December 1, 2015

Dear ASWAD Members,

We can't believe that it's already been a couple of weeks since we were in Charleston with you all, presenting Breaking Ground, our Black British writers' showcase. Thank you all for your wonderful hospitality and also for the amazing reception the writers received after the event. We had a great time there.

As you will have seen from the Breaking Ground showcase, the UK's black community produces a wealth of wonderful and diverse creative writing talent. Even though the showcase in Charleston has already been a real breakthrough in terms of making our Black British writers visible to US audiences, it is just the start. We would love to continue this work by bringing Breaking Ground back to the USA in Spring 2016.

We already have a booking for 20 April 2016 in Davis, California and are now open to bookings for around the same time, so that we can construct a Breaking Ground 2016 tour. Here are ways in which you can bring the tour to your area:
  • Band together with some other local institutions so you can combine funds to bring one or more writers over. If you need publicity materials in order to build interest, please email us and we can send you copies of our Breaking Ground brochure to distribute.
  • Recommend Breaking Ground to your institution - our writers can give readings, classes or workshops, work with local youth, be interviewed. In other words, we can be flexible in what we offer and can combine different elements into a visit (eg at Rutgers this year two writers led an African Studies class and also gave readings later the same day).
  • Take Breaking Ground out into the community. We would be happy to consider events in public spaces from local theatres to libraries, from community centres to youth centres. If there is a venue which would like to host us, we'd be happy to consider a proposal, so please do give out our contact details as far and wide as possible.
In order to make Breaking Ground 2016 work, we will need financial contributions to pay for local travel, accommodation, subsistence and writer fees. Speaking Volumes has completed US tax forms already for events this year, so we now know that this process is straightforward. Costs are:
  • For one writer doing one event (or two short events), we ask for a total fee of US $2,000.
  • For two writers, we ask for a total fee of US $3,500.
  • For three writers, we ask for a total fee of US $5,000.
Fees are open to negotiation on a case-by-case basis and will also depend on what
institutions can pay for directly. We are also willing to quote a fee for the whole showcase. For events with a smaller numbers of writers, we are happy to suggest a package for you depending on what your individual needs and interests are, or for you to request writers from the showcase list if you already have a specific theme, topic or genre in mind.

If you are interested in hosting a Breaking Ground 2016 event, please contact Sharmilla Beezmohun at Speaking Volumes for more information:

We very much hope that the Breaking Ground showcase at Charleston has inspired you to take this further and look forward to hearing from you soonest.

With warm regards,

Sharmilla Beezmohun, Sarah Sanders and Nick Chapman
Speaking Volumes Live Literature Productions
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