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WORKSHOPS

Catch up on past publishing-focused workshops led by agents, editors and authors who are all focused on promoting marginalized voices to publication. 

These workshops are brought free of charge to promote wide access to publishing knowledge. The Word is a nonprofit organization and we rely on community support to run our writing and publishing programs in support of writers from marginalized backgrounds, including workshops, community-building opportunities, our [margins.] publishing and writing conference, mentorship opportunities, and more. If you are able to support our events with a donation you ensure that we can provide access to groups and individuals who have been denied.

COMMUNITY TALKS

#MarginsBookselling Presents: Mentorship for Collective Abundance

A roundtable discussion on the role, impact and philosophy of mentorship as we rethink the roles of mentorship through the lens of collective abundance. Panelists include Jhoanna Belfer (Bel Canto Books), Calvin Crosby (The King's English) and Alyson Jones Turner (Source Booksellers).

 #MarginsBookselling Presents:

The Importance of Bookselling

 

 2022 Joy Ambassador Angeline Boulley (FIREKEEPER'S DAUGHTER) in conversation with Calvin Crosby of The King's English Bookshop, 2022 BIPOC Bookseller Award Winner in Leadership

 #MarginsBookselling Presents:

Investing in Storytelling

 

Who are the storytellers we support? What are the stories we fund? As we navigate questions about diversity and representation in stories, what are the economic implications of who we choose to financially support? From publishing to philanthropy to the sales floor how do we decide which stories and which storytellers to support and how does this shape the future of storytelling? A discussion with Elizabeth Méndez Berry, Senior Vice President + Executive Editor at One World, and Viniyanka Prasad, Founder + Executive Director of The Word.

PUBLISHING TALKS

Writing Paths Workshop: Agents Spill the Tea

Literary Agents discuss what they look for in queries, DOs and DON’Ts, how agents make decisions around representation, and much more! Agents Spill the Tea: Let's hear from some literary agents! We'll discuss what agents look for in queries, DOs and DON’Ts, how agents make decisions around representation, and much more!

 

Featuring: Kaitlyn Sanchez, Karly Dizon, Leslie Zampetti, and Linda Camacho

Writing Paths is a workshop series promoting marginalized voices to publication.

Writing Paths Workshop: The Power of Mentorship

In celebration of our annual Editor-Writer Mentorship program, we present: The Value of Mentorship: In Conversation with Three Editor-Writer Mentees! Three Editor-Writer Mentorship mentees and alum speak about the value of mentorship and how this program helped advance their publishing journey. We'll share tips for applying for the mentorship program as well as ways to make the most of mentorship programs. Panelists are Stefanie Brown, a 2021 mentee, and Shifa Saltagi Safadi, a 2022 mentee. Alyssa Reynoso-Morris, a 2020 mentee, will moderate the discussion..

Writing Paths is a workshop series promoting marginalized voices to publication.

Writing Paths Workshop: The Differences between Chapter Books, Middle Grade, & Young Adult

In anticipation of our annual Editor-Writer Mentorship program, we want to discuss the differences between Chapter Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult. Oftentimes aspiring mentees apply under the "wrong" category so we want to offer this workshop to help you all prepare for the application process! Jessica Anderson, an Editor at Christy Ottaviano Books, an imprint of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers will be joining us and sharing her invaluable expertise.

Writing Paths is a workshop series promoting marginalized voices to publication.

Writing Paths: Author + Agent Chat 

with Olivia Abtahi and Jim McCarthy

Join us for a chat between debut YA author Olivia Abtahi and her rockstar agent Jim McCarthy about their path to connecting and the path of Olivia’s first published novel, Perfectly Parvin - a BuzzFeed Highly Anticipated 2021 Release.

 

Writing Paths is a workshop series promoting marginalized voices to publication.

Check out extra tips from Jim and Olivia on our blog.

The Lit Agency & You:

Q&A with Angie Hodapp and Hannah VanVels

A Q&A on all things lit agency: querying, working with an agent, what to expect in the pub process,

featuring Angie Hodapp (Director of Literary Development at Nelson Literary) and Hannah VanVels (Literary Agent, Corvisiero Literary).

 

[margins.] community programming:

Q&A with St. Martin's Press Editor Sylvan Creekmore

A chat between Bunmi Ishola of The Word and Sylvan Creekmore, editor at St. Martin's Press (and one of our mentors from our annual Editor-Writer mentorship program!)

Writing Paths:

Traditional Publishing 101 with Sandhya Menon

Join NYT-bestselling author Sandhya Menon as she answers the question: I finished my manuscript, now what do I do? Writing Paths is a workshop series supporting marginalized voices to publication.

CRAFT TALKS

Plátanos Are Love:

Virtual Book Launch Party with Alyssa Reynoso-Morris!

Alyssa Reynoso-Morris is a queer Afro-Latinx Dominican and Puerto Rican writer, wife, mother, and community organizer. During the day she works with community members, nonprofit organizations, and government officials to make the world a better place. Then she puts her writer’s hat on to craft heartfelt stories about home, family, food, and the fun places she has been. Alyssa was born and raised in the Bronx and currently lives in Philadelphia with her partner and daughter. She hopes you enjoy her stories.

Illustrator Mariyah Rahman was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago. She spent her earliest years climbing trees, digging for fossils, and drawing on walls with crayons. Today she is an illustrator for children’s books and entertainment but has still never found a fossil.

THE FAMILY IZQUIERDO: A reading and conversation with Rubén Degollado + Nneoma Amadi-obi

Rubén Degollado is an educator from Texas and the author of The Family Izquierdo: A Novel and the young adult novel Throw. His fiction has appeared in Beloit Fiction Journal, Gulf Coast, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Image.

NNEOMA AMADI-OBI is an Assistant Editor at W.W. Norton where she publishes literary fiction and nonfiction. Before joining Norton, she was a bookseller at Politics and Prose, Duende District, and WORD Bookstores.


Hosted by Duende District in partnership with The Word | A Storytelling Sanctuary.

THE WOMEN COULD FLY:

Megan Giddings in conversation with Jamie Figueroa

 

Megan Giddings in conversation with Jamie Figueroa to celebrate The Women Could Fly!
Hosted by Duende District in partnership with The Word | A Storytelling Sanctuary.

Grab a copy of the book here:
https://www.duendedistrict.com/

The Tree of Hope: A Conversation and Reading with Anna Orenstein-Cardona

 

The Tree of Hope: A Conversation and Reading with Anna Orenstein-Cardona, feat. Juan Manuel Moreno, Pedro J. Morales, and José J. Álamo. Hosted by Duende District in partnership with The Word | A Storytelling Sanctuary.

Grab a copy of the book here: https://www.duendedistrict.com/

[margins.] meets:

Mark Travis Rivera and Landon Smith

 

[margins.] was created by and for people on the margins, promoting the inclusive representation of experiences in literature for communities who have historically been excluded. The first of its kind, [margins.] is a biannual conference, bookfair, and literary festival happening in Denver and online. [margins.] brings together writers, storytellers, and wordsmiths at all levels of experience to explore emerging trends in literature and the many approaches to storytelling, visioning and creating, education, inclusion, advocacy, organizing, and building community. To learn more about how to get involved, visit  www.thewordfordiversity.org/margins

[margins.] meets:

Ashia Ajani and Janae Johnson

 

[margins.] was created by and for people on the margins, promoting the inclusive representation of experiences in literature for communities who have historically been excluded. The first of its kind, [margins.] is a biannual conference, bookfair, and literary festival happening in Denver and online. [margins.] brings together writers, storytellers, and wordsmiths at all levels of experience to explore emerging trends in literature and the many approaches to storytelling, visioning and creating, education, inclusion, advocacy, organizing, and building community. To learn more about how to get involved, visit  www.thewordfordiversity.org/margins

Raquel Gutiérrez in conversation with Myriam Gurba: BROWN NEON

 

Host: Duende District and The Word | A Storytelling Sanctuary

[margins.] meets:

Tongo Eisen-Martin and Nathan Ybanez

[margins.] was created by and for people on the margins, promoting the inclusive representation of experiences in literature for communities who have historically been excluded. The first of its kind, [margins.] is a biannual conference, bookfair, and literary festival happening in Denver and online. [margins.] brings together writers, storytellers, and wordsmiths at all levels of experience to explore emerging trends in literature and the many approaches to storytelling, visioning and creating, education, inclusion, advocacy, organizing, and building community. To learn more about how to get involved, visit  www.thewordfordiversity.org/margins

[margins.] meets:

Ariana Brown & Roya Marsh

[margins.] was created by and for people on the margins, promoting the inclusive representation of experiences in literature for communities who have historically been excluded. The first of its kind, [margins.] is a biannual conference, bookfair, and literary festival happening in Denver and online. [margins.] brings together writers, storytellers, and wordsmiths at all levels of experience to explore emerging trends in literature and the many approaches to storytelling, visioning and creating, education, inclusion, advocacy, organizing, and building community. To learn more about how to get involved, visit  www.thewordfordiversity.org/margins

 [margins.] meets:

Bobby LeFebre & Tanaya Winder

[margins.] was created by and for people on the margins, promoting the inclusive representation of experiences in literature for communities who have historically been excluded. The first of its kind, [margins.] is a biannual conference, bookfair, and literary festival happening in Denver and online. [margins.] brings together writers, storytellers, and wordsmiths at all levels of experience to explore emerging trends in literature and the many approaches to storytelling, visioning and creating, education, inclusion, advocacy, organizing, and building community. To learn more about how to get involved, visit  www.thewordfordiversity.org/margins

Natalia Sylvester (BREATHE AND COUNT BACK FROM TEN) & Lupita Aquino (Lupita Reads)

Host: Duende District and The Word | A Storytelling Sanctuary

[margins.] meets:

Vogue M. Robinson, Darius Simpson, and Ebony Stewart

[margins.] was created by and for people on the margins, promoting the inclusive representation of experiences in literature for communities who have historically been excluded. The first of its kind, [margins.] is a biannual conference, bookfair, and literary festival happening in Denver and online. [margins.] brings together writers, storytellers, and wordsmiths at all levels of experience to explore emerging trends in literature and the many approaches to storytelling, visioning and creating, education, inclusion, advocacy, organizing, and building community. To learn more about how to get involved, visit  www.thewordfordiversity.org/margins

[margins.] meets:

Manuel Aragon and Carleen Brice, Fiction in Real Life 

[margins.] was created by and for people on the margins, promoting the inclusive representation of experiences in literature for communities who have historically been excluded. The first of its kind, [margins.] is a biannual conference, bookfair, and literary festival happening in Denver and online. [margins.] brings together writers, storytellers, and wordsmiths at all levels of experience to explore emerging trends in literature and the many approaches to storytelling, visioning and creating, education, inclusion, advocacy, organizing, and building community. To learn more about how to get involved, visit  www.thewordfordiversity.org/margins

[5 Year Anniversary Celebration of Duende District!  With Angela Maria Spring, Daisy Hernández, + surprise guests!

 Duende District is a collaborative pop-up and boutique bookstore, for and by people of color—where all are welcome. Duende District specializes in curating the best new trade adult and children's books in English and Spanish. We serve BIPOC communities across the nation, from Washington, D.C., to Albuquerque, N.M. Each Duende District pop-up, boutique bookstore, and event series focuses on engaging our Black and brown communities, while also inviting all people to participate in the resulting conversation and experience.

[margins.] meets Alejandro Jimenez, Jessica Helen Lopez, and Rowie Shebala

 Brought to you by The Word, [margins.] was created by and for people on the margins, promoting the inclusive representation of experiences in literature for communities who have historically been excluded. The first of its kind, [margins.] is a biannual conference, bookfair, and literary festival happening in Denver and online. [margins.] brings together writers, storytellers, and wordsmiths at all levels of experience to explore emerging trends in literature and the many approaches to storytelling, visioning and creating, education, inclusion, advocacy, organizing, and building community. To learn more about how to get involved, visit  www.thewordfordiversity.org/margins

Christopher Gonzalez in conversation with Yohanca Delgado

 Christopher Gonzalez in conversation with Yohanca Delgado, hosted by Duende District and The Word | A Storytelling Sanctuary

[margins.] meets Steven Dunn, Sean Avery Medlin, and Alyesha Wise!

 Brought to you by The Word, [margins.] was created by and for people on the margins, promoting the inclusive representation of experiences in literature for communities who have historically been excluded. The first of its kind, [margins.] is a biannual conference, bookfair, and literary festival happening in Denver and online. [margins.] brings together writers, storytellers, and wordsmiths at all levels of experience to explore emerging trends in literature and the many approaches to storytelling, visioning and creating, education, inclusion, advocacy, organizing, and building community. To learn more about how to get involved, visit  www.thewordfordiversity.org/margins

[margins.] meets D.L. Cordero, M. McDonough, and Addie Tsai!

 Brought to you by The Word, [margins.] was created by and for people on the margins, promoting the inclusive representation of experiences in literature for communities who have historically been excluded. The first of its kind, [margins.] is a biannual conference, bookfair, and literary festival happening in Denver and online. [margins.] brings together writers, storytellers, and wordsmiths at all levels of experience to explore emerging trends in literature and the many approaches to storytelling, visioning and creating, education, inclusion, advocacy, organizing, and building community. To learn more about how to get involved, visit  www.thewordfordiversity.org/margins

Angela María Spring and Paulette Piñero in conversation with Ashley K. Stoyanov for JEFA IN TRAINING

Check out Ashley K. Stoyanov, author of Jefa In Training: The Business Startup Toolkit for Entrepreneurial and Creative Women, in a special conversation with Angela María Spring of Duende District in Washington, DC and Albuquerque, NM and Paulette Piñero. Join us as they discuss lessons learned while building their businesses!

STEPMOTHERLAND: Darrel Alejandro Holnes’s debut poetry collection, with readings from Jenise Miller and Roberto Harrison

Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Jenise Miller, and Roberto Harrison are all Panamanian poets, and this video is a tiny slice of happy community.

Listen in as they each give a reading and discuss what pieces of Panama they carry and treasure.

Host: Duende District and The Word | A Storytelling Sanctuary

[margins.] meets: A.E. Rooks, Author of The Black Joke
 

A reading and discussion with A.E. Rooks, author of THE BLACK JOKE: The True Story of One Ship's Battle Against the Slave Trade,  moderated by Suzi Q. Smith.

Her debut, The Black Joke: The True Story of One Ship's Battle Against the Slave Trade, explores a little discussed facet of the transatlantic slave trade. 

This author talk delves into what the past can teach about the present and how history shapes our future. Take a peek for more about Rooks's writing process and more about this fascinating book and liberator ship.

[margins.]meets: Rachel Wiley & Siaara Freeman, A Reading & Conversation

 In this video, Rachel Wiley and Siaara Freeman give readings from their respective works and answer audience Q&A.

Check it out for more information on how to build a collection of poems.

 

Brought to you by The Word, [margins.] was created by and for people on the margins, promoting the inclusive representation of experiences in literature for communities who have historically been excluded. To learn more about how to get involved, visit  www.thewordfordiversity.org/margins

Edgar Gomez, Natalie Lima, Natassja Schiel, & Minda Honey: Readings

This fun talk features a reading from each featured author!

Edgar Gomez, author of HIGH-RISK HOMOSEXUAL, is joined by Natalie Lima, Natassja Schiel, and Minda Honey.

The group chats "risky" stories, plus answers audience questions.

In partnership with Duende District

Rajika Bhandari (America Calling) in conversation with Vinod Busjeet (Silent Winds, Dry Seas)

A wonderful conversation and reading from these two writers! Rajika Bhandari and Vinod Busjeet share the similarities in themes between their two books and talk author journeys for Rajika Bhandari's personal memoir and Vinod Busjeet's semi-autobiographical novel.

In partnership with Duende District

A Reading and Conversation with Leticia Urieta (Las Criaturas) and jo reyes-boitel (Michael + Josephine)

Watch this recording for readings from Leticia Urieta (Las Criaturas) and jo reyes-boitel (Michael + Josephine).

The authors talk about some of their favorite things to read

and reflect on their own books and the pandemic.

In partnership with Duende District

Michelle Zauner (CRYING IN H-MART) in conversation with Denise Chávez

Michelle Zauner (CRYING IN H-MART: winner of the #MarginsBookstores Month Healer Award) in conversation with Denise Chávez, winner of the 2021 BIPOC Bookseller Award in Activism, owner of Casa Camino Real Bookstore and Art Gallery.

Michelle Zauner gives a reading, and Denise talks about the importance of activism and shares a bit about some of her work.

A lovely talk about navigating grief, loss, illness, caretaking, writing, healing, and community.

Melissa Lozada-Oliva (Dreaming of You: A Novel in Verse) in conversation w/ Yesika Salgado (Hermosa)

Melissa Lozada-Oliva and Yesika Salgado perform readings from their books and chat love, sexuality, and poetry. 

Melissa lovingly talks about her mild Selena obsession, plus Selena karaoke with Angela of Duende District and Melissa.

Beautiful poetry and so much fun!

In partnership with Duende District

A reading and conversation with Tomás Morín, Ananda Lima, Raina León, and Roberto Carlos Garcia, in partnership with Duende District

Readings by Tomás Morín (Machete), Ananda Lima (Mother/Land), Raina León (Sombra Dis[Locate]),and Roberto Carlos Garcia, [Elegies] & founder of Get Fresh Books.

Check out this conversation amongst the poets and the cultural importance within their works.

This event is part of #MarginsBookstores Month.

Learn more and check out all our events here. 

R.O. Kwon, ed. KINK: Stories (Winner of the #MarginsBookstores Joy Award), in conversation with author and KINK contributor Zeyn Joukhadar

R.O. Kwon, ed. KINK: Stories (Winner of the #MarginsBookstores Joy Award), in conversation with author and KINK contributor Zeyn Joukhadar

The Joy Award celebrates what is pure and vibrant: this award is for a read that showcases and spreads joy in our communities. 

The authors talk "kink" and its portrayal and perception vs. reality, fellowship, "gaze" and sex in literature, and give readings from the book.

Buy KINK: Stories here

Mariame Kaba, author of WE DO THIS 'TIL WE FREE US, #MarginsBookstores Month Activating Read Winner!

Our [margins.] conference director, Suzi Q. Smith, hosts Mariame Kaba in discussing WE DO THIS 'TIL WE FREE US: ABOLITIONIST ORGANIZING AND TRANSFORMING JUSTICE, the winner of our Activating Read #MarginsBookstores Month Choice Award!

They chat about community, connection, abolition, collectivism, erasure, and the role of books, bookstores, and art play in changing the world and inspiring people to action.

 

One of our favorite chats ever!

Grab a copy here

More about #MarginsBookselling Month HERE

Author Lorraine Monteagut, Brujas: The Magic and Power of Witches of Color, in conversation with Valeria Ruelas + the opening of the first annual #MarginsBookselling Month!

 

#MarginsBookselling Month Opener:

Viniyanka Prasad, Angela Maria Spring, Aida Lilly, and Lorraine Monteagut open the month with a chat about the importance of bookstores by and for marginalized communities, and a poem reading (Joy Harjo, read by Angela). 

Lorraine reads the opening blessing and reads from her book Brujas: The Magic and Power of Witches of Color, then chats with Valeria Ruelas  (author of  Cosmopolitan Love Potions and The Mexican Witch Lifestyle) about overcoming imposter syndrome with the support of friends who allow us to be ourselves, and how publishing can be decolonized.
 

Hosted by Duende District Bookstore with The Word | A Storytelling Sanctuary

Author Talk: Ana Castillo in conversation with Lupita Aquino

 

Multi-award winner Ana Castillo is a celebrated and distinguished poet, novelist, short story writer, essayist, editor, playwright, translator and independent scholar. She is also one of Lupita Aquino and Duende District's favorite and most beloved authors.

Watch her read from MY BOOK OF THE DEAD and hear about Ana's writing, creative, and activist journey. She also chats with Lupita Aquino--better known as Lupita Reads--about mental health and continuing the writing voyage.

Hosted by Duende District Bookstore with The Word | A Storytelling Sanctuary

Author Talk: Rafia Zakaria in conversation with Ruby Hamad

 

Rafia Zakaria, author of AGAINST WHITE FEMINISM, in conversation with Ruby Hamad, author of WHITE TEARS/BROWN SCARS: HOW WHITE FEMINISM BETRAYS WOMEN OF COLOR. Rafia Zakaria gives a reading and explains the term “white feminism.” AGAINST WHITE FEMINISM focuses on racial hierarchy and feminism in the mainstream conversation, noting that racism perpetuates because norms are not challenged (and whiteness is allowed to remain as status quo).

Brought to you in partnership with Duende District.

Marisel Vera in conversation with Ivelisse Rodriguez  

Join us for an hour of celebration and conversation between Marisel Vera, The Taste of Sugar, & Ivelisse Rodriguez, Love War Stories, on love and language in writing Puerto Rico. Marisel Vera reads from THE TASTE OF SUGAR, plus talks the importance of agriculture to the lives of people in Puerto Rico, the historical significance of an enclave we don’t usually see in fiction, stories Marisel would like to hear in fiction, plus seeking joy through community and family.

WHITE SPACE featuring Jennifer De Leon

in conversation with Lupita Aquino 

A reading from essay collection WHITE SPACE, plus Jenn and Lupita talk about immigration, identity, language, fitting in, and existing in white spaces (in the world, in publishing, and the white space of a page).

Jennifer De Leon is author of Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From and the essay collection, White Space: Essays on Culture, Race, & Writing. An Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Framingham State University and a faculty member in the MFA in Creative Nonfiction program at Bay Path University, she has published prose in dozens of literary journals such as Iowa Review, Brevity, Guernica, and more, and is a GrubStreet instructor and board member. To learn more about her work, visit: www.jenniferdeleonauthor.com or follow her @jdeleonwriter.

Lupita Aquino--better known as Lupita Reads--is the co-founder and moderator for LIT on H St Book Club hosted at Solid State Books and is a passionate reader active in both the local and online book community through her Instagram blog- @Lupita.Reads. She is also a book curator for BESE media and a columnist for the Washington Independent Review of Books.

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Every Day We Get More Illegal:

Poet and Critic Vanessa Angélica Villarreal & award-winning former U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera in conversation

 

Two of the great voices of Chicanx poetry celebrate rich and vibrant cultures while talking EVERY DAY WE GET MORE ILLEGAL, colonial erasure, documents, records, and archives.

Hosted by Duende District in partnership with The Word | A Storytelling Sanctuary

Buy EVERY DAY WE GET MORE ILLEGAL

Buy BEAST MERIDIAN

Mining the Modern Gothic with Elisabeth Thomas, author of CATHERINE HOUSE

 

A conversation with Elisabeth Thomas, author of Catherine House, and Angela Marie Spring of Duende District Bookstore about reading, the writing process, and inspiration.

Buy CATHERINE HOUSE

Lit & Film, a discussion with authors

Steven Dunn and Olivia Abtahi

In our Denver Debuts In-conversation series:

Lit & Film, a discussion with Steven Dunn, author of Potted Meat, with debut Olivia Abtahi, author of the upcoming Perfectly Parvin. Watch to hear Steven chat about the  transformation of his words to screen with Olivia, a filmmaker whose storytelling crosses mediums.

Buy POTTED MEAT

Buy PERFECTLY PARVIN

Denver Debuts In-Conversation:

Diana Khoi Nguyen & Deborah Jang

Join The Word and slant'd for a conversation with Diana Khoi Nguyen (Colorado Book Award winning author of Ghost Of) and debut Deborah Jang, author of Float True. They chat family history, immigrant stories, justice, nature and reflection, and the Asian-American experience in the US.

Buy FLOAT TRUE

Buy GHOST OF

 

Denver Debuts In-conversation:

Bobby LeFebre with debut author

César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández

Colorado Poet Laureate Bobby LeFebre chats with César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández about his book Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants,

the intersection of academia and social justice, and how immigration prisons recently became a feature of how the US enforces immigration laws.  Plus César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández talks writing process and gives a reading.

Buy MIGRATING TO PRISON

 

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