I know it’s been a minute…well, a few minutes…since I’ve posted, but I’m back on the tractor and ready to work and [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form] share. As a writer. Teacher. Gardener. Editor. Publisher. Filmmaker. Raconteur.
So, I’m gonna jump right in.
I began my writing career as a journalist at The Atlanta Constitution, as the first African-American woman at the morning newspaper in Atlanta, Georgia. This was back in the 1970s. Although I liked being a jounalist a journalist, I always knew that I wanted to write fiction: stories of my family, black folks in the South. I published my first novel, BABY OF THE FAMILY, in 1989. And since then, I have published four more novels (UGLY WAYS, THE HAND I FAN WITH, YOU KNOW BETTER and TAKING AFTER MUDEAR) as well as book reviews, essays, magazine articles, and op-ed pieces. But in the back of my head and in my heart, I knew that I also wanted to do more in the field of literature. In addition to writing, I knew I yearned to start a retreat for emerging and established writers in the Georgia Sea Islands where I have lived for the last 30 years.
The Sea Islands off the coast of the Southern United States are the repository of so much of African-American history and culture. I knew this would be a great place to offer workshops, discussions and sharing about creating black literature. I wanted to offer a safe place for writers who had never been published to interact with established writers and new writers like themselves to sharpen their craft, share their work and improve their writing.
I thought about this endeavor for more than a decade before founding The Sea Island Writers Retreats in the fall of 2004. A couple of years later, we have decided in addition to the Writers Retreats held on the Sea Islands in the fall, to take the Sea Island Writers Retreats on the road to cities across the country where we can reach even more writers who cannot make the trip South. Since then, we had held the retreats with our faculty including Pearl Cleage, Zaron W. Burnett Jr., Valerie Wilson Wesley, Shay Youngblood, Blanche Richardson, Valerie Boyd and myself in cities throughout the Southeast.
To find out more about the retreat and if you’re interested in us bringing the Sea Island Writers Retreats to your city or area, go to my website www.tinamcelroyansa.com and fill out the registration or interest form.