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It’s Up to Us: A Roundtable Discussion

Gone Fishin' By Kellye Garrett
November 26, 2018
www.lareviewofbooks.org

THIS PAST SUMMER, Walter Mosley, Agatha Award–winning writer Gigi Pandian, and I started a group for crime writers of color. Within two months, the group went from the three of us to having over 80 writers — all in various stages of our careers. We cheer the ups, commiserate with the downs, and brainstorm ways to ensure the appallingly low number of mysteries published by writers of color continues to grow.

It was during one of those brainstorming discussions that the idea for this roundtable took shape. The group was discussing how best to diversify conference panels. I mentioned how I’d love to see a panel featuring black mystery writers who first published in different decades to see what had gotten easier, what had gotten harder, and what had stayed the same.

Steph Cha messaged me suggesting that it might work as a roundtable discussion. I knew exactly who I wanted to invite — and was thrilled when they all immediately said yes. The resulting conversation is enlightening and a great inside look at what it’s like to be a black mystery writer.

Read the rest of the discussion