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Speculative Fiction

Creative Support in Black Community  

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  1. 1. Do Black artists offer ample collaboration, support & mentoring within our creative community?



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Lots of black artists, especially young ones, but some middle and old age, think that black artists do not do this.

Seek and ye shall find.

There are plenty of artists around you who will offer you tips and support and help but you got to go out and find them. They are not out searching for somebody to help. They are usually trying to get their own thang together.

I decided to go out on my artistic journey. I finally decided to give writing a serious shot. I had no idea of how to do it.

One day I was reading the local black newspaper and two local writers announced they were starting a workshop for writers. They were Eugene Redmond and Shirley Leflore. I got hold of them and started.

I was in a workshop with several fine writers just starting out, one of whom grew up to be Jabari Asim, who is editing the NAACP's Crisis.

I have been in a number of workshops since. Contact with a writer on this site, Kola Boof, led to the publication of my novel "A Vampyre Blues".

I could go on and on all day about the support and help people gave to me and give to me even at this moment.

Understand. Nobody owes you a thing. And everybody ain't giving, one way or another.

You might be the best writer or artist in the world and humanity might be blessed and uplifted for all time if only somebody would reach down and make you a star.

Tough shit. Join the Club.

You got to do it yourself--you got to ASK for help. And ask again. And prepare to be turned down again and again.

The first thing a professional wrestler learns is how to fall safefly. Because he is going to be falling a lot.

And the first thing an artist or writer has to learn is how to deal with rejection.

Nobody is going to hold your hand. That shit that happened to J.K. Rowling happens to a handful.

One thing you should think of, at a certain point, is whether or not it is FOR you. If you are not willing to take the possibility that you might join the ranks of the never heard from, then don't get out there...

I hope this was some help.

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Lots of black artists, especially young ones, but some middle and old age, think that black artists do not do this.

Seek and ye shall find.

There are plenty of artists around you who will offer you tips and support and help but you got to go out and find them. They are not out searching for somebody to help. They are usually trying to get their own thang together.

I decided to go out on my artistic journey. I finally decided to give writing a serious shot. I had no idea of how to do it.

One day I was reading the local black newspaper and two local writers announced they were starting a workshop for writers. They were Eugene Redmond and Shirley Leflore. I got hold of them and started.

I was in a workshop with several fine writers just starting out, one of whom grew up to be Jabari Asim, who is editing the NAACP's Crisis.

I have been in a number of workshops since. Contact with a writer on this site, Kola Boof, led to the publication of my novel "A Vampyre Blues".

I could go on and on all day about the support and help people gave to me and give to me even at this moment.

Understand. Nobody owes you a thing. And everybody ain't giving, one way or another.

You might be the best writer or artist in the world and humanity might be blessed and uplifted for all time if only somebody would reach down and make you a star.

Tough shit. Join the Club.

You got to do it yourself--you got to ASK for help. And ask again. And prepare to be turned down again and again.

The first thing a professional wrestler learns is how to fall safefly. Because he is going to be falling a lot.

And the first thing an artist or writer has to learn is how to deal with rejection.

Nobody is going to hold your hand. That shit that happened to J.K. Rowling happens to a handful.

One thing you should think of, at a certain point, is whether or not it is FOR you. If you are not willing to take the possibility that you might join the ranks of the never heard from, then don't get out there...

I hope this was some help.

#########################################################################################################

;) Hi. I too am a fellow writer. I personally find your moderate cynicism absolutely refreshing. All that you say is true. I, in fact, would like to keep in touch and perhaps share thoughts and strategies on all topics germane to culture, the arts and the writing process in today's society. As you know, networking is essential for writers. Feel free to delve into my offerings on Myspace, Facebook, Tweeter, Blogger and FictionPress.com. Until then, stay blessed & keep in contact.

Sincerely;

Jeffery

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I will do that.

Anytime you have any questions feel free to post here. There's lots of people here who try to help new writers.

Just remember one thing and this goes even with regard to my sterling observations (some, like Cynique, would say even MORE so)...take it all with a grain of salt.

Seek and ye shall find.

Ask and it shall be answered.

Cast down your buckets where you are.

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I will do that.

Anytime you have any questions feel free to post here. There's lots of people here who try to help new writers.

Just remember one thing and this goes even with regard to my sterling observations (some, like Cynique, would say even MORE so)...take it all with a grain of salt.

Seek and ye shall find.

Ask and it shall be answered.

Cast down your buckets where you are.

##################################################################################

Greetings;

In the past, I did a lot of work with writing in the genre of detective fiction and speculative science fiction [i.e. Phillip K. Dick Blade Runner, Issac Asimov's 'Naked Sun, etc.]. I had created several short stories and novellas involving the exploits of a black female, hard-boiled detective series called Cold Baby. Specifically, my work on two stories; "As if Through a Glass & Darkly" and "Cold Baby: Fear No More the Heat of the Sun" have provided me with a literary palette that allowed me to explore exciting narrative constructs within cross-genre dramatic elements.

I have learned the value of writing workshops and collaborative brainstorming often lends itself to facilitate explosions of creative epiphanies while offering authors invaluable moments of constructive criticism. However, having weathered past experiences trying to scale the mountains of obstacles prevalent in today's world of fiction publishing, I find today's publishing environment ever more restrictive and not conducive to new authors & fresh works of un-solicited fiction submissions. Without representation by connected literary agencies or insider networking within the shrinking fiction publishing market, new authors often are prevented from gaining access to that first real opportunity to exhibit the fruits of their art & craft. The vast majority of submission guidelines for publishers create a de-facto quarantine against new writers who lack solicitations normally awarded to established literary agents. And quite often, the major agencies will not take on new writers until they have previously been successfully published.

I have learned that necessity is the mother of invention. Opportunities in self-publishing, and explorations into web publishing and graphic novels can provide new territories that authors may explore. This is especially true with advances in web-based technologies and the electronics book medium. I also believe that timing can be everything for creative concepts which normally had trouble finding acceptance in the reading public and publishing industry landscapes. Thus, the advent of minority fiction writers finding receptive audiences and publishing partnerships which allow for the distribution of their creative showcases is now at hand; even in theses trying economic times.

Personally, I think that my work and more importantly, my new project ideas could stand input and collaboration from fellow writers. I think my literary craftsmanship can use constructive ideas and radical thinking in order to remain fresh, concise and innovative artistically. As well, I could use good advice on ways to reach out & exhibit new projects in a cost effective manner or developing new avenues for funding publishing efforts in advanced venues. I finally would like your opinion on collaborative writing projects and the current state of editing and the impact of ghostwriting arrangements.

Again, I would like to turn my 'Cold Baby' works into a serial and would like input into new projects such as the exploits of the 1st Black U.S. Marshal and the decsendents of the Buffalo Soldiers all-Black regiments [becoming the 24th division]even after being disgraced during the Yalu River Chinese offensive of the Korean War. I am very active with the writing venues affored by social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace & FictionPress. I also am thinking about doing something in the espionage/techno -thriller cross-genre [ie Tom Clancy].

I look forward to hearing from you. some examples of my work can be found at http://www.fictionpress.com/~poorrichardsson.

A writer til the end;

Jeff

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