This year, the Writers Grotto in San Francisco, California will again host Rooted & Written, the first fully-funded, tuition-free professional writing conference for writers of color in the country.
Forty-six Rooted & Written Fellows will be selected to attend nine days of classes, workshops, and mentoring, plus the opportunity to participate in lunchtime “Conversations” with featured literary luminaries. Rooted & Written will take place on November 4-12, 2023.
All Rooted & Written Fellows are awarded full scholarships to the entire nine day-long conference and workshops.
"This is an unprecedented opportunity for talented, emerging writers of color in the San Francisco Bay Area to access invaluable mentoring and professional development, and to begin building their body of work in a supportive literary community," said Rooted & Written co-founder Susan Ito. "The conference not only includes workshops for the Fellows in the craft of writing, but also discussion panels of seasoned editors and agents in the literary industry to assist these emerging writers in advancing their careers."
"Our mantra is “Your Words Matter,” added Rooted & Written former Director JD Beltran. “The literary landscape is a blanket of white. The New York Times’2020 study of the literary industry discovered that 95% of the most read English-language fiction books were written by white authors—and not only are the heads of the “big five” publishing houses white, so are 85% of the people who acquire and edit books! How and when do our stories get told?”
The week kicks off with an orientation for our Fellows on Saturday, November 4th, featuring Ingrid Rojas Contreras, renowned writer and author of the acclaimed memoir "The Man Who Could Move Clouds." Her memoir was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and recipient of the California Book Awards' Medal in Nonfiction. Additionally, it garnered recognition as a "Best Book of the Year" by TIME, People, NPR, Vanity Fair, Boston Globe, and more.
The Rooted & Written 2023 Keynotes will be held virtually and are open to the public. Our keynote speakers include literary luminaries such as Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Dominic Lim, whose novel "All the Right Notes" has received accolades from USA Today, SF Chronicle, Goodreads, BookRiot, Library Journal, Buzzfeed, and Entertainment Weekly. We also have Tonya Foster, the author of "A Swarm of Bees in High Court" and coeditor of "Third Mind: Teaching Creative Writing through Visual Art." Everyone is welcome to join us for these inspiring keynotes.
In addition, from Monday-Thursday, Fellows will attend craft classes with our core faculty in Fiction, Poetry, Memoir/Essay/Creative Nonfiction, and Screenwriting.
On Friday, November 10, Rooted & Written Fellows and all applicants to the conference will participate in Rooted & Written “Flash Classes”—a day-long menu of 60-minute courses in all genres, including invaluable talks by agents and editors for professional development.
The week will conclude on Sunday, November 12th with the "Words of Color" literary reading featuring all 46 Rooted & Written Fellows. The “Words of Color” event will be held in person and open to the public at the Writers Grotto in San Francisco as well as via Zoom.
As noted by our Rooted & Written founders, “The top priority of Rooted & Written is affording access to emerging writers of color—access to strong mentoring, to professional networks, and to the tools for building a critical community of support in the creative process. We want to equip these writers with the means to get their voices out into the world—and to provide this means at no cost. One of our past Fellows participated in our mentorship program and wrote, edited, and completed his first book with the help of our writing community, secured his first agent, and then secured not one, but two book contracts. These kinds of thrilling successes are what Rooted & Written hopes to cultivate.”
We look forward to meeting the new 2023 Fellows!