The Center for Literature and Theatre @ MDC Schedules Intensive Creative Writing Workshops Nov. 16-18

Register now for workshops and one-on-one consultations taking place during Miami Book Fair International

Miami, FL – This fall, aspiring writers will have the opportunity to learn technique and get publishing advice when The Center of Literature and Theatre @ Miami Dade College (MDC), (formerly known as the Florida Center for the Literary Arts), presents its prestigious Miami Writers Institute for the second time this year. The fall version of this spring staple runs Wednesday, Nov. 16 through Friday, Nov. 18 during Miami Book Fair International at the Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami. This three-day conference features comprehensive courses that focus on craft and publishing, additionally, participants may sign up for one-on-one manuscript consultations with industry professionals. All courses are taught by accomplished authors with extensive teaching experience. Since space in most workshops is limited, interested participants are encouraged to register now.

Special prices and registration fees:

  • Any Three-day, nine-hour workshop: $225 each
  • Secrets of Publishing: (two-day, four hours): $125
  • One-day Workshops: $80
  • Manuscript Consultations: $80*


*Manuscript consultation fees are not reading fees and do not go to the agent. Instead, they support the programs and initiatives of The Center @ MDC.

All Writers Institute courses will be held at MDC’s Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. Second Ave. Discounted rates are available for MDC staff, as well as students currently enrolled in credit courses.

For a detailed schedule and to register for workshops and manuscript consultations, and for general information about the Miami Writer’s Institute, visit Space in workshops is limited. Register as soon as possible to secure your space. For any registration inquiries, or for more information, contact Nicole Swift at 305-237-3023 or [email protected].


Miami Dade College Kicks Off 28th Edition of the Miami Book Fair International with Poster Unveiling

MIAMI, FL – The 28th edition of Miami Book Fair International, presented by The Center at Miami Dade College, officially kicked-off Monday, Sept. 12 at the City Hall Restaurant, with the unveiling of two official Book Fair posters. The official Book Fair poster was created by Ye Hongxing, a native of China whose artwork has earned her a place in the top exhibitions in the world. A second poster, designed by artist Grace Zong, celebrates the many activities the Book Fair puts together for children and families. This year’s Book Fair will celebrate the literature and culture of China and will take place Nov. 13-20, 2011, at the college’s Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami. The popular Street Fair runs Friday through Sunday, Nov. 18-20, with more than 200 exhibitors from around the country selling books in a festive atmosphere.


From left, Madeline Pumariega, president of MDC’s Wolfson Campus; Alina Interian, director of The Center @ MDC; poster artist Ye Hongxing; and MDC President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón.



During a season where inspiration is needed yet often missing, Pecan Tree Publishing, is taking the opportunity to introduce several Florida writers with new releases from a Christian/inspirational perspective. MEET THE AUTHORS: THE SPIRITUAL EFFECT IN WRITING takes places this Saturday, 3 - 5pm at the African American Research Library in Fort Lauderdale. The authors being introduced include:

Dr. Oscar L. Chestnut, LESS RELIGION MORE SPIRITUALITY, a delicately sincere look at moving beyond religious rituals and delving into an intimate God relationship. Chestnut chronicles his spiritual relationship in drawing the stark differences between religion and spirituality.

Carol Lynne Watson, MY JOURNEY TO PEACE. In 30 journeys, Watson allows readers to follow her as she experiences life's challenges, joys, pains and aha moments. As she does, she offers motivation and inspiration along the way introducing peace as a reality that needs to be embraced.

Cyteria Freeman, FROM A MESS TO A MIRACLE TO A MESSENGER. From stints in crack houses, street fights and drug induced haunting hallucinations, Freeman saw her life fall a part, she felt the sting of losing custody of some of her children and the respect of others and then she experienced climbing from the pits of hell, not once but twice. Her story is invigorating and wonderfully told.

Interview opportunities will be available during the event. The library is located at 2650 Sistrunk Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, Fl. For more information call 877-207-2442.

Miami woman's triumph over domestic violence chronicled in new book

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In recognition of the courageous victims of domestic violence who find the strength to deal with their plight and come to grips with the manipulation by their abuser, we present to you one Miami woman’s account of her trials, tribulations and triumph over domestic violence. Shattered Lens: A Tale of Domestic Violence and Redemption through Love is a must read.

Maryalicebeasley A native of Miami, Florida and a graduate of Miami Northwestern High School in Liberty City, Mary Alice Beasley was mentored by her college educated older sister Elizabeth to read, question, explore, dream and then strive to become all that she imagined. However, Mary Alice’s plans were derailed when she married a high school football quarterback who became a school administrator and prosperous entrepreneur. Her life spiraled into an abyss of despair and depression. Determined to get it back on track, she searched within for the strength that she often recognized in her mother to overcome the physical scars, the suppressed emotional pain and the guilt that plagued her daily. Feeling blessed and triumphant, she now dedicates her life to tutoring and encouraging young people to become positive, powerful and productive citizens.            

She received her B.S. in Speech Corrections from Florida A&M University and her M.S. in Exceptional Student Education from Saint Thomas University while serving as an itinerant Speech and Language Pathologist in Miami-Dade County Schools.

Many, in South Florida’s black community will be shocked by Beasley’s story and know individuals profiled in this book, as they are well-known, educated professionals in the community. There is much for all of us to learn from this book. Here is my brief interview with author, Mary Alice Beasley.


VWB:   Thank you very much for taking the time to share with the Blogging Black Miami readers; let’s start off with a question I’m sure our readers want to know, just why did you write this book?

MAB:   As stated in the book, this journal was written: to help me understand the causes of the thought processes which governed my behavior; to explain why I repeated experiences; to focus attention on the devastating effects of unresolved inner conflicts; and finally to break the years of silence and give voice to my story. I’ve always been a very private person. Disclosing my inner thoughts is a part of the healing process.

VWB:  Taking your experiences from journal to book is quite an accomplishment, how long did it take you to finish it from conception to completed creation?

MAB:   Since I have always kept a journal, the writing process was a “work in progress” over many years. I began writing this manuscript in 1992. In 1994 it was sent to several publishing houses by my literary agent. However, I decided not to proceed until I was more comfortable about openly discussing this prevalent and humiliating subject. In 2007, I began to rethink the subject as societal attitudes and legal support had evolved. I then updated the manuscript by adding the last two chapters. It was completed in 2009.

VWB:  This book discloses some very personal situations, how has it affected your family, especially your children?

MAB:   Jabali is my greatest supporter. He helped change the dynamics in my life and encouraged me to self-publish. My sisters are very proud and are enthusiastically promoting it. My son is hoping that it sells and I become famous. My daughters view it through their own “shattered” lenses.

VWB:   Is there another book in the works for you?

MAB:   Yes, several. Having been a Speech and Language Pathologist, I’ve written a “Speech Improvement” book for students that incorporate Black History as it relates to Black Dialectal patterns. The other book contains very positive memories of my life as a child growing up In Liberty City. This novella emphasizes the rewards of being self motivated and demonstrates how having limited resources could spark the imagination and enhance the creative process.

VWB:   Fabulous! Other than your own work, what‘s your favorite book?

MAB:   Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” will always be my favorite, maybe because I identify with Celie.  However, I mostly read non-fiction, motivational, historical and biographical works in my leisure time.

VWB:  Thank you again, Ms. Beasley. You are my new she-ro! Congratulations on your book!

For more information on the author and the book, visit If you are a victim of domestic violence, do not be ashamed; get help by calling 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) or 1.800.787.3224 (TTY). Your call is anonymous. Get confidential help all day, every day.


Related Links:

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Domestic Violence 101

How to Help a Friend Who’s Being Abused

Presidential Proclamation--National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

 Domestic violence

Popular Evenings With Series at Miami Book Fair International Offers an Eclectic Mix of Writers and Entertainers

MIAMI, Oct. 4, 2010 – The 27th edition of the nation’s finest and largest literary gathering, Miami Book Fair International, presented by the Florida Center for the Literary Arts (FCLA) at Miami Dade College (MDC), will take place November 14 - 21, 2010, at the college’s Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami. The popular Street Fair runs Friday, November 19 through Sunday, November 21, with more than 200 exhibitors from around the country selling books in a festive atmosphere. This year, the Fair will celebrate the literature and culture of Mexico. A very special guest will launch Book Fair festivities on opening night. Details will be provided soon.
The Book Fair will again treat book lovers to the beloved Evenings With series, which will kick off on Sunday, Nov. 14 with internationally acclaimed Mexican author, Carlos Fuentes, who returns to the Fair for the first time since 1987. Evenings With continue on Monday with Oscar-nominated writer and film director Nora Ephron, then bestselling novelist Robert Goolrick, journalist Christopher McDougall, filmmaker John Waters, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Eugene Robinson, bestselling novelist Pat Conroy, Pulitzer Prize–winning author and Harvard professor E. O. Wilson and punk rock icon, artist, poet and writer Patti Smith.

All Evenings With presentations will be held in the Chapman Conference Center (Bldg. 3, 2nd Floor) at the MDC Wolfson Campus, 300 N.E. 2nd Ave., downtown Miami. All Evenings With require a ticket that must be purchased for $10 in advance. To purchase, visit

Evening programs are as follows:

· Carlos Fuentes – 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 14

· Nora Ephron (I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections) – 8 p.m., Monday, Nov. 15

· Christopher McDougall (Born To Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen) – 6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 16

· Robert Goolrick (A Reliable Wife) – 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 16

· John Waters (Role Models) – 8 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 17

· Eugene Robinson (Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America) – 6 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 18

· Pat Conroy (My Life in Books) – 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 18

· E.O. Wilson (Anthill) – 6 p.m., Friday, Nov. 19

· Patti Smith (Just Kids) – 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 19

For updates on Miami Book Fair International, please visit, call 305-237-3528, or email [email protected].

The Little Pink Purse of Courage: Questions on Breast Cancer

The Little Pink Purse of Courage

You have Breast Cancer and will need chemotherapy:  Do you know what  to ask when you sit across  the physician as the treatment plan is outlined and the doctor asks  , “Do you have any questions?”   Well, this new book, The Little Pink Purse of Courage:  When Breast Cancer  is the Diagnosis and Chemotherapy is the Treatment will provide you with all the questions you need to ask and have answered by the physician who will treat and manage your breast cancer.

Almost  10 years ago, Patricia Edwards' eldest sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a devastating moment when the surgical oncologist shared the diagnosis with them and told her sister she would need chemotherapy before he would perform surgery on her breast.  Before her first visit to the medical oncologist Edwards wrote four pages of questions, which she asked her to give the oncologist.  Our sister-in-law  attended this visit.  Edwards' sister reported  the doctor read all the questions. 

Eight years later, Edwards' sister was discharged and the physician commented on the questions. It was at that time the idea of writing THE LITTLE PINK PURSE OF COURAGE: WHEN BREAST CANCER IS THE DIAGNOSIS AND CHEMOTHERAPY IS THE TREATMENT OPTION  had its beginnings.  This booklet of 41 questions is there for you when you make your first visit and the physician says:  “Do you have any questions for me?”  At that point even the most articulate and courageous among us, lose our voice and feel suspended from the reality which is going around us.

What happens instead is the disbelief,  the fear, the anxiety, the worry, the sadness and the anger take over and all of this tends to  affect your ability to really hear what your physicians are saying.  It is very important to take someone with you.  This is a “must have” book for women and men with invasive breast cancer. It is your support network in your purse, your man bag or your pocket.

The good news for women and men, who are diagnosed with breast cancer today, is this disease is now considered a chronic illness instead of a terminal one.  Most people who are diagnosed if treated, will survive and most are living  20 years after diagnosis.

Related site:


Trick Daddy's Autobiography Magic City: Trials of a Native Son in stores Nov. 16, 2010


Trick Daddy's Autobiography The self-proclaimed "Mayor of Miami" Trick Daddy exploded onto America's pop culture landscape as one of the pioneers of Dirty South rap. His 2001 album, Thugs Are Us, established him, as one critic wrote, "alongside Ludacris and Mystikal as one of the few nationally championed Dirty South rappers, and … catapulted him onto the playlist of every urban radio station in America, not to mention MTV." Widely credited with infusing hip hop with new life, he has been one of the most prolific southern talents since his introduction on Uncle Luke's timeless 1996 dance floor staple, "Scarred".

 Born and raised in poverty as one of twenty-seven children, Maurice Young aka Trick Daddy, is considered by many as a thoughtful thug. His unsparing portrayal of life in the southern ghetto has earned him a legion of fans. Over a twelve-year career, he's released two platinum selling albums and numerous Billboard chart toppers. The recent merger of Trick's label, Dunk Ryders, with the high profile Cash Money Records, the home of Li'l Wayne and other platinum-selling stars, along with the upcoming release of the debut Dunk Ryders group album, is currently causing quite a buzz in music circles.


Magic City: Trials of a Native Son, chronicles Trick Daddy’s story against the backdrop of Miami, the Magic City. It is an extraordinary story, of a childhood marked by poverty, a crime-laden adolescence, an incarceration, a meteoric rise to fame, and a struggle with a potentially fatal medical condition. It's the story of a boy whose father was a pimp; who, left to his own devices, learned to hustle to survive and whose only role model was his brother, the drug dealer he watched plying his trade on the block. But while his story is remarkable, the most astonishing part is that he is not only still alive, but that he got out.


Magic City: Trials Of A Native Son is the story of how that potent mixture of extremes, the dazzling beauty and glittering wealth of the Magic City, and the crime, the corruption and the despair playing out in its shadows gave rise to what has now become the most dominant sound in hip hop, in the process revitalizing a stagnant art form. MAGIC CITY, told in Bailey's artful prose, is an ode to the city of Miami, a riveting tale of a paradise lost.

Alex Daoud tells all or at least a lot about corruption

Sins-of-south-beach-book With a struggling economy, former Mayor Alex Daoud’s Tell-All book “Sins of South Beach” could give Miami’s economy a boost. Cinepro Pictures/Philippe Martinez Productions has acquired the rights to film a feature length production based on the controversial book.


Production is expected to start in September of 2010 with plans to have most of the filming take place in Miami Beach creating an opportunity to employ many local residents and local actors, and will no doubt generate significant revenue for the City of Miami Beach.


Martinez, the internationally renowned producer of over 30 films including “Modigliani” starring Andy Garcia, “I Could Never be Your Woman” starring Michelle Pfeiffer and “The Flock” starring Richard Gere, acquired the rights from LionShark Entertainment, a subsidiary of BMax Holdings, which will also serve as executive producers on the project.


“In the book I was instantly struck by not only the enigmatic and contradictory nature of Mayor Daoud, but how the various story lines interconnect during such a pivotal time in one of the world’s great cities,” says Martinez. “Alex was a larger than life personality whose impact on Miami Beach is truly part of America’s history.”


Alex Daoud Daoud, three-term mayor of Miami Beach, was a driving force behind the rebirth of the city, but ultimately served time in Federal prison for corruption. “The decadence suggested by the book’s title is what initially drew me to read ‘Sins of South Beach’,” said Ben Rizzo, principal partner of BMax, “but the depth of the story and the incredible real-life characters are the reasons that I immediately knew this would make a magnificent movie.”


Martinez says, ”Daoud tells a story chock-full of sex, drugs, violence, corruption, and murder that ultimately exploded into the transformation of the South Beach that we now know today. Much like Miami Beach itself, Daoud was a study in contrasts: the consummate public servant who routinely took drastic actions to protect and serve citizens, while simultaneously straddling the lines of propriety and legality. But, it’s also very obvious to me that there were many other individuals who were just as corrupt, if not more so, than Alex, and who reaped benefits far beyond that of Mayor Daoud. Therefore, I’m truly excited to bring this riveting story to the screen and fully develop those characters as well.”


Author Alex Daoud says, “The sacrifice, the sufferings and the sorrows of the citizens of Miami Beach during the Mariel crime wave were horrific. Now their stories will be immortalized on the big screen.”



Official website: Sins of the Beach - The True Story




Miami-Dade College Art Gallery System and the Miami Book Fair International Partner to Present Two Exhibitions Featuring Highly-Acclaimed Graphic Novels

MIAMI, Oct. 27, 2009 – Miami-Dade College’s Art Gallery System (AGS) and the Miami Book Fair International have joined forces to present two unique exhibitions that celebrate both the visual and literary arts at 6 p.m. on Nov. 4, 2009 at the Wolfson Campus Centre Gallery in downtown Miami. A special component of this year’s Book Fair, scheduled for Nov. 8-15, 2009, both exhibitions will feature illustrations from their respective novels.

The Photographer: Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders is a unique exhibition of photos and illustrations from the best-selling and highly praised graphic novel of the same name. The exhibition offers a sample of the book that combines the late photojournalist Didier Lefevre’s dramatic images and graphic novelist Emmanuel Guibert’s stunning artwork to bear witness to the hardships endured by the Afghan people throughout the Afghan-Soviet conflict and the present day.

This exhibition will give audiences a glimpse of how the book went from an idea born of a conversation in a Paris apartment to a fully illustrated narrative in graphic novel format. By combining original photography used to inspire the novel, and the illustrations used in the book, this exhibition will give the visitor an insight into how one photojournalist’s journey into war-torn Afghanistan can be translated into a format for the entire world to experience.

The second exhibition opening on the same evening is the Color of Comics, a definitive study of one of the comic culture’s favorite formats, the evolution of the comic book as a potent form of narrative art is revealed.  Simply put, this exhibition exists as an effort to illuminate the diversity of characters of color in comic art.  Through the characters may be African, Africa-American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, Middle Eastern and so forth, their creators may not be.  Knowledge of the diversity behind the comic book panels is often elusive, or ignored.

Color of Comics is a unique opportunity to better understand not only the aesthetics but also the vocabulary for evaluating the art of the comic with insights that are especially valuable, demonstrating how words and pictures  function together to tell stories in ways unique to the medium. 

Color of Comics

For a complete listing of all Miami Book Fair International events, including these exhibitions, visit


WHAT:  Miami Dade College's Art Gallery System and Miami Book Fair International Collaborate to Present Two Exhibitions, The Photographer and Color of Comics

WHERE:   Centre Gallery, Miami Dade College, Wolfson campus, 300 N.E. Second Avenue, Building 1, Room 1365

WHEN:     Wednesday, Nov. 4, 6-8 p.m. opening reception

Exhibit open through January 22, 2010, Tuesday-Friday, 12 - 5 p.m.

For more information about this exhibition or MDC’s Art Gallery System, call 305-237-7700.