Revised CFP---15th National Black Writers Conference: “Activism, Identity, and Race: Playwrights and Screenwriters at the Crossroads”

Mudiwa Pettus Discussion



15th National Black Writers Conference

“Activism, Identity, and Race: Playwrights and Screenwriters

at the Crossroads”

March 26 – March 29, 2020

11:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Medgar Evers College

1650 Bedford Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11225


The Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY (CBL), presents the 15th National Black Writers Conference, “Activism, Identity, and Race: Playwrights and Screenwriters at the Crossroads.” This is a public gathering of writers, scholars, literary professionals, theater and film luminaries, students, and the general public. The dates are March 26 – March 29, 2020.


This year, as in previous years, CBL invites writing professionals, cultural critics, scholars, and college students to submit proposals that examine the following:


● The ways in which the subjects of racial identity, sexuality, and social commentary—as well as historical representations of Black experiences or culture—are expressed or expanded in the original works created by contemporary Black playwrights and screenwriters.


● The ways in which the transformation of the text from a novel to a play or screenplay impacts the play or screenplay. References to selected works of notable writers such as Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie (Half a Yellow Sun) James Baldwin (If Beale Street Could Talk), Toni Morrison (Beloved), Ntozake Shange (for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf), Alice Walker (The Color Purple), or those of other writers of fiction and creative nonfiction are strongly encouraged.


CBL understands that over the last decade, in particular, we have seen an increase in the writing of works by Black playwrights, screenwriters, and scriptwriters. These writers, at a crossroads, are focused on breaking new ground; creating bold new work in theater, film, and television; and expanding the narrative of the Black experience in America and throughout the African Diaspora. During this year’s four-day conference, panelists and special guests will examine the ways race, identity, politics, and popular culture shape plays, films, and television shows produced. The conference features roundtable conversations, panel discussions, a town hall, film screenings, author readings, writing workshops, and more.


Submission Instructions

Deadline for submission of abstracts is Monday, January 13, 2020.


Please submit electronically an abstract/proposal of 300–500 words, a list of related references for the presentation and the thesis or question you plan to explore. Do not send manuscripts.


Please include the following:


1. Your name and contact information on the title page.

2. Title of proposed talk

3. Institutional affiliation

4. Short academic bio of no more than 50 words.


Please submit to:, with your name and “Call for Papers 15th NBWC Playwrights and Screenwriters at the Crossroads” in the subject line. 


Notification of acceptance will be sent to presenters by February 14, 2020.




For more information about Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY, and its programs: Phone: 718-804-8883 or visit www. Find the Center for Black Literature on Social Media: Facebook: Center for Black Literature; Twitter: @Center4BlackLit; and Instagram: @Center4BlackLit.