Hi everyone! I am YA author B A Binns , writer of contemporary and realistic fiction for teens. My tagline tells you what I am about - Stories of Real Boys Growing Into Real Men - and the people who love them.
This month I'm talking about the annual Romance Slam Jam Book Lovers Convention (formerly known as RSJ or the Romance Slam Jam Conference)that will be held in beautiful Los Angeles, California this year, March 22-25.
This year's theme is "Lights! Camera! Action! Romance in LA!"
This annual convention attracts and supports the authors, readers, and industry specialists who enjoy “own voices,” romance books featuring black and multicultural protagonists.
Held annually at various locations around the country, the RSJ convention has a reunion atmosphere where all are welcomed to join in on the discussion of the black author and the publishing industry today. RSJ encourages discussion on diversity in literature and debate by all parties, regardless of race and/or role in the publishing industry. To that end, RSJ welcomes both published and aspiring authors who want to meet with readers and network with other authors, or attend workshops to refine their craft. The convention especially welcomes readers, bloggers and reviewers who love romance books and want to meet authors, get free books, and a chance to win book related prizes (including a pre-loaded kindle).
Romance Slam Jam (RSJ) was born in 1995 in a response to gatekeepers who once said, "People won't buy black romance." Emma Rodgers, Ashira Tosihwe and Francis Ray give birth to RSJ in Dallas, Texas, to demonstrate what Nikki Giovanni describes as The Power, Passion and Pain of Black Love. Over the years, RSJ has helped demolish many barriers in the Romance Book industry.
The convention/conference encourages diversity in literature by recognizing the talent and creative literary works of African American authors to help them gain exposure to all audiences in our multicultural world. Emma Rodgers lent her name to the Emma Awards, the premier awards for black authors of romance. The awards ceremony takes place on the final day of the Convention and highlights outstanding creative literary works by African-American authors.
In addition, #RSJ2017 has undergone a facelift while continuing its support and celebration of talented authors of romantic fiction featuring black, multicultural and interracial protagonists. The convention will offer craft and business workshops geared towards both established and aspiring authors. Writers at all stages of their career can participate in various workshops led by bestselling indie and traditionally published authors and industry professionals. Subjects covered generally include craft, media and marketing, self-publishing, social media and business organization.
There will also be panel discussions, games, and other events to ensure ample opportunities for readers and authors, book reviewers and bloggers, to mingle and get to know each other. There will be something new at RSJ2017; several forums where a key subject will be discussed by attendees at a town hall type environment to give readers and authors a chance to participate together and delve deep on a subject.
I always consider going to RSJ as an opportunity for to fangirl over some of my favorite authors. Here are some photos from prior years.
SPECIAL NOTE: There are several different pre-convention tours set up for March 22 to explore Los Angeles if you want to arrive early.
Also, This year, RSJ is having a special TEEN PROGRAM WORKSHOP DAY. If your creative teen is interested in becoming a writer, you can bring them along. There will be special workshops where teens can learn how to magnify their thoughts into illuminating, definitive, photographic words.
For more information about the conference, the tours, or the teen day, visit: https://rsjconvention.com/
Featured presenters at RSJ2017 include:
Zuri Day, national bestselling author of almost two dozen novels, including the popular Drakes of California series and the Morgan Men Trilogy. Publishers Weekly wrote, “Day is boldly bucking the billionaire trend” about her latest series, Blue Collar Lovers. [http://zuriday.com]
Zuri is serving as the hostess of a special Harlequin Kimani event to be held during the convention.
Lisa Rayne writes sensual contemporary romance, often with a suspense twist. Her books feature smart, sexy characters of diverse backgrounds and cultures. Her first novel Counselor Undone earned Emma Awards for Debut Author of the Year and for Interracial Romance of the Year in 2016. [lisarayne.com]
J.M. Jeffries is actually the award winning writing team of Miriam Pace and Jacqueline Hamilton. These two authors of romantic suspense and romantic comedies have trouble deciding if they like killing people more than they like making them laugh. Visit J.M.Jeffries on facebook
Earl Sewell is a national bestselling and award-winning author who has published over 20 novels and shorts stories in multiple genres. [http://authorearlsewell.com]
Lutishia Lovely is a national bestselling author of more than two dozen novels. Her latest release, A Date With Destiny is the 9th installment of her popular Hallelujah Series. [http://lutishialovely.com/]
Lutishia will be delivering the keynote address.
Pamela Samuels Young, the award-winning author of seven legal thrillers and one non-fiction book, has been dubbed “John Grisham with a sister’s twist” by one reviewer. Her thriller Anybody’s Daughter (2013), is the story about a teen drawn into the world of child sex trafficking via a Facebook scam, won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction and was a Top Ten pick by In the Margins, a committee of the Library Services of Youth In Custody. [www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com]
Seriously, if you are looking for a readers' or writers' conference in March, or just need an excuse to see LA, give Romance Slam Jam consideration. (Just saying, last year I won the raffle and got some nice free stuff.)