Why I Don't Tell My Friends & Family About My Books

You're an indie writer, and your bread and butter is Amazon.com. Don't argue with me, if you're an indie writer, Amazon is the Top Dog of e-book retailers. You've typed 'The End, ' and your manuscript has been edited (tell me it's been edited) and the first thing you want to do (other than taking a stiff drink) is tell all your friends and family about it. You want to shout from the FB rooftop that your book is available for sale on Amazon.com. But you shouldn't.

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Black Speculative Arts Movement Philly 2016 Recap

BSAM Philly Collage So it's been a week since the Black Spec Arts Movement Convention in Philadelphia and I'm still trying to come down from the high. After a disappointing as hell election, being in the presence of so many Black creators and fans was a bit of a respite of the crazy that the US has descended in to.

The pics above are mainly from a panel that I was on. Many thanks to Maurice from Black Sci-Fi for tapping me for this presentation.

The panel was moderated by Black Sci-Fi and it was entitled 'Our Voices, Our Imagination’ featuring panelists Maurice Waters (President, Black Sci-Fi), Myself (Founder/Editor in Chief, Black Girl Magic Literary Magazine), Shawn Alleyne ( Artist/Owner, Pyroglyphics Studio), Stacey Robinson (Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, University of Illinois), N. Steven Harris (Artist, Scout Comics & Xmoor Studios/Illustrator, Dynamite) and Tim Fielder(Diesel Funk and Animation Director at Bighead Scientists /Adjunct at New York Film Academy).  The panel discussed the experience of being a Black Sci-Fi writer/artist/publisher.

It was such an honor to be included on this panel with such great artists and to be able to learn about their motivations to create and their journeys to becoming creators. We also had a swag bag giveaway which included items from all of the panelists and Miles Morales (cosplayer) in my above pic was awarded with it.

If you have a chance to go to a Black Speculative Arts Movement event I highly recommend it and luckily they're have another one soon February 18th in Prairie View, TX. More details here...

 

 

Cinema After Dark Interview

I recently  was interviewed by Max Cole on the Cinema After Dark podcast, where we talked screenwriting, my origin story, Black Girl Magic Lit Mag, and supporting indie creators of color. You can listen on the Cinema After Dark website.

Cinema After Dark is a weekly entertainment podcast and Internet radio show hosted by filmmaker, Max Cole. With an emphasis on thought-provoking independent film discussion, our guests often include filmmakers, actors, producers, cinematographers, editors, makeup artists, agents, manager, entertainment attorneys, casting directors, composers, athletes, musicians, festival directors, etc.

 

The State of Black Science Fiction Convention

SOBSFCon Hi all,

It's been a while, but I've been a bit swamped with Black Girl Magic Lit Mag and all the responsibilities that entails. One of the great things about starting Black Girl Magic Lit Mag is the relationships I've made online with writers and readers and I'm so excited about being able to meet some of those people in real time at the State of Black Science Fiction Convention in Atlanta this weekend. I will be attending the convention and we'll have a table as well in which readers can purchase the first paperback copies of issues 1 & 2.

If you're in the area come on by, I'd love to meet you!

 

 

RCR Reviews Podcast Interview

img_0255My first podcast interview with RCR Reviews is up where I talk about growing up as a black nerd, Black Girl Magic, and oversharing about anime porn. LOL. I had a great time with the host and the other guests.


Black Nerds in Fandoms – Part 1

Akua is a stylish jedi of the dark side, Kenesha is a writer of lore and founder of the Black Girl Magic literary magazine, and Taye is a master of cosplay. For this podcast, they come together to share their experiences as black nerds. Find out what their interests are. Find out how they got into their fandoms. Find out what they like about their fandoms. It’s a pretty good listen.

Akua @akuaisis @AStylishJedi A Stylish Jedi on Facebook @GGBNYC GeekGirlBrunch.com

Kenesha @Kenesha_W KeneshaWilliams.com Kenesha on Facebook @BlkGirlMagicMag Black Girl Mag on Facebook Black Girl Magic #1 on Amazon

Taye @MsTayeDesiree Grown Geek Girl on Facebook Grown Geek Girl on Youtube

Script Analysis: K.C. Scott’s “This Is Working”

I am avid listener of the podcast, Scriptnotes, hosted by John August & Craig Mazin. So, I was extremely excited to hear that they'll be analyzing a full script on Tuesday’s episode. They decided to pick a writer of one of their monthly "Three Page Challenges" and the lucky screenwriter is K.C. Scott and his screenplay This Is Working. John and Craig will be joined by special guest Franklin Leonard and will talk about character, story and thematic issues. I read the script in anticipation of Tuesday's episode and thought I would do a short analysis of the script. I can't wait to hear if John, Craig, and Franklin point out the same things that I noticed while reading This is Working.

SPOILERS AHEAD - YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED


Title: This is Working

Short Summary: Byron, an insecure artist meets a woman who encourages him to quit his job and set off on his own path.

Plot Points (Longer Summary): Byron who works as a graphic artist at a start up pet product company meets a woman, Amanda, at a diner who gives him the courage to order the breakfast he wants when confronted by a waitress who along with his girlfriend Jane  are managing his food intake. Amanda's brash and confident manner intrigue Byron and once he's at work and cannot finish his design for an expensive disposable hummingbird feeder, he gets his assistant Rosa to track her down aided by a drawing that he's completed of her.

Byron takes the advice of Amanda and needing her support tells the staff that she's a consultant on his project. After the new proposal that Byron comes up with aided by Amanda, she meets Jane his girlfriend and Vice President at the company. Jane confides in Amanda how draining Byron's insecurities are and thanks her for helping him.  After the success of the campaign, Byron's company offers Amanda a job at the company and Byron a promotion to their Oakland office.

Jane starts to feel threatened by Amanda's presence and influence on Byron and confronts him with his mother, Urlina. They outline rules that Byron must follow in order to see Amanda, including not seeing her alone and having a two hour's notice for any plans including Amanda.

Byron, uninspired by his new position and stuck on one of his paintings, turns to Amanda for advice and comfort. Amanda and Byron share a passionate kiss and decide they don't want to be without each other and that they should quit their jobs and move in together. Amanda finds out that Byron is a trust fund kid and that he only recently moved out of his mother's house before he moved in with Jane and that his two brothers still live with their mother. They then decide to move to Oakland and rent an apartment there.

Once in Oakland, they spend a magical day together that ends with Byron deciding he needs to go back to Jane's and tell her that he's leaving. Jane tells him to leave and he spends the night at a motel. The next day he goes into work and quits his job. He goes home to his new apartment with Amanda where she encourages him to hang up all of his art work. They then go to an art festival which inspires Byron to create a design for t-shirts for the art festival.

Amanda and Byron attempt to build a booth for the festival, but she sends Byron off to the store for supplies because of his lack of handyman skills. On his way back to their house his mother picks him up in order to inspect his new living situation and Amanda. When they arrive at their house Amanda is smoking a blunt and quoting expletive laden 90's hip-hop. Both Amanda and Urlina kick Byron out while they have a one on one. Amanda unaccustomed to be challenged stands up to Urlina and in the process tells her that they don't need Byron's trust fund money.

Later, Byron and Amanda set up their t-shirt booth and get no sales. Byron goes to grab them some beers and his debit card is declined. Amanda doesn't tell Byron about telling his mother that they don't need his trust money, but senses that's why his card was declined. Instead she suggests they go out dancing. Byron insists that he check his account first and when he does he sees it's been reduced to a couple of hundred dollars. He thinks he's been a victim of identity theft until Amanda tells him what she told his mother. Byron panics, but they still go out dancing and while out they run into Rosa.

After dancing at the club they all return to Byron and Amanda's apartment and Byron drunkenly kisses Rosa. The next day ashamed at what he does he doesn't want to face Amanda, but Amanda acts completely un-phased about it. Byron teases out of Amanda that she was jealous and admits that he was acting passive-aggressively because he was angry about her being the cause of him losing his money. Amanda then tells him that Rosa has an idea for improving the t-shirt design.

They go back to the art festival and are selling the new design of the t-shirts and business is so good that they've raised their prices. Later, Amanda tells Byron that she thinks that Rosa should move in with them to help with the business. The next day at the festival they are selling so much that their line is interferring with the flow of festival traffic. A festival official tells them they must get rid of their line and Amanda buys a booth from another vendor. Byron objects to displacing the vendor and then offers to man the previous vendor's booth. This leads to a fight between Byron and Amanda in which they both express their frustration with each other's different degrees of oppressiveness.

The fight between he and Amanda leads Byron to leave their apartment and go back to his mother's house. While at his mother's we meet his brothers who still live at home and still behave like children under their mother's watch. Amanda goes to see Byron and he explains to her that he can't be her burden. She says she understands and leaves.

We fast forward a month and we find Amanda now living with Byron in his mother's house with his brothers like one big happy family.

My Opinion:

Characters: I loved all of the characters in This is Working, but I felt like the character of Amanda was very Manic Pixie Dream Girl-ish. Not only did she seem to only exist to enable Byron's growth, but I never saw what quality of Byron's made her fall so madly in love with him that she would move in with him after a few days. It seems like the script hints at her falling for him because of his vulnerability, but there's nothing shown in her personality that she wants a "fixer-upper" type relationship. I would have liked to see more of what she felt like she was getting out of the relationship other than a project.

I did like that all his characters had different voices, I could envision each one of them from the main characters to one off characters like Jane's suburban cousins. I also liked that the characters were very diverse (Black, white, Asian, and Latino).

Overall: Overall I liked the script a lot, but I felt like the third act was the weakest. I don't feel like Byron fulfilled his purpose or journey in this script. The first act tells us we're dealing with a man that can't make a decision on his own without being propped up by some woman who is asserting her dominance over him. Yet, at the end Byron is still being propped up by women. He's living at home under a domineering mother with his equally domineering girlfriend. Although at the end Amanda doesn't give him the answer he wants in relation to a painting he's working on, he still hasn't grown enough by the end of the script, in my opinion.

Minor Issues: 

  1. Why didn't Amanda suggest opening an online store, when her business was in tech/programming?
  2. Why was Byron's card declined while trying to buy liquor, yet he still had at least three hundred dollars in his account?
  3. Why didn't Byron move in with Amanda when she had her own place already instead of moving to Oakland? Would have made more sense if she had a roommate.

Upcoming Screenwriting Competition Deadlines: March - May Deadlines

PAGE INTERNATIONAL SCREENWRITING AWARDS (Features/TV Pilots/Shorts)Early Entry ($39): January 15 Regular Entry ($49): February 16 Late Entry ($59): March 16 Last Minute (Final) ($69): April 15 Results: July 15/August 15/September 15/October 15

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL SCREENPLAY COMPETITION (Features/Teleplays/Shorts) Early Submission ($40/$30): April 20 Final Submission ($50/$40): May 20 Results: Early September/Late September/At Conference

TRACKINGB.COM ORIGINAL TV PILOT CONTEST Early Entry ($79): February 8 Late Entry ($99): April 26 Results: End of 2nd week of June

NICHOLL FELLOWSHIP (Features)

Early Entry: March 2 ($40 entry fee), Regular Entry: April 10 ($55 entry fee) Late Entry: May 1 ($75 entry fee) Results: Quarterfinalist letters are e-mailed by August 1. Semifinalist letters are e-mailed by early September.

HBO Access Writing Fellowship

Yesterday, HBO announced it has launched the HBOAccess Writing Fellowship, which is seeking emerging writers from diverse backgrounds. Applications for the program will be accepted beginning March 4. Participants will attend a week of master classes at HBO’s Santa Monica campus that will focus on character and story development, pitching ideas and projects, securing an agent, and networking. Each participant will then go on to an eight-month writing phase where he/she will be paired with an HBO development executive and guided through the script development process.

The HBOAccess Writing Fellowship is open to writers 21 and older who must be able to work in the U.S. Prior to the application, the writer must not have been staffed on a network or cable series in excess of 13 episodes and/or had more than one feature film or more than two plays produced.

All submissions must be made through Without A Box. Submission materials must include a resume or bio, a writing sample, a completed release form and a personal essay in 500 words or less explaining how his/her background has influenced his/her storytelling.

SUBMIT HERE

Welcome back?

I previously had a blog under another url, but I decided it was time to stop dicking around and snatch up my name as my website/blog domain name. I mean I'm not sure exactly how many Kenesha Williams there are in the world, but I do know when I Google myself, besides hits related to me, there is a Jamaican track runner with my name and over my dead body she gets my name as her site name first. So here I am in my new spot. Stay a while.