Celebrating Writers | Cleveland Public Library is hosting a series of Cleveland Book Week events in September

In celebration of Cleveland Book Week, the 5th annual Great Lakes African American Writers Conference (GLAAWC) is coming to Cleveland Public Library

For the first time, the annual conference will be held in the Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium on Saturday, September 17 from 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. A virtual option is also available. Registration is required for both in-person and virtual.  

“The Great Lakes African American Writers Conference will inspire writers to explore themes, trends, and issues in Black American literature,” Dr. Leah Lewis, Founder & Executive Producer of the Great Lakes African American Writers Conference. “This conference provides a place for all writers, especially those of color, to network and learn from those who share similar life experiences.” 

GLAAWC will feature literary arts programming including live music, spoken word poetry, and the 2022 Langston Hughes Literary keynote address from novelist Walter Mosley. The 1998 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winner has written more than 60 critically acclaimed books ranging from crime novels to literary fiction, nonfiction, political essays, young adult, and science fiction. Several of Mosley’s books have been adapted for film and television including Devil in a Blue Dress and the HBO production of Always Outnumbered

Editor-in-Chief of Electric Literature and winner of the 2022 Whiting Literary Magazine Prize Denne Michele Norris will deliver the Alice Dunbar Nelson Professional keynote address at the Great Lakes African American Writers Conference. Norris is the first Black, openly trans woman to helm a major literary publication. Her written works include Last Rites which appears in Everyday People: The Color of Life, Daddy’s Boy in the new anthology Forward: 21st Century Flash Fiction, and Where Every Boy is Known and Loved

One of the many workshops at GLAAWC, Grief and Writing as a Healing Modality, will explore coping with grief and loss through storytelling. Panelists include Shauna Hibbitts, author of My Mismatched Socks, Shavonne J. Moore, Psychologist, and author of The Black Woman’s Guide to Overcoming Domestic Violence: Tools to Move Beyond Trauma, Reclaim Freedom, and Create the Life You Deserve, Grief Counselor and owner of Life Enrichment: Individual, Family and Business Solutions LLC Joy A. Reid, and Behavioral Health Clinical Psychotherapist and CEO of Winston Behavioral Healthcare, PSC in Woodbury, Minnesota Teresa Winston.  

In addition to an all-day conference at Main Library, the Great Lakes African American Writers Conference will host a literary brunch on Sunday, September 18 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Landerhaven Executive Caterers located at 6111 Landerhaven Drive in Mayfield Heights. The brunch will feature award winning author and journalist Toni Tipton-Martin whose latest book, Jubilee: Recipes From Two Centuries of African American Cooking, brings to life the stories behind 125 dishes from African American cookbooks. Beloved Cleveland celebrity Chef Eric Wells will share with the audience his passion for food and the lessons learned from cooking with his mother at a young age. Interested participants can purchase tickets TODAY at GLAAWC.org

“Cleveland Public Library is proud to host the Great Lakes African American Writers Conference and other Cleveland Book Week events,” said Aaron Mason, Director of Special Projects at Cleveland Public Library. “The Library is dedicated to supporting learning communities, creating a space at the table for all voices, and nurturing the love of literature.” 

Cleveland Book Week begins with writing workshops and awards to recognize authors, writers, and poets. 


In partnership with Literary Cleveland, Inkubator will be September 9-10 at Cleveland Public Library’s Main Campus. The free festival for writers and readers will feature writing workshops, craft talks, and panel discussions to help writers improve their craft. For a complete list of writers and activities, visit inkubator.litcleveland.org


The 87th annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards will be at the Maltz Performing Arts Center on Thursday, September 15 at 6 p.m. Poet, novelist, and essayist Ishmael Reed will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Anisfield-Wolf Awards is the only national juried prize for literature that confronts racism and explores diversity. Visit anisfield-wolf.org for a list of the 2022 recipients.  


Cleveland Public Library will celebrate authors, illustrators, and publishers at the 2022 Norman A. Sugarman Children’s Biography Awards. This year’s virtual awards presentation will take place on Thursday, September 29 on Facebook Live at 7:30 p.m. Visit cpl.org for more information on this year’s honorees.