Our Team

Tia Ross, Founder

Tia Ross

Founder

Chief creative ninja Tia Ross is a web-slinging wordsmith,  information architect, entrepreneur, and polymath known for her contributions to the Black literary artist community since 1996 when she created the first iteration of Black Writers™. Tia is an accomplished business, technical, digital content, legal, fiction, and nonfiction editor, editing alongside her team of editors at WordWiser Ink, and an event planner specializing in conferences and retreats. Tia is currently writing a book for aspiring editors. She’s also editor of a double anthology sci-fi collection to be published in 2021.

Tia lives near Houston, Texas, where she enjoys cycling, yoga, and quick flights to the Caribbean and Central America. She has an AAS in Computer Information Technology–Software & Database Programming, an AA in General Studies–Professional & Technical Writing, and a BS in Information Science & Technology. To learn more about Tia, her events, and her companies, visit www.tiaross.com.

Mistinguette Smith

Mistinguette Smith

Community Leader

Mistinguette Smith writes across the boundaries between race and culture, urban and rural, academic and vernacular. Her poetry has been published in Pluck! A Journal of Affrilachian Arts and Culture and the LGBTQ anthologies Does Your Mama Know and Other Countries: Voices Rising. Her creative non-fiction about race, land and place have been published in Emergence Magazine, The Common online, Belt and Yes! Magazines, as well as the anthology Wildness: Relations of People and Place and The Colors of Nature: A Teaching Guide.

She has co-authored peer reviewed articles in Departures in Critical Qualitative Research and American Quarterly. She lives in Northampton, MA and Oberlin, OH. You can find her at MistinguetteSmith.com.

Kim Bibbs

Kimberly Bibbs

Community Leader

Kimberly Bibbs is an author from Houston, TX, who writes to take people to another world. She knows she was born to write. She has dreamed of becoming an author for as long as she can remember, starting back in elementary school. She published her first book in 2013, “Haters and Chasers,” a fiction book about women with unconventional business plans. She also writes and edits academic literature. She enjoys collaborating with writers in person or via web meetings. Kimberly is an avid reader and enjoys non-fiction books as well as fiction. Her goal is to help other writers turn their manuscripts into books.

Jacquelyn Randle


Community Leader

Jacquelyn Randle is an author born and raised in the St. Louis area, with her first publication at the age of 15. With an extensive background in education and community outreach, she provides viewers with a refreshing take on today’s world and events. Not only does she give audiences a new voice to listen to but provides a level of transparency that hasn’t been seen in years. “If my story and work can inspire just one person to reflect and to grow in their own life, then I can change the world.” Wearing many hats she is also the lead editor and consultant at C & E Reflections Inc and helps other aspiring authors get their narratives on the page and published.

 

Desiree Winns

Desireé Winns

Social media-Twitter

Desireé Winns is a screenwriter and college student with dreams of becoming a lawyer and TV writer. Her scripts often consist of magic realism, with modern everyday black people in fantastical situations relevant to their culture and experience. These screenplays have been recognized by the National YoungArts Foundation, Screencraft Fellowship, BlueCat Screenplay Competition, and more. She currently runs the storiesfortheculture.net website for up-and-coming filmmakers and screenwriters of color. Her goals are to go to law school, become an Air Force JAG, provide mentorship, internships, and legal advice for screenwriters, and eventually write her own shows for television. She is now in her third year of undergrad at the University of Central Florida, studying political science and mass media.
Denise Matthews

Denise Matthews

Community Leader

Denise Matthews possesses a lifelong passion for writing. Her journalistic and creative work has been featured throughout the U.S. in trade publications, magazines, and newspapers, as well as broadcast, print, and social media-based advertising campaigns. Three months shy of her 49th birthday, Denise walked away from a lucrative career in the corporate world to indulge her literary, musical, and global travel aspirations and hasn’t looked back. She is also a past managing editor of Arizona Black Pages, Nevada Black Pages, and AZJazz magazines. A closet comedian at heart, Denise enjoys entertaining others with the tall tales she now captures on paper. She also writes memoir and personal essays on topics ranging from her family history to racism, sexual harassment, and colorism. Denise holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California, and now studies the craft of creative writing. She resides in Mesa, Arizona, and plans to publish several collections of her short stories.

Darlene Burnett

Community Leader

A native of New York City, Darlene is a writer and an elementary school teacher with a B.S. degree in education. While working as a teacher she made a commitment to manage her two loves, teaching and writing.

She is presently writing her first fiction novel. Darlene is also co-authoring a narrative nonfiction. Her collection of writing consists of essays and short stories in the genres of fiction and nonfiction. Many of her nonfiction pieces offer her views on race and issues affecting women. Darlene is a devoted investor in her craft with a tangible vision of publishing and sharing her prose.

Elaine Garcia

Elaine Garcia

Community Leader

Elaine Garcia is not only a professional writer of mainstream fiction, she is a professional editor and proofreader residing in Addison, Texas. She became a published author in 2004 and in 2006 was Interim President of The Writer’s Block, Inc., an organization of Black writers in the Dallas metroplex. This is where Elaine gained her experience critiquing, later launching her own critique group that was active for five years. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing for Entertainment from Full Sail University and presses on as an editor and proofreader, serving other authors and writers.

La'Cole Martin

Kyra Barr

Advisors

Dr. Venise Berry

Dr. Venise Berry

Advisor

Venise Berry is an associate professor of Journalism and African American Studies at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Berry is published widely in academic and creative circles with books, short stories, journal articles and book chapters. Her academic research focuses on media, African Americans and popular culture. She is the author of three national bestselling novels, with a fourth to be published in 2022, and recipient of an Iowa History Makers Award from the African American Museum in Cedar Rapids Iowa. In 2003, she received the “Creative Contribution to Literature” award for Colored Sugar Water from the Zora Neale Hurston Society. All of Me received a 2001 Honor Book Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

Dr. Anita Heiss

Dr. Anita Heiss

Advisor

Professor Anita Heiss is the award-winning author of non-fiction, historical fiction, commercial women’s fiction, children’s novels and travel articles. She is a proud member of the Wiradjuri Nation of central New South Wales, an Ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, the GO Foundation and Worawa Aboriginal College. Her adult fiction includes Not Meeting Mr Right, Avoiding Mr Right, Manhattan Dreaming, Paris Dreaming and Tiddas. Her most recent books include Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms which was longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Prize and was named the University of Canberra’s 2020 Book of the Year.

As an advocate for Indigenous literacy, Anita has worked in remote communities as a role model and encouraging young Indigenous Australians to write their own stories. Anita is a board member of the State Library of Queensland, the University of Queensland Press and Circa. Anita is a Professor of Communications at the University of QLD and artist in residence at La Boite Theatre, adapting her novel Tiddas for the stage.

Anita enjoys eating chocolate, running half-marathons and being a ‘creative disruptor’.

Partners

Rekesha Pittman

Rekesha Pittman

Partner

Affectionately known as “The Midwife,” Rekesha Pittman has successfully trained hundreds of authors to publish worldwide. Through the use of innovative strategies, step-by-step instruction and personal coaching, Rekesha’s courses continue to explode in popularity each year. As an established author of multiple books, newspaper columnist, public speaker and innovative trainer, she has inspired thousands of people to turn their unique talents into treasure. 

Rekesha currently helms Get Write Publishing, which includes an elective-style publishing university for business owners, corporate managers, organizational leaders and anyone with a message that needs to be spread. In 2020, she launched EAST Global, LLC for development and expansion of entrepreneur-author-speaker-trainers. She also partners with Tia Ross to offer luxury writers retreats in exotic destinations worldwide through Writeful Places LLC.

delmetria millener

delmetria millener

Partner

Literary activist, high school English teacher, literary commentator, freelance writer, and founder of #TeenWritersProject and #BrownTeensRead, delmetria millener understands the historical and cultural impact that literacy can have on teens.  

Now, as an English teacher, millener also recognizes that teens have become disconnected from the generational pride that writing, reading, social and cultural literacy fostered. Her organizations use using writing opportunities, book clubs and literary-themed social events to reconnect teens to literacy and give them back the responsibility of storytelling that they are obligated to write.

#TeenWritersProject
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