NCAAL has ended
Grand Hyatt Atlanta (Buckhead)
3300 Peachtree Road NE Atlanta, GA 30305, USA

(Deadline for conference registration was August 1.  THERE WILL BE NO ON-SITE REGISTRATION OR MEAL PAYMENTS)

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Spotlight Stage [clear filter]
Thursday, August 10


Publishing Your Book With A Traditional Publisher:Requirements and Expectations, Yours and Theirs.

Is it more prestigious and lucrative to get your book published by a company that pays royalty advances as part of its publishing agreement?  Must you be represented by a literary agent in order to secure such an opportunity?  Are certain types of books more likely to qualify for publication from this type of publisher? Learn how the process works within the so-called “traditional” publishing environment as you consider your options in the contemporary marketplace, where digital technology has created a variety of publishing choices.

avatar for Janell Walden Agyeman

Janell Walden Agyeman

Literary Agent, Marie Brown Associates Literary Services
Janell Walden Agyeman is a literary agent with Marie Brown Associates Literary Services and a book publishing consultant. An industry veteran with editorial and administrative experience, she has appeared at writers’ conferences, women’s empowerment conferences and other gatherings... Read More →

Friday, August 11


From Parents to Publishing Pioneers-The Story of Just Us Books

We have heard the outcry about needing diverse books.  Guess who has stood the test of time in providing diverse books for nearly thirty years, Just Us Books.  More than two and a half decades ago, Wade and Cheryl Hudson were parents on a desperate search for children’s books that addressed Black history, Black heritage and Black experiences.  Disappointed by the limited number and unreliable availability, the couple embarked upon a mission: to produce the kind of positive, vibrant Black –interest books that they wanted for their own two children.  So, in 1988, the Hudson started Just Us Books, the nation’s leading independent publisher of Black interest for young people.    In this program, Wade and Cheryl share their incredible journey.

avatar for Wade &  Cheryl Hudson

Wade & Cheryl Hudson

Publishers, Just Us Books
In 1988, the Hudson started Just Us Books, Inc. With Wade serving as company president and head of marketing, and Cheryl leading the editorial and art departments, Just Us Books, Inc. soon became a leading publisher of multicultural books for children, opening doors of opportunities... Read More →


First Time Around: The Mystique of Debut Novels

There’s something magical about a first novel — that promise of a new voice, the possibility of finding a writer you can follow for years to come.  The debut novel is evenmore important for the writer because it might spark a great career. Writing your first book is no mean feat.  Let’s hear about two exciting debut novels. The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter: a Novel by Kia Corthron; the story sweeps American history from 1941 to the twenty-first century through the lives of four men—two white brothers from rural Alabama, and two black brothers from small-town Maryland—whose journey culminates in an explosive and devastating encounter between the two families. Passage by Khary Lazarre-White; tells the story of Warrior, a young black man, who is surrounded by deep family love and a sustaining connection to his history, connections that arm him as he confronts the urban forces that he faces--both supernatural and human--forces that seek his very destruction.

Authors will share the pros and cons their writing journey and reveal how these books propelled their careers. 

Sponsored by Seven Stories an Imprint of Penguin/Random House

avatar for Kia Corthron

Kia Corthron

Adult Author
The author of more than fifteen plays produced nationally and internationally, KIA CORTHRON came to national attention in the early nineties with her play Come Down Burning. Portraying characters who live in extreme poverty or crisis and whose lives are otherwise invisible, her plays... Read More →
avatar for Khary Lazarre-White

Khary Lazarre-White

Executive Director of The Brotherhood/Sister Sol, Author
Khary Lazarre-White is a social justice advocate, attorney and activist who has dedicated his life to the educational outcome and opportunities for young people of color at key life stages. His support base is far-reaching and diverse, built over the past twenty years as co-founder... Read More →


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