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First African American to win the RITA Award

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long_shot.jpgLONG SHOT isn't the odds of an African American winning the coveted 2019 RITA award; it's the winning title of the Romance Novel that landed Kennedy Ryan in the winner's circle.kennedy_ryan.jpeg
Ryan is the first African American to win the award in the 37-year-history of the Romance Writers of America organization, and she also self-published the romance novel. 

"Long Shot" takes on the controversial subject of domestic violence in professional sports. 


The Charlotte, North Carolina resident, told WFAE   she didn't expect to win. Ryan says she entered the competition to challenge the organizers' belief that black writers didn't enter their work. She said when they announced her name, Ryan said it felt like there was a collective, "we did it."

Ryan began her writing career with the Hachette Group after landing a 4-book deal - but once it was up, she said she turned down subsequent offers to self-publish instead.

Edited by Mel Hopkins
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@Troy  et al , recently discovering and uncovering the success of Kennedy Ryan speaks volumes of how important it is for black writers to continue to do their thing - but also participate in  PWIs (Predominately White Institutions) in an effort to get the notoriety.  

It would be nice if we could remain self-contained and eventually get our recognition in "the establishment."  But I see, once again we have to work twice as hard to get half as far.  Where as people of Angles descent only have to promote to one gatekeeper - those of us of the African diaspora must first promote to the black community and then go out to mainstream.  

I'm thrilled I found that article  but I wonder if she didn't win the RITA award would she have even  landed a story on NPR?  Think about it. Ryan had a 4-book deal with the Hachette Group and I never heard a peep.  Now that she's chosen the self-published route - she wins a coveted award and we get to learn that all along, she's been writing about the black community and the controversial issues we face.  

In addition, I'm even more excited that a place like AALBC.com exist for me to post Ryan's story.   I didn't even post her story on my website - I came here first to share it.    I'll share a review here too once I finish reading her award-winning book. :)

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