Why I write ...
Sixteen years after writing my way out of homelessness, I've learned a lot about myself
Words On The Street Header
Click the pic to see what I do to give back
I live to write books ... but I write to change lives


After seeing the smiling faces at the Words on the Street Literacy Awards, sponsored by major organizations like the Knight Foundation's BME Challenge to Verizon, it's hard to believe that things weren't always this way, but they weren't. A few years ago, I stepped out on faith and decided to write hilarious columns that would explore the fun side of family and fatherhood, and to write action-packed books that were clean enough to take into schools. Then the Philadelphia Daily News was sold, the new editor discontinued my column, and a few months later, my book sales slipped. I was devastated.


I wondered if making a difference was worth it. Should I keep going into schools to tell students that writing was a way out for me, and that it could be a way out for them, too. Was it a waste of time to give back by helping young people to write their own stories? At times, I wasn't sure. But two days ago, a student from my Words on the Street literacy program emailed me and thanked me for giving her honest, valuable feedback on her work. She finished her email with this: "I could thank you until my voice failed me and it still wouldn't be enough."
Words On The Street
See Words on the Street on CBS3


An hour later, another student I'd taught at Temple wrote this:

"Recently, I became involved with the youth ministry at my church and I'll be leading the creative writing segment we incorporate into our youth services ... I truly believe God put me in your creative writing class for a reason. Your class really helped me discover my passion for writing. Your class made me take risks, step outside the job box and it also challenged me as a writer. Thank you so much for everything." 


Sometimes, when you take a stand for what's right, the results are neither immediate nor apparent.  But knowing that the people whose lives I've impacted are now impacting others has not only shown me that I was right to take a stand. It's shown me that I have to keep on standing. How do I know? Because things have also turned around for me.




This month I recorded a major interview with NPR's All Things Considered. In that interview, based on The Last Confession, book one of the Coletti crime series, I spoke about my journey from homelessness to critical acclaim. The interview airs nationally this summer. In addition, the leadership at the Philadelphia Daily News has changed. Don't be surprised to see my column back in some form in the very near future.
The Dead Man's Wife
Click to learn more about my eighth novel. Pub date 10/16.
On Oct. 16, my eighth novel, The Dead Man's Wife, will be released. This exciting tale of adultery, murder and greed centers on the discovery of an Alzheimer's cure. When the fight for control of the multibillion-dollar drug results in the death of research scientist Paul Wilson, his wife becomes the prime suspect. There's just one problem. Paul may not really be dead.


Sound good? Studios think so, too. Not only is The Dead Man's Wife already being pitched for film by my fantastic agents at the Sandra Dijkstra Agency. We are going to use the book to raise funds to find a real cure for Alzheimer's, the sixth leading killer in America.  


I'm excited to be able to use my writing to make a difference. I'm even more thrilled about what's happening in the lives of the readers and students I've impacted.


Because you've been a faithful reader, I'd like you to be a part of what I'm doing, so as we get closer to October, I'll be reaching out to you to help. Together, we are going to take The Dead Man's Wife to the New York Times bestseller list, and we'll use it to do what I've always envisioned for my writing. 



We'll use it to change people's lives.  



Solomon Jones


Writer's Coffeehouse - FREE help for aspiring writers 


Want to make a living as a writer? Come to the Writer's Coffeehouse on Sunday June 10th at Barnes & Noble, 1805 Walnut St., Philly. Founded by New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry of The Liars Club, the Writer's Coffeehouse is a free networking event where published authors, marketing professionals and literary agents share everything you want to know about writing books, being published, marketing your work, and getting paid. This event attracts everyone from beginners to award-winners and bestsellers, and the host authors sign their books and speak one-on-one with attendees afterward. Here's the info:

The Writer's Coffeehouse

Sunday June 10th - 12 to 2:30pm

Barnes & Noble

1805 Walnut Street, Philly


Featuring These Hosts:

Essence bestselling author Solomon Jones

Critically-acclaimed author Merry Jones

Award-winning author Kelly Simmons

Crime writer Jonathan McGoran



Register for this free event at: http://writerscoffeehouse3.eventbrite.com

About Solomon Jones

Solomon in tuxedoSolomon Jones is the author of The Last Confession, The Gravedigger's Ball, The Bridge, and the critically-acclaimed novels Pipe Dream, Ride Or Die, C.R.E.A.M., and Payback. He is the creator of a television pilot that was optioned by NBC's Peacock Productions. A seasoned public speaker who has addressed audiences ranging from publishing professionals in Tucson, Arizona, to inmates at the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution at Chester, Jones has taught creative writing at Temple University's College of Liberal Arts and has written an award-winning column for the Philadelphia Daily News. Jones is a member of various organizations, including The Liars Club, a group of critically-acclaimed and bestselling authors who work collectively to promote the written word. Jones, who is currently at work on his next novel, lives in Philadelphia with his family.

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P.O. Box 30217
Elkins Park, Pennsylvania 19027