Category Archives: Spotlight
Words Lines and Phrases
At 33, Kenji Jasper can boast of a 18-year career in writing and journalism, which began when he published his first article as an intern for The Washington Informer newspaper at the age of 13. At 14, he became a contributor to Black Entertainment Television’s YSB Magazine, and later worked as a writer/instructor at The Institute for the Preservation and Study of African American Writing. He also served as an on-air personality for WTTG Fox 5’s Newsbag (1986-1987), and later as one of the founding cast members of Black Entertainment Television’s Teen Summit (1989-1993). By the time he graduated from Morehouse College in 1997, his journalism had appeared in The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union Tribune, and The Atlanta Tribune .
But creative writing has always been his true love. He penned his first novel, “Dark” , at the age of 21. It has since been released in the United Kingdom and translated into French. It was later optioned to be made into a film by State Street Pictures(Soul Food, Barbershop, Roll Bounce) and Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Mr. Jasper has contributed articles and essays to Newsweek, National Public Radio, The Village Voice, VIBE, The Charlotte Observer, The Chicago Sun-Times and Essence among many other publications. His first work of nonfiction, The House on Childress Street, was published in January of 2006. He is co-editor of Beats, Rhymes and Life, a collection of critical writings on hip hop culture and the novella, Snow, which was published by VIBE Books in 2007.
He is also the CEO and Editor of The Armory, a publishing partnership with Akashic Books. It’s mosrt recent release, Cake, by author D, was published in Summer 2008. He is currently at work on Nightshift, the first novel in a three-part series and other screenwriting and client projects.
Erika J. Kendricks
Confessions Of A Rookie Cheerleader/Publishing Prep/NABFEME
New York, NY
Erika J. Kendricks, a Chicago native, rocks out in the middle of Manhattan with her Himalayan hottie, Cody. She graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Psych and after a few bouts of indentured servitude at Ogilvy PR Worldwide and J Records, Erika completed her MBA and escaped to New York City. She snagged both her luggage and a coveted gig (read: “…and you’ll be sharing office space with the warm sodas in the utility closet…”) at the ultra-chic record label, Island Def Jam.
Kendrick quickly took a first class flight out of her own minstrel mind, clicked her Henri Bendel heels three times, and stubbornly left the music game behind. She switched stilettos and hopped on a publishing plane after inking a 2-book deal in the reputable Random House literary game. Her first born, CONFESSIONS OF A ROOKIE CHEERLEADER: A Novel, dropped in 2007, the second, APPETITE: A Novel, will follow cleverly close behind in June 2009.
Kendrick is currently working on her third sneak-peak read and also developing a tween series while writing the screenplay for CONFESSIONS OF A ROOKIE CHEERLEADER. She is the senior editor and a contributing writer for Pilot Getaways, a travel magazine.
Kendrick is a managing partner of PUBLISHING PREP®, a comprehensive course curriculum designed exclusively for the aspiring writer. She is also the President of the New York chapter of NABFEME – National Association of Black Female Executives in Music and Entertainment (NABFEME.org). Erika is a member of the Stanford Alumni Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Black MBA Association and a recipient of several “Who’s Who” honors. Kendrick has recently contracted with the GIRL SCOUTS OF AMERICA Scholar’s Program to teach creative writing to juniors and seniors. And proudly, her heart perpetually pumps to the oh-so-fabuloso crimson-and-cream stomps of Delta Sigma Theta!
CONFESSIONS OF A ROOKIE CHEERLEADER hit bookstores nationwide February 27, 2007 and was named the Wendy Williams Book Club Pick of the Month and Ebony Magazine’s Top 3 Pick for April Fiction. The acclaimed title has garnered coverage in Publisher’s Weekly, Upscale Magazine, Romantic Times, Black Beat Magazine, Rolling Out Magazine, W.I.N.E. (Women In Entertainment), Ebony Magazine and several online publications including, but not limited to, Shake Your Beauty, Nia Online, Urban Reviews, Crème Magazine, Strive Magazine and Black Athlete.
Kendrick is currently in talks with networks and studios to option both the television and film rights. APPETITE is slated to drop June 23, 2009.
Erika can be contacted for panels or speaking engagements at www.erikakendrick.com, Erika@erikakendrick.com, or for any additional literary opportunities through her agent, Stephany Evans, at firstname.lastname@example.org.