"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

Los Angeles.

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,"

he said.

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

place $25.

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

your book.

"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,"

Harris said.

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

Made Simple."

As an entrepreneur and economic

empowerment activist, the Mississippi

native owns a bookstore and

Professional Business-Consulting

Services-providing consultation

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.