beltran adds, “Rooted & Written’s top priority is providing access to emerging writers of color – access to strong mentorship, professional networks, and the tools to build a supportive critical community in the creative process. We want to equip these writers with the means to make their voices heard in the world – and to provide those means at no cost.One of our alumni participated in our mentorship program and wrote, edited and completed his first book with the help from our community of writers, got their first agent, then landed not one, but two book deals.That kind of exciting success is what Rooted & Written hopes to cultivate.
Rooted & Written was conceptualized and founded in 2019 by a Salvadoran writer Roberto Lovato in the form of a free conference by the Cave of the writers for Brown and Black Voices in the Bay Area, and has since evolved into a full-fledged conference and writing program featuring internationally renowned speakers, faculty, and seasoned professionals in the literary industry .
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Director & Producer, Rooted & Written 2022
Screenshot of the homepage of the Rooted & Written 2022 conference website for writers of color in San Francisco, CA
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