One of my New Years resolutions was dedicating this year to leveling up, specifically as an author and artist. Or rather as an auteur.  😉

Breaking personal records and churning out more pieces than ever, I’ve spent the better part of the year in nonstop writer mode which of course is the equivalent of Puppet Angel.

Puppet Angel

One of the ways I leveled up recently was completing Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due’s lifewriting class entitled Afrofuturism: Dreams to Banish Nightmares.

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The 10-week webinar course included lectures, social media and interviews with everyone from Jamie Broadnax, creator of Black Girl Nerds to executive producer, director and Black Panther scribe, Reginald Hudlin, Bree Newsome, and many others.

The curriculum also included:

  • How African-Americans spun the nightmare of slavery and oppression into dreams, art, and music that has changed and inspired the world… and how you can apply these concepts to your own life… today!
  • How to use Theme to guide your storytelling and create even greater impact
  • How to build new worlds and people them with three-dimensional characters
  • How to turn your personal pains and fears into creative gold
  • How to write about social injustice in a variety of genres, including fantasy, science fiction and horror

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I’m always happy for the opportunity to learn from two of the best in the industry today.

My thoughts on the course?

To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what I was signing myself up for. To be more honest, I also wasn’t terribly keen on the idea of having a class over 10 Saturday evenings. However, I was dedicated and willing to make the necessary sacrifices and put in the work to evolve as an artist. Five minutes after logging into the webinar for the first time and I felt at home. The 1 hour and 10 minute class actually felt like a casual book club meeting at a coffee shop with friends.

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Steven and Tananarive are an absolute delight. It was too cute watching them finish each other’s thoughts and sentences. They’re the epitome of #BlackLove and #RelationshipGoals. They kept each class light, exciting and engaging. The interviews with the industry pros were both insightful and informative.

After each class I felt galvanized to tackle my writing and as a result I have landed a few freelance gigs and sales. If you’re serious about taking your writing to the next level, then I can’t recommend this class enough. You’ll be richer for the experience. Real talk.

And in related news Steven has a new novel out.

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You’ll definitely want to grab a copy which is available now. You’ll be glad that you did.

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