New Review of Lez Talk by Atticus Review

In the introduction to Lez Talk, a collection of short fiction by Black lesbian writers, editor S. Andrea Allen writes her aims: to put together stories that aren’t “full of overly wrought sex scenes or lesbian melodrama,” and avoid clichés of “’urban fiction,’ which mostly include[s]some combination of violence, sex, money, or drugs.’” Meanwhile, co-editor Lauren Cherelle puts forward that “We should value…stories that extend cultural representations and incorporate a range of literary devices.”

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Penny Mickelbury Joins BLF Press

A New Collection of Short Fiction from Penny Mickelbury

God’s Will and Other Lies

CLAYTON, North Carolina, September 4, 2017—BLF Press is pleased to announce the acquisition of a collection of short fiction by esteemed journalist, mystery writer, and playwright, Penny Mickelbury. God’s Will and Other Lies is tentatively scheduled for release in early 2019.

Mickelbury was a pioneering newspaper, radio and television journalist based primarily in Washington, D.C. She taught journalism at the Los Angeles Leadership Academy, a charter middle school, and was a Coordinator with the Los Angeles Public Library’s Adult Literacy Program. Mickelbury was a resident writer at Hedgebrook Women Writers Retreat, and is a recipient of the Audre Lorde Estate Grant. She was a co-founder of Alchemy: Theatre of Change, a young people's’ acting company in New York City. She lives in Los Angeles with her partner of 18 years.

Her new collection, God’s Will and Other Lies, (will join her catalog of ten published mystery novels in three successful series: The Carol Ann Gibson Mysteries (winner of a Gold Pen Award by the Black Writers Alliance,) The Mimi Patterson/Gianna Maglione Mysteries (two-time Lambda Literary Award finalists), and the Phil Rodriquez Mysteries.

Also an accomplished playwright, Mickelbury’s play The Black Family Robinson was one of three plays that inaugurated the Inglewood/Willie Agee Playhouse (Los Angeles) Staged Reading Series in 2016 and last year she was the recipient of an Ethel Woolson Lab, a competitive honor, for her play Hush Now, which received a staged reading at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre Black Box. Hush Now also received a staged reading as part of the Fountain Theatre’s (Los Angeles) New Works festival. Her play Waiting for Gabriel was the second place winner in the Theodore Ward Competition and was part of the TriBeCa Film Studio’s (New York) Staged Reading Series.

“We are honored to have Penny join us at BLF Press,” said publisher Stephanie Andrea Allen. “She is one of our Black lesbian literary foremothers, and a collection of stories focused on the multiplicity of Black women’s lives, lesbian or not, is just what we need right now.”

When asked why she was starting this project, Mickelbury stated “We wonderful Women of Color! If punctured--yes, we all bleed red. But we are not all the same. We live different lives and we tell different stories and we tell them differently. We know this, and so does Prof. Stephanie Andrea Allen. BLF Press gives space and volume to our voices. This book has been a long time coming and it is way overdue. Thank you, BLF Press, for your vision and your courage.”

 

 

OutWrite DC 2017: LGBTQ Literary Activism

LGBTQ voices will be heard and welcomed as OutWrite DC opens its 7th year with Smut Slam Cabaret an evening of smutty storytelling, nerdy burlesque and literary euphemisms. A full lineup of readings, workshops, and panels of LGBTQ writers, editors and publishers continues through Saturday and Sunday.

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Lambda Literary Review of Solace: Writing, Refuge, and LGBTQ Women of Color

Solace: Writing, Refuge, and LGBTQ Women of Color is published by Black Feminist Press (BLF), “an author-centered independent, Black feminist press dedicated to amplifying the work of women of color.” In Solace, a collection of prose, quotes, photographs, and poetry edited by S. Andrea Allen and Lauren Cherelle, BLF does just that—it amplifies and illuminates ruminations centered around finding comfort and resistance, especially in sadness and alienation.

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Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction Named 2017 Goldie Finalist

Our first title, Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction, was named a 2017 Goldie finalist! We are honored and humbled that our work is being recognized by the Golden Crown Literary Society. Listen below to Lez Talk contributor Krystal A. Smith read an excerpt from her story "Two Moons."

Here is the link to the finalists list: http://www.goldencrown.org/general/custom.asp?page=2017Finalist

 

Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction named 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards Finalist

March 17, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: S. Andrea Allen
706.254.9582

Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction named 2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards Finalist

Clayton, North Carolina, March 17, 2107—Today, BLF Press is pleased to announce Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction has been recognized as a finalist in the 19th annual Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards.

As part of their mission to discover, review, and share the best books from small, university, and indie publishers (and authors), independent media company Foreword Reviews hosts its annual awards program each year. Finalists represent the best books published in 2016, and submitted to Foreword Reviews for award consideration, and were narrowed down by Foreword’s editors from over 2,200 individual titles spread across 65 categories. A complete list of finalists can be found at:

https://awards.forewordreviews.com/finalists/2016/

“We are thrilled that Lez Talk has been recognized as an INDIES finalist in LGBT Adult Fiction,” said S. Andrea Allen, BLF Press founder and publisher. “BLF Press is honored to be in the company of so many forward-thinking presses doing the work of amplifying marginalized voices.”

INDIES finalists are moved on to final judging by an expert panel of librarians and booksellers curated specifically for each genre and who will determine the books who will be named Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award winners. Winners in each genre—along with Editor’s Choice winners, and Foreword’s INDIE Publisher of the Year—will be announced during the 2017 American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago on June 24, 2017.

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About Foreword: Founded in 1998, Foreword Magazine, Inc, d.b.a Foreword Reviews is an independent media company featuring a Folio:Award-winning print magazine, stable of e-newsletters, and an online platform. Foreword exclusively covers small, university, and independent (non “Big 5”) publishers, the books they publish, and the creators they work with. Foreword is based in Traverse City, Michigan, USA, and has employees and writers all over the world.

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Entropy Magazine Interview with S. Andrea Allen Founder and Publisher

How did BLF Press start?

I started BLF Press when I was still in graduate school working on my dissertation. I had been researching Black lesbian writers for a few years, and I came to realize that the challenges that the women faced in regards to publishing still existed (lack of diversity in publishing; the [false] notion that lesbian literature was now “mainstream;” lack of access to agents, editors, and other publishing professionals; and more than anything, the notion that our stories were somehow unworthy or had no literary merit). I decided right then that I could do something about that.

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Interview. Entropy Magazine. January 17, 2017.

A Dream Undeterred: An Interview w/ Black Lesbian Feminist Press On Their Debut Title, Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction

In 2012, after her dissertation proposal defense, Dr. Stephanie Andrea Allen had the idea of creating her own Black lesbian feminist press to pay homage to Barbara and Beverly Smith and their Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press. It was part writer’s urge to continue the legacy of Black lesbian feminist storytelling and part a need to read books that represented her life today.

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Duque, Catalina Sofia Dansberger. "A Dream Undeterred: An Interview w/ Black Lesbian Feminist Press On Their Debut Title, Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction." The Huffington Post. December 7 2016. 

Q&A: Dr. Stephanie Allen and Lauren Cherelle on Black Lesbian Feminism and Fiction

 

In this anthology Dr. Allen and Lauren Cherelle, author and manager of Resolute Publishing, collaborated on this first BLF project in an effort to give voice to current Black lesbian voices exploring realistic fiction, science fiction, fantasy and erotica that reflects the diverse professions, education and socio economic experience of Black lesbians.

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Duque, Catalina Sofia Dansberger. "Q&A: Dr. Stephanie Allen and Lauren Cherelle on Black Lesbian Feminism and Fiction." Ms. Magazine Blog. November 28, 2016.