"Black writers in tour 2005:" Los Angeles' new millenium
On April 2, the ninth annual
"Black Writers on Tour" makes its
way to the LAX Radisson Hotel in
The theme of this year's tour is
"Literacy is everybody's business."
Founded in 1996 by Dr. Rosie
Milligan, the all-day event features
lectures and seminars for aspiring
authors, poets and publishers, as well
as poetry jam sessions, live jazz bands,
and various children's events such as
puppet shows and story readings.
Tim Harris, executive account
manager of the tour and Milligan
Books, mentions that this year's event
hopes to bring in an estimated 4,500
to 7,500 people.
"It's a local event, but people
come from all across the country,"
Milligan, the event's host, will be
on hand for many of the workshops
and seminars, as well as several awards
A highlight of the day will certainly
be the poetry slam contest, open to all
in attendance. There will be an adult
contest, and a contest for children.
"It will be an hour-long session for
each contest, and all are welcome to
participate," said Harris.
The first prize for adults will be
$100, second place $50, and third
For the children's event, the first
place award will be $50, the second
place $25 and the third place $15.
Also making a special appearance
will be Afeni Shakur, mother of the
late rapper Tupac Shakur. She will be
promoting and signing copies of her
books, as well as meeting with fans
and answering questions.
Another featured seminar, sure
to be a highlight of the day, is the
"Children of Legends Who Write"
panel-discussion featuring Maryum
"May Kay" King, daughter of boxer
Mohammed Ali, Ilyasah Shabazz,
daughter of Malcolm X, and Yolanda
King, daughter of civl rights leader
Martin Luther King Jr.
"The overall goal of the event is to
promote literacy, encourage people to
read and take greater control of their
destiny," Harris said. "We want to
empower everybody involved."
This will be the ideal event for
authors to attend to get advice on the
business of publishing and marketing
"It's one thing to write a book, but
understanding the entire process from
A to Z, promotion and marketing,
mainstream publishing, is not a slam
dunk as they portray it to be," Harris
Over 400 authors, agents and
editors will be on hand to answer
questions, and give presentations on
how to be a successful writer.
Topics covered will include: how
to write poetry, fiction writing, how to
write a best selling novel, and business
and marketing in the industry. "There
really is something for everybody,"
Each panel member is chosen by
Milligan herself, and includes authors,
publishers, poets and motivational
As the founder and host, Milligan
has many achievements under her
She is a registered nurse, counselor/
health consultant, and author. She
also has a Ph.D. in Business
She lectures nationally on economic
empowerment, managing diversity in
the workplace and relationships.
Her books, "Starting a Business
Made Simple," and "Getting Out of
Debt Made Simple," have helped
many across the country.
Her most recent release is titled
"Creating A New You In Six Weeks
As an entrepreneur and economic
empowerment activist, the Mississippi
native owns a bookstore and
for new and small businesses,
and staff development training for
In 1990, she started a publishing
company, Milligan Books, where she
has published over 100 new African-
American authors in the past five
Her publishing company is the
fastest growing publishing company
owned by an African-American
woman in the nation.
Milligan was recipient of the 1996
Pioneer Women given by the Los
Angeles City Commission on the
Status of Women. This was the same
year she founded "Black Writers on
The ninth annual "Black Writers
on Tour" comes to the LAX Radisson
Hotel, located at 6225 W. Century
It lasts from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. General
admission is free, but a fee is required
for certain lectures, workshops and
seminars. For more information,
please visit www.blackwritersontour.