A Preview of African-American Programming at BEA

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This year's BookExpo America program for African-American book industry professionals, sponsored by the African-American Booksellers Committee, will be held on Thursday, May 29, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Registration for the program, which is open to all BEA registered attendees, is not required.

"I've been doing this for 10 years," said Clara Villarosa of Hue-Man Resources, "and we're always looking to provide good information ... what can we provide for attendees in these challenging times? We also want to inspire them with the keynote." This year's programming seeks to meet these goals with an opening luncheon and author presentations; a keynote address by Terry McMillian, bestselling author of Waiting to Exhale; and workshops on bringing African-American books to life in films and on television, and how to maximize sales to book clubs.

Thursday, May 29, Los Angeles Convention Center

Opening Session and Luncheon
11:30 a.m. in Room 515B

Welcome: Clara Villarosa, Hue-Man Resources, Harlem, New York
Luncheon Sponsor: One World/Ballantine

"One World, Many Voices" features presentations by Nikki Turner, author of Black Widow: A Novel, on urban lit and the launch of the Nikki Turner Presents book line; Donald Welch (The Bachelorette Party: A Novel), who is writing commercial women's fiction based on a national hit play; Bertie Bowman, whose Step by Step: A Memoir of Hope, Friendship, Perseverance, and Living the American Dream spans 60 years of Bowman's career at the U.S. Capitol and an important slice of American history; and a video interview with Halima Bashir (Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur) will put a human face on the tragic story of genocide in Darfur. Moderated by Melody Guy, senior editor. RSVP for the luncheon by calling (212) 940-7771 or send an e-mail to [email protected].

Keynote Address
1:00 p.m. in Room 518

Terry McMillan, bestselling author of Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back, among many other titles

Workshop: From Page to Screen -- The process of taking African-American books to film and TV
2:15 p.m. in Room 515AB

Panelists: Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant, authors of the new novel Gotta Keep on Tryin', who have formed 4 Colored Girls Productions to produce independently Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made, starring Regina King and based on the 1997 bestselling book. Clyde W. Ford, novelist and screenwriter for the adaptation of his latest novel, Precious Cargo, for a film starring Morgan Freeman; Donna Hill, contemporary novelist of books Intimate Betrayal, Private Affair, and Masquerade adapted for television and presented on BET; and Elvis Mitchell, author and entertainment critic for NPR's Weekend Edition and author of The Black List, which will be released as an HBO documentary in August 2008.

Workshop: Working the Clubs -- How to maximize the selling of books through book club contacts
3:45 p.m. in Room 518

Panelists: Curtis Bunn, author of Baggage Check and founder of the National Book Club Conference; Kimberla Lawson Roby, author of Sin No More and One in a Million; Lisa R. Johnson, president/co-founder of Sistahs on the Reading Edge Book Club in Northern California; Bernard Henderson, event coordinator of Alexander Book Co. in San Francisco. Moderated by Linda Duggins, director of multicultural publicity at Hachette Book Group USA.

5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. in Room 515B

Sponsors: Kimani Press; Hachette; Dafina Books; St. Martin's; Moody Publisher; S&S; Ingram Book Group; and Random House. (Other sponsors to be announced.)

For more information, contact Villarosa at [email protected].