About the Revisions Workshop
The Black Creatives Revision Workshop is an extended opportunity for writers who have completed a full draft of a Middle Grade, Young Adult, or Adult novel. Twelve writers will be chosen from the applicant pool to receive training from a small faculty of esteemed Black authors to complete revisions of their manuscript and to submit their novel to a team of editors at Penguin Random House (PRH).
The Revision Workshop is for writers who believe that they will benefit from instruction in their final stages of revision and who will complete their edited manuscript within the five-month period of the workshop. The writers will also be dedicated to joining a committed community of other creatives participating in the Workshop.
Throughout the program, there will be opportunities for manuscript exchange and building writing partnerships along with extracurricular programming to introduce publishing industry do’s and don’ts. The BCF’s Program Manager and the Workshop’s Writing Coaches will also offer varied resources and support to the writers, fostering a nurturing environment and a supportive community for the participants.
The Workshop will focus on the writers completing their revisions by the end of the program so that they are ready to submit to PRH at the conclusion of the workshop.
2022 Revisions Workshop Participants
Doris Allen (Adult Novel) is an African American publishing professional specializing in bringing attention to Black authors and Black-owned bookstores across the country and amplifying Black voices in literature through networking on her Bookstagram account (@OnyxEditions). She conceptualized and spearheaded “Paint this Cover,” an initiative presenting readers the opportunity to envision book covers for authors and booksellers, which was inducted into DeKalb County Library (Georgia) programming. Keeping her ear to the social media streets, in order to find more voices within the African diaspora to champion, is one of her greatest passions. An army brat, she has lived in Germany, New Mexico, Missouri, New York, and Philadelphia. She spent her childhood obsessively reading across genres, writing mandatory book reports for her grandmother about little known Black History (that couldn’t be used for school), and attending her father’s gospel quartet concerts. A tireless advocate for the special needs community, parent of a child on the spectrum, and mentor to parents of autistic children. She currently lives in Queens, New York with her husband and children.
K. Onley (Middle Grade) is a mother, entrepreneur and sometimes-preacher living in MetroWest, Massachusetts. She spends her time gathering community, contemplating the possible, discerning truth, and imagining the future—as much as she can in fiction, but oftentimes in real life through her multiple volunteer positions. A native Marylander who has spent her adult life in Massachusetts, K. often sets her stories in New England, but writes them with her Southern cadence and Mid-Atlantic worldview. In her fiction, she seeks to write stories featuring children of color who can traverse many worlds with the savvy to code-switch, challenge, and triumph as they go.
2022 Revisions Workshop Faculty
Maya Millett is a senior editor at the Dial Press, an imprint of Random House, where she acquires fiction and nonfiction titles that center BI&POC storytellers. Before joining Dial in 2021, Maya spent several years as an independent nonfiction editor and audio producer, collaborating with authors including Glory Edim of Well-Read Black Girl, cultural critic Rebecca Carroll, and New York Times bestselling essayist Hanif Abdurraqib. Maya also worked for five years as an executive book editor at StoryCorps, editing the organization’s anthologies published in partnership with the Penguin Press. During her tenure at StoryCorps, Maya also served as the executive producer of StoryCorps Animation, producing animated short films for PBS based on StoryCorps’ NPR broadcasts, several of which earned Peabody and Columbia-duPont awards, and two News & Documentary Emmy award nominations. Alongside her editorial work, Maya is also the founder of Race Women, a historical justice archive project that honors Black feminist foremothers from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
2022 Revisions Workshop Writing Coaches
Jada provides developmental editing and sensitivity reads for Black American culture, all aspects of Blackness in literature. LGBTQ+ representation (specifically pansexual and wlw), and military culture. She is working on her certification as a book coach with Author Accelerator.
Black Creatives Revisions Workshop FAQ
There is not an age limit on applying, however, craft readiness for an offer of a book contract is part of the consideration criteria. Applicants should display a certain level of maturity, commitment, and practice at their craft. Those who apply need to have completed at least one full book draft, a synopsis, and have a career biographical statement ready at the time of submission or they will be disqualified.
Each application is reviewed by a panel of judges to ensure that all of the expectations set forth are met; the expectation is that authors will self-identify as part of the African diaspora through the application.
Using an anonymous system and on a rolling basis, judges with experience in assessing works in the various genres will select a pool of finalists from the larger group based on the merit of the writing sample submitted.
Once the final pool is selected, it will be submitted to a team of WNDB employees and PRH employees who will review the full applications of all the finalists to select the twelve who will be enrolled in the Workshop.
Applicants who do not comply with submission rules will be disqualified.
Application guidelines are available on the BCF Revisions Workshop general information website.
All authors must have a completed manuscript available for immediate review by their writing coach at the time of application. An entire draft of the book should be complete by the time of submission even though applicants send only 10-15 pages for consideration in their application. Applicants also must include a synopsis of the full story (which can’t accurately be written until after a full draft is complete). No exceptions will be made.
No, the manuscript submitted must be authored by a single writer and not published in any form prior to submission to this workshop.
There are no limitations. The money is intended to provide financial support so that participants may have more time and flexibility to dedicate to their revisions. Participants may use the money however they see fit.
No. Anyone (in any category) who submits more than one application or manuscript will be disqualified. Anyone who applies for more than one category will also be disqualified.
No. Due to stipulations around the distribution of the grants, we can not currently accept international applications but there will be more programming forthcoming with the Black Creatives Fund open to international participation.
We evaluate all applications in mid-March and successful applicants will be notified in late-March.
We can’t advise you on the taxability of your stipend, so we encourage you to consult a qualified tax preparation professional.
Participation in each faculty lesson and faculty live Q&A is mandatory. During the week that there are lessons you can expect to spend from an hour and a half to two hours on the instruction piece and then an additional hour later in the week for the live Q&A. That same week industry insiders will be hosting a one-hour Industry Brown Bag Lunch that is not mandatory, but participants are strongly encouraged to attend each session. Alongside these engagements, the participants will be required to schedule three one-on-one sessions with their writing coaches: one at the beginning of the workshop, one at the mid-point and one at the end before submission of the manuscript. Outside of these events and appointments, the individual schedule for completion of the full revisions is up to each participant, but every participant must submit a final manuscript for full review by the end of the program. Please do not apply if you do not feel that your schedule over the next five months will allow for full engagement in the Workshop.
No. You’ll receive individual support by your Writing Coaches and engage with industry insiders available to answer your questions and concerns about revision and joining the publishing community. Faculty, Writing Coaches, and Industry Brown Bag lunch guests will not be expected to provide referrals to agents, editors, or other publishers. The focus of the workshop is craft-based on strong self-editing and revision, with opportunities to ask professional and business-related questions as they arise.
Writing Coaches help provide some structure for accountability with the program, helping participants to complete initial revision goals and helping to ensure that they are being met as the program continues and is completed.
Please use your real name on the portion of the application with contact information and let us know what your pen name is in the proper field on the application form. No names or identifying information should be on the manuscript itself.
All applicants must be unpublished, including self-publishing, and unrepresented by an agent. If you are already published or agented at the time of you application you are not eligible to participate in the Revisions Workshop.